History of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.
April 3, 2019
We will discuss the recently published collection, A Living Past: Environmental Histories of Modern Latin America (Berghahn, 2018), edited by John Soluri, Claudia Leal, and Jose Augusto Padua. In particular, we will discuss chapter 7, by Stuart McCook, "Prodigality and Sustainability: The Environmental Sciences and the Quest for Development" along with the volume's introduction (by the editors) and epilogue by J.R. McNeill.
For our conversation, we will be joined by Stuart McCook and John Soluri.
March 6, 2019
We will discuss selections from the recent special thematic issue of the British Journal for the History of Science on "Science and Islands in Indo-Pacific Worlds" (vol. 51, no. 4, 2018), which includes several articles on the earth and environmental sciences.
Two contributors to that issue, Genie Yoo and Geoff Bil, will join us. The reading selection includes the introduction by editors Sebestian Kroupa, Stephanie Mawson, and Dorit Brixius; Genie's paper ("Wars and wonders: the inter-island information networks of Georg Everhard Rumphius"); and Geoff's paper ("Imperial vernacular: phytonymy, philology and disciplinarity in the Indo-Pacific, 1800–1900").
February 6, 2019
We will discuss a work in progress by Alexandra Hui, "Listening to Extinction: The Silences of Species at the End of the Holocene"
December 5, 2018
We will discuss the recent Osiris volume on "Science and Capitalism" focusing especially on these two articles related to the earth and environmental sciences:
Pawley, Emily. "Feeding Desire: Generative Environments, Meat Markets, and the Management of Sheep Intercourse in Great Britain, 1700-1750," Osiris 33 (2018): 47-62.
Lucier, Paul. "Comstock Capitalism: The Law, the Lode, and the Science." Osiris 33 (2018): 210-231.
You are also encouraged to read the introduction by the editors, and you are invited to browse other articles in the volume, some of which are by authors who have worked in the history of earth and environmental sciences.
November 7, 2018
For our Nov. 7 conversation we will discuss selections (the Intro and ch. 3 & 7) from the recently published book, A Primer for Teaching Environmental History: Ten Design Principles (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018), with the co-authors, Emily Wakild and Michelle Berry. Please bring your thoughts and questions about designing and teaching environmental history courses to this discussion.
October 3, 2018
We will discuss selections from two related and recently published books on the history of movement and exchange in the environmental sciences (agricultural science and tropical biology) between the United States and Latin America/Caribbean, by Tore Olsson and Megan Raby:
Tore Olsson, Agrarian Crossings: Reformers and the Remaking of the U.S. and Mexican Countryside (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), intro and chapter 4 (and 5 if you have extra time)
Megan Raby, American Tropics: The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), intro and chapter 1, available at https://uncpress.flexpub.com/preview/american-tropics
The two authors will open the discussion with comments on each other's books.
May 2, 2018
We will discuss selections from two related and recently published books on the history of science, technology, and the environment in Latin America:
Buckley, Eve E. Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. (Intro and ch. 5)
Wolfe, Mikael D. Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017. (Intro and ch. 4)
The two authors will open the discussion with comments on each other's books.
Note: This is the discussion that was postponed from last December due to technical difficulties.
April 4, 2018
Draft chapter by Gabriel Henderson (American Institute of Physics),
"Global 2000 and the Politics of Neo-Malthusian Alarm, 1972-1984"
which examines the influential "Global 2000" report on environmental policy, produced during the Carter Administration, along with the primary source text itself.
March 7, 2018
Selections from two related and recently published books on the history of chemicals, agriculture, and the environment:
Vail, David D. Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying, and Health in North America's Grasslands since 1945. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2018.
Davis, Frederick R. Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
The two authors opened the discussion with comments on each other's books.
February 7, 2018
We discussed the recent Osiris volume on "Data Histories" focusing especially on these two articles related to the earth and environmental sciences:
Benson, Etienne. "A Centrifuge of Calculation: Managing Data and Enthusiasm in Early Twentieth-Century Bird Banding," Osiris 32 (2017), 286-306.
Aronova, Elena. "Geophysical Datascapes of the Cold War: Politics and Practices of the World Data Centers in the 1950s and 1960s." Osiris 32 (2017): 307-327.
Elena and Etienne both presented to open the discussion by providing some background on how the volume came together, what they see as the key contributions and debates it offers, and how their own articles connect those issues to the history of the earth and environmental sciences.
Also recommended are the introduction by the editors, which is included in the file below, and other articles in the volume, such as those by Staffan Mu:ller-Wille (on natural history) and David Sepkoski (on paleontology).
Frederick Rowe Davis is Professor and Head and the R. Mark Lubbers Chair in the History of Science in the Department of History at Purdue University. His research interests lie at the intersection of the history of earth and environmental sciences, environmental health, and environmental history. He recently published Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology (Yale 2014).
Mark Hersey is Associate Professor of History at Mississippi State University and co-editor of Environmental History. His research interests lie in the fields of environmental, rural, and agricultural history, with a particular emphasis on the American South, especially Alabama and Mississippi. He is the author of My Work Is That Of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George Washington Carver.
Jeremy Vetter is Associate Professor of History at the University of Arizona. His research is at the intersection of environmental history and the history of science and technology in the American West. He is the author of Field Life: Science in the American West during the Railroad Era (Pittsburgh, 2016).