From:                                                                            Lisa Mighetto <>

Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 11:15 AM


Subject:                                                                        ASEH News Summer 2017



aseh news

summer 2017                      volume 28, issue 2


2 important deadlines

July 14 - submit proposals for 2018 conference

July 21 - provide comments on report by Women's EH Network

details are provided in this newsletter


update on Riverside
conference 2018


Proposals for panels and roundtables are due July 14, 2017. Click here for information on submitting a proposal. We are standing by to assist with proposals, if needed. Contact


Dates of conference: March 14 - 18, 2018

Location: Riverside Convention Center

Host: University of California-Riverside and Claremont Colleges

Click here for general information on the conference.


This year, there are 3 conferences hotels available: the historic Mission Inn ($159/night); the Hyatt ($155/night; rate includes breakfast); and the Marriott ($169/night and limited number of student rooms at $149/night). ASEH's website ( will include reservation links later this summer.

Our 2018 conference will include the following events:

  • workshop on water archives, Claremont Colleges
  • workshop on oral history, sponsored by the Forest History Society
  • field trips to Huntington Library, coastal region, Joshua Tree National Park, San Jacinto fire region, and more
  • plenary talk on border and connections between arts/humanities and EH
  • large exhibit area
  • poster presentations
  • 100 sessions, including panels, roundtables, individual papers, posters - and a new format ("lightning talks")
  • networking events and opportunities for students

Our conference will include a field trip to the California Citrus Historic State Park, along with a citrus tasting.

The conference will feature a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park, pictured above and below.

Above: historic Mission Inn - one of the conference hotels.

The conference will include a southern California coastal tour.

We will visit the Huntington Library - research facility and gardens.

Our conference will include a fire history tour of San Jacinto (pictured above).


travel grants


A limited number of travel grants will be available for students and low-income scholars presenting at our 2018 conference. Once the program committee selects the sessions and creates the program, we will contact presenters will more info., including how to apply.


future conferences


Riverside, CA

March 14-18, 2018


Columbus, Ohio

April 10-13, 2019


If you are interested in submitting a proposal to host a future ASEH conference, contact for guidelines. ASEH will be selecting our 2020 conference site this fall.




Click here for information on the July issue of our journal Environmental History, which includes 

articles on Albert National Park in Belgian Congo, barren ground caribou, land reclamation in the Veneto, malaria, and more.


have you signed up for aseh's member directory?


ASEH's Digital Communications Committee has created 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 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!



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 September 15, 2017. 



Riverside, California.

See you in Southern California March 2018!

Photos courtesy Riverside Convention & Visitors Bureau, Huntington Library, and Lisa Mighetto


stay connected

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president's column: teaching environmental history


University professors, Canadian literary scholar Ted Chamberlin once observed, are tellers of tales. Some of their stories are new and they call these research. Others - "about evolution and the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, about the Big Bang and the Great War, about justice and freedom, supply and demand, economy and efficiency" - are old, and they call these teaching.  


I have long savored Chamberlin's bon mot, for its humanity, for its demystification of some of the academy's more pretentious claims, for the importance it attaches to narrative, and for its particular fit with what we generally do as historians. I was also reminded of its pertinence, and perhaps some of its limitations, at our annual meeting in Chicago, which included a considerable number of sessions related to teaching: of hope; of environmental history in the introductory survey course; on preparing students to practice interdisciplinary environmental history; and on possibilities for teaching environmental history in high schools. 


Teaching can, indeed must, involve the telling of compelling stories, but it is no longer (if it ever was) just that. There is a new story making the rounds these days, relayed by university leaders, educational theorists, business gurus, members of the media and others. Less proven than assumed, even myopic and ahistorical, it is that we live in a world of unprecedented change, and that old ways are, therefore, no longer valuable. In education we have heard this in a thousand registers, most of them variants of the claim that the (story-telling) "sage on the stage" must become a "guide by the side," as (passive) teaching is replaced by (active) learning and the focus of the "education process" shifts from teacher to student to achieve "transformative learning" that will better fit the rising generation for the challenges ahead (or, more blatantly, the "job market"). There are just enough catchy phrases, and there is just enough sense in these sorts of formulations to carry people past the pejorative stereotypes, hidden assumptions, and misleading assertions so that the rhetoric can do its ideological work.


This is not to say that adaptation and innovation should be rejected out of hand. Of course "the times they are a changin," (and they were long before Bob Dylan marked the fact in 1964). We all know that historians write for their generation, that there is scant justification for teaching that disregards context, and that we must strive for greater inclusiveness and diversity in our curricula as well as our number. But we need to remember that disciplines differ and that they have their own particular attributes. Flipped classrooms, peer-learning, three-minute- thesis presentations and the like have their merits and their places, but they are not universal elixirs. History is not Astrophysics. Character and circumstance, contingency and context, evidence and detail are the essence of History; so too are critical reading, the embrace of complexity and nuance, and careful long-form arguments.


Our challenge as educators is to hold these attributes against the tide. A recent upturn in History enrolments at Yale has been attributed to the growing realization that an historical perspective helps us to understand recent political and financial trends and crises. Environmental history is equally vital to addressing other global crises, and we should seize the moment.  


In this context, the efforts of our colleagues who teach environmental history in high schools are both inspiring and important. A session devoted to their work in Chicago revealed their necessary responsiveness to changing educational circumstances as well as their deep commitment to encouraging environmental awareness among their students. Such thoughtful, innovative, and dedicated teachers warrant our support. We would do well to increase interactions between school teachers and professional historians, and to develop links of one sort and another between individuals, departments and schools. I urge that we work to facilitate these. Teachers would value closer links with "the professoriate" and we and the world stand to gain from their efforts to build empathy, ethical consideration and greater environmental understanding among our youth, as they prepare to shape their own life-stories by rising to the environmental challenges that face us all.


Graeme Wynn, ASEH President



the profession: update on women's environmental history network

Verena Winiwarter and Nancy Jacobs (pictured far right) address the WEHN reception in Zagreb on June 30th.

The Women's Environmental History Network organized a reception at the recent conference of the European Society for Environmental History in Zagreb, Croatia (ASEH sponsored the reception). Topics discussed included the new listserv, activities at ASEH conferences, the mentoring program, and more. If you are interested in joining or participating, contact Julie Cohn at


Last spring WEHN compiled a "Report on Gender and the American Society for Environmental History," exploring gender inequity in the field of environmental history, particularly with respect to publishing. Noting ASEH's commitment to equity issues and the number of women in ASEH leadership roles, WEHN presented this report to ASEH's executive committee, which made the report public and sent a message to members last spring. Click here to view the report.



  1. Does the WHEN report reflect your experience in the field of environmental history generally and in ASEH specifically? Please include examples.
  2. What solutions would you recommend for issues identified in the WEHN report?
  3. Are there other gender, diversity, or equity issues that ASEH should address? Please include specific examples and/or recommend solutions.

The deadline for comments from members has been extended to July 21, 2017. Please send comments to a committee member of your choice; identities will not be disclosed to others.


Diversity Committee: Mary Mendoza

Membership Committee: Christoff Mauch -

Grad Student Caucus: Anastasia Day -

WEHN - Sarah Hamilton: -

ASEH Rep at Large: Christopher Wells -      


We look forward to learning about our members' experiences and thoughts on these issues. Thank you in advance for participating; gender equity is not exclusively a women's issue.



member news


William Cronon received the Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Award for distinguished writing in American history of enduring public significance from the Society of American Historians.



Alice Weinreb recently published Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany (Oxford University Press: New York, 2017).


The following individuals received 2017 fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies:


Tony Andersson - Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship - Doctoral Candidate, History, New York University
Environmentalists with Guns: Conservation, Revolution, and Counterinsurgency in El Petén, Guatemala, 1944-1996


Kyuhyun Han - Luce/ACLS Predissertation-Summer Travel Grant in China Studies - Doctoral Student, History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Seeing the Forest Like a State: Forest Management, Wildlife Conservation, and Center-Periphery Relations in Northeast China, 1949 - 1965


Faisal Husain - Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship - Doctoral Candidate, History, Georgetown University
Flows of Power: The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, 1546-1831


Adrienne Kates - Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship - Doctoral Candidate, History, Georgetown University
Maya Autonomy and International Capitalism in Mexico's Chewing Gum Forests, 1886-1947


Tait Keller - Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars - Associate Professor, History, Rhodes College
Green and Grim: A Global Environmental History of the First World War


Alessandra Link - Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship - Doctoral Candidate, History, University of Colorado Boulder
The Iron Horse in Indian Country: Native Americans and Railroads in the U.S. West, 1853-1924

Congratulations to all!





Final Notice - Call for Proposals for ASEH's 2018 Conference in Riverside, California

Join us in Southern California next spring! Proposals for panels and roundtables are due July 14, 2017. Click here for more information on submitting proposals.


ASEH Award Submissions Due           

ASEH presents awards for scholarship, service, and achievement. These include prizes for best book, article, dissertation, and public outreach project, and more. The deadline for this year's award submissions is November 17, 2017. For a list of awards and instructions on how to submit, click here.


ASEH Fellowship Applications Due

The Samuel Hays Fellowship is open to practicing historians (academic, public, or independent). Graduate students are ineligible. A Ph.D. is not required. Deadline: November 17, 2017. Click here for submission instructions.

Students enrolled in any Ph.D. program worldwide are eligible to apply for the Hal Rothman Fellowship. Deadline: November 17, 2017. Click here for submission instructions.


ASEH Seeks Your Help in Publicizing Equity Fellowship

This fellowship recognizes a graduate student from an underrepresented group for their achievements in environmental history and provides $1,000 for Ph.D. research and travel. Students must be members of ASEH at the time of their application. For more information, please see


We ask all members to assist the Society by circulating information about the equity fellowship and identifying viable candidates for it. The deadline is November 17, 2017.


Call for Papers

The Hanford History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Washington State University Press invite submissions for a multidisciplinary collection of essays titled "Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 Years of a Nuclear World." This peer-reviewed volume will be published by WSU Press in Fall 2018. Deadline: September 15, 2017. If interested, contact


Anthropocene Campus

The deadline to apply for the Anthropocene Campus in Philadelphia at Drexel University has been extended to July 31, 2017, See:



for graduate students


Dear Graduate Caucus Members,


A few quick updates:


Elections-Camden Burd and Jessica DeWitt have been elected President-Elect and Communications Office, respectively. Camden will serve as President-Elect from now until May 2018, then President from May 2018 to May 2019. Jessica will serve from now until May 2018. Congratulations to both!


Writing Workshops-This year Lorena Campuzano Duque and Kerri Clement are organizing the yearly writing workshop ("Talk to an Expert: Writing Workshops for Graduate Students") where a professor reads and provides feedback to 2-3 students in a small group. Anastasia Day is also organizing a second workshop, "Writing with the Experts: An Interactive Writing Session," with Professor Steven Pyne. Look for more details on both in the Fall.


Conference Panels-Emily Webster has put together another caucus panel, this one on teaching or writing across disciplines. The panel is composed of professors who have cross-disciplinary appointments in history and environmental studies and who teach non-history specific classes.


Best wishes for a productive and restful summer!


Zach Nowak, Caucus President 


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


Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia, President

Edmund Russell, Boston College, Vice President/President Elect
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University, Secretary


Executive Committee:

Emily Greenwald, Historical Research Associates, Inc.-Missoula

Lynne Heasley, Western Michigan University

Kieko Matteson, Univeristy of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center-Munich

Kathryn Morse, Bowdoin College
Cindy Ott, University of Delaware

Conevery Valencius, Boston University

Zachary Nowak, Harvard University, president of grad student caucus

Ex Officio, Past Presidents:

Kathleen Brosnan, University of Oklahoma

Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History
Lisa Brady, Boise State University

Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, aseh news:
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma


ASEH, UW Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402



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