From: Lisa Mighetto <>
Subject: ASEH News Fall 2013
aseh news
fall 2013                        volume 24, issue 3
in this issue
president's column: public humanities and environmental history
the profession: aseh's new public oureach project award
member news
announcements: award and fellowship deadlines, positions open, and more
for graduate students: workshops and position available
update on san francisco conference 2014


Our 2014 conference will include the following events:
  • plenary session on global environmental history
  • plenary session featuring an evening with California poets Gary Snyder  and Robert Hass 
  • lunch and discussion on "Environmental Justice and Sustainability: From Slavery to Fossil Fuels" with  Michel Gelobter
  • lunch and discussion on "California Time:  The Past in the Present" - an exploration into using modern photographs as a visual text to see the history embedded in landscapes with Richard White
  • workshops on digital environmental history and oral history
  • field trips to Muir Woods, Point Reyes National Seashore, a local winery, and more

Click here to view the schedule of sessions grid.


Click here for general info. on the conference, including hotel reservations and a list of fees.  



travel grants
A limited number of travel grants are available for students and low-income scholars presenting at our 2014 conference. Click here for more info. 
future conferences
San Francisco
March 12-16, 2014
Washington, DC March 18-22, 2015
March 30-April 3, 2016

The October issue of Environmental History includes articles on development in Niagara Falls, the US exploring expedition in the Fiji Islands, oil in Bolivia, avalanches in the Soviet Union, and more. Click here for more info.
The journal welcomes Finn Arne Jørgensen of Umeå University, Sweden, as Digital Content Editor. Finn Arne brings extensive experience in the digital humanities through his work on, among many other projects. We look forward to working with him on developing and on expanding the journal's digital horizons! Finn Arne's twitter handle:  @finnarne
reminder: sign up for aseh member directory
ASEH's Digital Communications Committee announces the launching of an online directory of members. Any member can register on this new site, which is publicly available to anyone searching for contact info. on environmental historians and their research. The site is now open for registration and viewing.
We encourage all ASEH members to register. If you have questions or comments, contact
Click here to register. Thank you for your participation!
Our 2014 conference hotel (Parc 55 Wyndham) is located in downtown San Francisco, near Union Square.
Coit Tower.
Our 2014 conference will include a fire history field trip to the Oakland hills (pictured above).
Our 2014 conference will include a field trip to Muir Woods.
Our 2014 conference will include a field trip to Preston Vineyards - a sustainable winery.
Our 2014 conference will include a boat tour.

photos courtesy Travel San Francisco and Lisa Mighetto
aseh news
Published quarterly by the American Society for Environmental History. If you have an article, announcement, or an item for the "member news" section of our next newsletter, send to 
by December 6, 2013. 
fall leaves 1   

president's column: public humanities and environmental history


On a recent morning walk to campus, I noticed a new display in the window of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the newest state-of-the-art, transdisciplinary research science facility at the University of Wisconsin. The window held papers covered with doodles, cartoons, and thoughts on the "Counterfactual Campus." Celebrated cartoonist, novelist, and illustrator Lynda Barry had guided a diverse group of participants from the university and community to imagine the campus in 2112. Their simple renderings stood in marked contrast to the high-tech, plug-and-play labs housed inside the building. One particular cartoon stood out: under a plastic dome, three people are in conversation, and the caption read, "Too hot to be outside, lawns are indoors, the most precious things on campus are water and shade. Technology is everywhere but the best interactions are face-to-face or conversations while walking."


Later that same day I opened my inbox and read yet another article on the demise of the humanities, this time in Harper's. Thomas Frank's caricature of navel-gazing humanists, aloof from the realities of the everyday world, soaking up the tuition dollars of hard-working parents, hardly matches the changes I see afoot in environmental history and, more broadly, the humanities. Never in my professional career have I seen more students interested in experimenting with new forms of humanistic expression to engage with a diverse set of publics. Lynda Barry's drawing board workshop on the Counterfactual Campus is a case in point. Here were people from all walks of life imagining the future and harnessing the tools of creative thinking, writing, and illustration to succinctly express some of the critical issues of our time.

Our field is full of examples that showcase the public humanities in action.  At the University of Wisconsin, Tales from Planet Earth, a biennial film festival launched in 2007 has, through its workshops, classes, and film festival, connected to more than 10,000 people with over 100 films and visits from award-winning filmmakers. The Tales project has helped to expand our definition and understanding of the environment in the past, present, and future.


In early November, the Nelson Institute's Center for Culture, History, and Environment will host the fourth Tales from Planet Earth festival with "Futures" as its theme. Over the course of three days, the festival will screen more than 35 films; host panels and discussions that will feature a dozen filmmakers and include faculty, students, and community members; and showcase student work that asks audience members to reflect on questions of time, memory, and displacement in renditions of ecological pasts and environmental futures.

Film festivals like Tales or digital projects like "Year of the Bay," a creative collaboration of Stanford University's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis to put crowd-sourcing to work to further public environmental history, are examples of the many ways that ASEH members are bringing digital media and the public humanities together to effectively link scholarship and public engagement.

Toward this end, ASEH is pleased to announce two new awards. The Public Outreach Award will recognize environmental history projects and programs that engage the public beyond the academy. The award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Environmental History recognizes academics and nonacademics whose substantial and sustained work outside of the classroom has promoted public and institutional awareness and appreciation of environmental history.


The first Public Outreach Award will be announced at the 2014 ASEH meeting in San Francisco. The first award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Environmental History will be announced at the 2015 ASEH meeting in Washington, DC. On behalf of ASEH, I would like to express sincere thanks to the active efforts of ASEH's Advisory Board on Professional Development and Public Engagement and the ad hoc committee (Marty Reuss, Heather Lee Miller, and Cindy Ott) in recognizing the need to honor and acknowledge different forms of work happening both within and outside the walls of the academy, work that is vital to the continued success and public support of environmental history. [See the section "The Profession" below for more details on the new awards and how to apply.]

In addition, ASEH is pleased to announce that a full-day preconference workshop on digital environmental history is planned for the 2014 San Francisco meeting.  We owe thanks to the generosity of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford University, and the initiative and enthusiasm of eight scholars from six universities who bring a range of expertise across different digital media platforms in making this happen. Three mini-workshops - In the Lab & Library, In the Classroom, and For the Public - will take place; participants will have the opportunity to discuss a variety of projects and programs on the theme, and brainstorm about opportunities, trends, and possible future collaborations. Please check back on the ASEH website ( for further details.

Just a century ago, the motion picture became an ally of the American conservation movement, fundamentally shaping American interactions with and understanding of the environment. Today, more than ever, we need to think critically about the impact different media environments have upon our interactions with each other and the nonhuman world. Thinking about the future entails more than confronting the realities of climate change and the ever-increasing speed with which humans are consuming the resources of the planet. How we mobilize the digital to advance critical thought, produce new forms of scholarship, engage with communities, and foster change are important questions, too, in pondering the future of the environment and the field of environmental history.


Gregg Mitman, ASEH President

the profession: aseh's new public outreach project award


ASEH's Advisory Board on Professional Development and Public Engagement announces the introduction of two new awards recognizing excellence in public humanities and environmental history: Public Outreach Project Award and Distinguished Career in Public Environmental History.
Each of these awards will be presented every other year, beginning with the Project Award in 2014. This award will recognize environmental history projects and programs that engage the public beyond the academy; help the public appreciate the role of the environment in the shaping of broader social, political, economic, and cultural issues; and/or have measureable impact on communities.

Eligible nominees include films, exhibitions, historic preservation, archaeology, community programs, and other similar work. Scholarly articles and books are excluded. The project should have been presented or initiated (if it is ongoing, such as a website or blog) between January 2012 and December 2013.

Nominations may be made by anyone, including those associated with the project. Nominations may be made for projects within and outside of the historical community and are not confined to work involving ASEH members.

How to Apply:

E-mail a description of no more than 500 words, explaining how it engages the public and advances understanding of environmental history. The description can include links to the project or links that further explain the project. Submissions from around the world are welcome, but the applications must appear in English.

E-mail to with the subject line "ASEH Public Outreach Project Award Submission" by December 31, 2013.

The recipient will be notified in early 2014 and the award will be announced at ASEH's annual conference in San Francisco in March 2014.

member news


Francesca Ammon is now Assistant Professor, City & Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.


Craig Colten has added a new responsibility to his position at Louisiana State University, joining the Water Institute of the Gulf. See the link: 


Co-editors Dolly Jørgensen, Finne Arne Jørgensen, and Sara Pritchard have published New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013.


Adam Rome was named the Unidel Helen Gouldner Chair for the Environment at the University of Delaware. The chair is a new position, with a term of five years.


Christopher Sellers received the American Public Works Association (APWA) Abel Wolman Award recognizing the best new book published in the field of public works history, for Crabgrass Crucible: Suburban Nature and the Rise of Environmentalists in Twentieth-Century America, published by the University of North Carolina Press. 



Final Notice - ASEH awards submissions for 2013
The next year's prize committees will evaluate submissions (published books and articles and completed dissertations) that appear between November 1, 2012 and October 31, 2013.
Please send three copies of each submission for books and articles (these must be hard copies, or paper copies) for receipt by November 15, 2013 to:
Lisa Mighetto, ASEH, UW Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, University of Washington, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA  98402

Articles that appeared in our journal, Environmental History, are automatically considered by our journal's editorial board, and there is no need to submit copies for the Leopold-Hidy Prize.

Electronic submission of dissertations:
We encourage electronic submissions of your dissertation, if your dissertation was approved between Nov. 1, 2012 and Oct. 31, 2013. Submit in pdf format as a single file less than 5 megabytes in size to by November 15, 2013.


Final Notice - ASEH Samuel P. Hays Fellowship Applications

It is open to practicing historians (either academic, public, or independent). Graduate students are ineligible. A Ph.D. is not required. Submissions will be accepted between June and September 30, 2013, and the recipient will be selected and notified in December 2013 for funding in January 2014.
To apply, please submit the following items:
  • A two-page statement (500 words) explaining your project and how you intend to use the research funds.
  • A c.v. no more than two pages in length.
All items for the Samuel P. Hays Research Fellowship must be submitted electronically by September 30, 2013 to Barry Muchnick, committee chair, at


Final Notice - ASEH Hal Rothman Fellowship Applications

Students enrolled in any Ph.D. program worldwide are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted June 1- September 30, 2013, and the recipient will be selected and notified in December 2013, for funding in January 2014.
To apply, please submit the following three items:
  • Two-page statement (500 words) explaining your project and how you intend to use the research funds.
  • A c.v. no more than two pages in length.
  • A letter of recommendation from your graduate advisor
All items for the Hal Rothman Research Fellowship must be submitted electronically to by September 30, 2013
Positions Open
Currently there are several positions for senior scholars and assistant professors (at Univ. of Wisconsin, SUNY Albany, Michigan State Univ., Montana State Univ., and Drexel Univ.) posted on ASEH's website. Click here to view.

Environmental History Seminars

For info. on the environmental history seminars sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society, click here.

For info. on "Explore Environmental History" sponsored by the Baltimore City Historical Society, click here.

For graduate students


Workshops at 2014 Conference


ASEH's Graduate Student Caucus has organized two workshops on writing and publishing for our 2014 conference. These are free for conference attendees, but application ahead of time is required. Click here for more info.


Graduate Student Liaison Position Available                         


The Graduate Student Caucus of ASEH invites applicants for the position of Graduate Student Liaison to the Executive Committee for the year 2014. ASEH will provide the recipient with a $500 USD travel subsidy to attend the executive committee meeting at the ASEH annual meeting in San Francisco in March 2014. Attendance at the executive committee meeting (Saturday, March 15) is required, as is consulting with graduate students and the graduate student caucus throughout the year. The term of the position runs from January 1 to December 31, 2014.


To apply for this position, please submit a one-page statement describing your interest in this position, including information regarding previous participation in ASEH activities and/or leadership and service experience. Please also submit a short c.v. (maximum three pages).


Applications should be sent via email to Gregory Rosenthal, current ASEH Graduate Student Liaison ( The deadline for applications is October 4, 2013. All applicants will be notified of election results by October 14.


Note that to vote in this election one must be a current member of the ASEH Graduate Student Caucus. Membership in the caucus is simple! To join, please send a statement of interest to the current liaison, Gregory Rosenthal ( If you are a graduate student in environmental history, please consider joining the caucus in advance of the October 4 election deadline!


Also note that graduate students can apply for both the liaison position and an ASEH travel grant, but they can receive only one in 2014.       

aseh news is a publication of the American Society for Environmental History


Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, President 
Kathleen Brosnan, University of Oklahoma, Vice President/President Elect
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Jay Taylor, Simon Fraser University, Secretary
Executive Committee:
Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University 
Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma
Sara Gregg, University of Kansas
Ellen Stroud, Bryn Mawr College 
Paul Sutter, University of Colorado
Louis Warren, University of California-Davis
Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia
Ex Officio, Past Presidents:

Nancy Langston, University of Wisconsin-Madison
John McNeill, Georgetown University
Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History
Lisa Brady, Boise State University

Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, aseh news:
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma
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ASEH | UW Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program | 1900 Commerce Street | Tacoma | WA | 98402