ASEH annual conference
March 28-31, 2012
Hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Culture, History and Environment, our 2012 conference will include
special sessions on labor and trips to the Leopold Shack, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, Forest Products lab, UW arboretum, walking labor tour, exploration of local food systems, birding at Horicon Marsh, and more.
plenary session: "Stop Saving the Planet, Already!-
and Other Tips from Rachel Carson for 21st-Century Environmentalists"
Keynote speaker: Jennifer Price, followed by a panel discussion with Maril Hazlett, Lisa Sideris, Christof Mauch, and Nancy Langston
travel grants available - click here for more info.
attention book publishers: our 2012 conference will include an extensive exhibit and program. Click here if you are interested in exhibiting or advertising.
environmental film festival in Madison, March 2012
Click here for more info.
mark your calendars
Our journal is now mobile-optimized
to learn more about discounts from Oxford University Press for ASEH members.
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 9, 2011.
fall 2011 volume 22, issue 3
environmental history has come of age
Few ASEH members will have missed the fact that the next president of the American Historical Association will be one of our own, Bill Cronon. No prior AHA president has been a member, let alone a former president, of ASEH, although some have had interests that might be termed environmental. Indeed, one former AHA president, who served exactly one century before Bill, had environmental interests and although born too early to take part in ASEH did do a stint as president of the United States. His visage is etched into Mt. Rushmore. No prizes for correctly identifying him.
The AHA presidency can be a ceremonial office but need not be. Early indications are that Bill will promote environmental history - especially at the 2013 annual meeting of the AHA in New Orleans. The official theme of the New Orleans meeting (January 3-5, 2013) will be "Lives, Places, Stories," which opens doors for environmental historians. Bill recruited another ASEH member, Paul Sutter of the University of Colorado, to serve as Chair of the 2013 AHA Program Committee. The Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2013 meeting will be yet another ASEH member, Craig Colten of Louisiana State University. The stars are aligned for environmental historians to shine before the AHA audience as never before.
Environmental history in the U.S. has come of age and the 2013 AHA meeting offers us our best chance yet to show it to the broader community of historians. I urge one and all to think about how to seize that opportunity.
We will serve our own interests best by turning our skills as environmental historians to subjects that the broader community of historians cares about. We can gently challenge our fellow historians to think in new - environmental - ways about old and iconic subjects: the American Revolution, slavery, the New Deal, or the Cold War. Or, to put it in more global terms: the Ming-Qing transition, the reign of Peter the Great, the Mfecane, or the rebellion of Tupac Amaru. The deadline for panel and paper proposal submissions is February 15, 2012, almost upon us. As historians know better than anyone, there is no time like the present.
-John McNeill, ASEH President
[for additional information, see the "announcements" section of this newsletter below]
using social media
courtesy Oxford University Press
Many scholars are now using Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media. Listed below is a brief overview of some additional social networks to investigate for building your community and increasing visibility for your work.
is a professional networking site with close to 100 million members worldwide. The first step to using LinkedIn is to set up a personal profile. Once you have completed this, you can begin connecting with members who share an interest in this your title, society, or research area. LinkedIn further offers profile-based, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising similar to Facebook, so you can run targeted ad campaigns to promote your title or society.
is a social photo-sharing site that you can use to share images with your current and potential readers.This approach can be particularly effective if your work involves a strong visual element. You can embed Flickr photo albums in your blog, or link to these via your profiles on other social networks.
is a highly customizable, free blogging platform that lets you share text, links, quotes, music, and video content. It has a strong social element and can help boost visibility for your posts through "reblogging" (similar to "retweeting" on Twitter).You can also post by mobile device or email.
is "a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it." Questions posed on Quora can be edited or answered by anyone. Answers are
then rated, so that the best ones rise to the top of the page. People can follow topics, specific questions, or people. Answering questions effectively and gaining followers on Quora can be an innovative way to
position yourself as a thought leader on this emerging tool.
social media best practices
Here are a few things to consider as you develop your presence on the social web.
- Showcase thought leadership
- Post frequent updates: a good rule of thumb is weekly for blogs/YouTube, and daily for Facebook/Twitter
- Be friendly and casual: social posts will appear among posts from users' friends and family
- Be human: have a perspective and a voice
- Be concise: get to the point before losing readers' interest
- Be timely: respond to comments and queries as soon as possible
Use social etiquette: acknowledge sources and give credit where it's due via attributions, retweets, and so on; follow others and they may follow you
- Stick to what you know: when writing a blog article, stick to your areas of expertise
- Use overly familiar or potentially offensive language
- Use industry or social media/tech jargon
- Sound like a different person on different channels
- Post too frequently (this can be seen as "spamming")
- Write about topics outside your area of expertise
- Post copyrighted material without proper clearance and attribution
- Underestimate the resources - in terms of content and time - required to launch and maintain a social presence over the long term
Adam Rome will move to the University of Delaware in January 2012. He will help to build a program in environmental humanities, and he will have appointments in both History and English.
The October 2011 issue of the OAH Magazine of History will feature "Environmental History Revisited," including many ASEH members. The Table of Contents is provided below:
Environmental History: Complexity, Connections, and Place - Sarah S. Elkind
Everything and the Kitchen Sink: Enriching the U.S. Survey Course with Environmental History - Patty Limerick
Empire's Footprint: The Ecological Dimensions of a Consumers' Republic - John Soluri
Natural Disasters in the Making: Fossil Fuels, Humanity, and the Environment - Christopher J. Castaneda
Nature in the City: Urban Environmental History and Central Park - Colin Fisher
Historian with a Chainsaw: Teaching Environmental History in the Field - Brian Donahue
Thinking About Progress: Teaching a High School Environmental History Seminar - Amy Schwartz
Teaching Environmental History with Political Cartoons - Paul Hirt
Team Teaching History, English, and Biology: An Integrative Approach - Billie Clemens and Honor McElroy
Readings in Environmental History: An Unscientific Survey - Sarah S. Elkind
BRINGING HISTORY ALIVE
A Lively Seminar on Death: Teaching the Environmental History of the Corpse - Ellen Stroud
ASEH award submissions - final notice
This year ASEH's prize committees will evaluate submissions (published books and articles and completed dissertations) that appear between November 1, 2010 and October 31, 2011.
Please send three copies of each submission (these must be hard copies, or paper copies) by November 10, 2011 to:
ASEH, UW Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program
University of Washington
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402
Electronic submission of dissertations:
This year ASEH will also accept electronic submissions of your dissertation, if your dissertation was approved between Nov. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011. Submit in pdf format as a single file less than 5 megabytes in size to Anne Coleman, chair of Rachel Carson Prize committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org
by November 10, 2011.
Samuel P. Hays Research Fellowship - final notice
ASEH created this fellowship to recognize the contributions of Samuel P. Hays, the inaugural recipient of the society's Distinguished Scholar Award, and to advance the field of environmental history, broadly conceived. The fellowship provides a single payment of $1,000 to help fund travel to and use of an archive or manuscript repository. 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 June 17 - September 30, 2011, and the recipient will be selected and notified in December 2011 for funding in January 2012.
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 three pages in length.
All items for the Samuel P. Hays Research Fellowship must be submitted electronically to Phil
Garone, chair of the committee,
by September 30, 2011 at email@example.com
Hal Rothman Research Fellowship - final notice
Students enrolled in any Ph.D. program worldwide are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted June 17 - September 30, 2011, and the recipient will be selected and notified in December 2011, for funding in January 2012.
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.
- A letter of recommendation from your graduate advisor.
All items for the Hal Rothman Research Fellowship must be submitted electronically to Kim Little, chair of the committee,
by September 30, 2011 at firstname.lastname@example.org
travel grants available for 2012 conference in Madison
Owing to a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant 1058613), additional funding is available for students and low-income scholars to travel to our 2012 meeting in Madison. For more info., click here.
call for proposals to host ASEH conference
ASEH's site selection committee is now soliciting proposals from individuals or groups who are interested in hosting our annual meeting in 2015. Those interested should contact the chair of the site selection committee, Sarah S. Elkind
for a copy of the ASEH's conference guidelines and other information. The deadline for submission of proposals for the 2015 meeting is December 31, 2011. Please keep in mind that hosting a conference requires substantial effort and time as well as significant institutional support, and that the proposed local arrangement chair must reside in the city proposed.
AHA 2013 annual meeting will feature environmental history
by Paul S. Sutter, University of Colorado, Boulder
As many of you know, William Cronon is the president-elect of the American Historical Association, and he will preside over the 127th AHA Annual meeting in January 2013. Bill has asked John McNeill and me to serve as Co-Chairs of the Program Committee and Craig Colten to serve as the Local Arrangements Chair. The conference theme - "Lives, Places, Stories" - is meant, among other things, to encourage proposals from environmental historians. This is an important opportunity to highlight the growth and vibrancy of our field, and so we hope that many of you will consider submitting proposals. Below is an abbreviated version of the conference theme statement as well as a links to the full theme statement as well as the recently issued Call for Proposals.
"The 2013 annual meeting convenes from January 3-6, 2013, in New Orleans, which has one of the most unusual natural and cultural histories of any city in the United States. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a better place for the AHA to explore the many insights we gain when we study human history in its environmental and geographical contexts. Our theme for this conference, "Lives, Places, Stories," is meant to encourage proposals from scholars who explore the roles of environment and geography in all aspects of human history. But we also intend this theme to be broad enough that any scholar working on any topic with any approach in any place at any time will feel fully welcome to propose papers or sessions that meet its capacious spirit. The Program Committee also welcomes and will seriously consider proposals that do not fall under the scope of our chosen theme, as our overarching goal is to make the AHA annual meeting a showplace for the very best in historical practice."
The deadline for submitting proposals is February 15, 2012.
For more detail on the conference theme, please see: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2011/1109/1109ann4.cfm
For the full Call for Proposals, please see: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2011/1109/1109ann3.cfm
The Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Studies Program offers graduate training courses. For more info, see:
report on ESEH conference in Turku
by Harriet Ritvo, MIT
|ASEH sponsored a reception at the conference in Finland.|
The European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) held its biennial conference at the University of Turku in Turku, Finland (or Abo, as it is called in Swedish) from June 28 to July 2. The theme of the conference was "Encounters of Sea and Land," which also describes Turku's location in the southwest corner of Finland. It lies at the mouth of the Aura River, which empties into (or around) the archipelago dividing the Gulf of Bothnia from the Baltic Sea.
Turku is far enough north to have very long days at midsummer, but far enough south to have temperatures seasonable even by the standards of east coast America. As is the case at ASEH conferences, the panels demonstrated the diversity of the research topics encompassed under the rubric of environmental history. The distribution of topics was somewhat different, however.
Predictably enough, the geographical focus was on Europe, although this focus was far from exclusive; in addition non-recent history received a larger share of attention than it usually does at the ASEH. Statistically based research also figured in a larger proportion of papers, reflecting the distinctive evolution of the field of environmental history in Europe. (These comparisons, however, are not statistically based; on the contrary, they are completely impressionistic.)
The keynote talks were similarly varied. Sverker Sorlin spoke on nature in Nordic painting, Rudolf Brazdil on historical climatology, Helen Rozwadowski on land metaphors applied to the sea, Stephen Mosley on coastal cities and climate change, and Susan Flader on the Leopold ethic in the 21st century.
The conference schedule included generous breaks between sessions, and ASEH took advantage of one of them to host a mid-afternoon reception outside the book display. Nancy Langston, the new editor of Environmental History, spoke to the crowd about plans for the journal and urged people to submit manuscripts and queries.
|Environmental History editor Nancy Langston (pictured 2nd from right) urged attendees to consider submitting to the journal.|
Susan Flader, ASEH past president, served as a keynote speaker.
photos courtesy Harriet Ritvo and Jane Carruthers
professional development workshop in Madison 2012
by Will Knight, Carleton University, ASEH graduate student liaison
The 2012 Madison conference will feature a half-day workshop devoted to professional development for graduate students on Friday, March 30. Graduate students have always faced challenges in post-graduate employment, but recession and changes in hiring practices and job markets bring new urgency to career questions for students now completing their degrees. This workshop will address those questions and give students tools and strategies for dealing with them. The workshop will feature two sessions: developing online presence and career opportunities outside of academia - and a roundtable with recent environmental history graduate students who are establishing careers outside of academia or the traditional tenure-track stream within it. The workshop is the brainchild of the graduate student caucus - a new group that emerged out of this past spring's meeting in Phoenix.
Watch for details in the conference program, which will be available later this fall. Click here to view conference website.
aseh news is a publication of the American Society for Environmental History.
John McNeill, Georgetown University, President
Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vice President/President Elect
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Ellen Stroud, Bryn Mawr College, Secretary
Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma
Sara Gregg, University of Kansas
Marcus Hall, University of Utah
Tina Loo, University of British Columbia
Linda Nash, University of Washington
Louis Warren, University of California-Davis
Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia
Ex Officio, Past Presidents:
Nancy Langston, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stephen Pyne, Arizona State University
Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History:
Nancy Langston, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ex Officio, Graduate Student Liaison:
Will Knight, Carleton University
Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, ASEH News:
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma