Session Schedule ASEH Toronto Conference 2013 Thursday, April 4 Concurrent Session 1 8:30-10:00 AM Transnational Environmentalisms and the Creation of a Canadian Movement Panel 1-A: Salon A Chair: Michael Egan, McMaster University Panelists: Henry Trim, University of British Columbia Expert Advice: Environmentalism and Canadian Energy Policy Ryan O’Connor, Trent University Regional Fissures and International Interests: Building Support for the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain, 1981-1990 Mark Leeming, Dalhousie University Friends in Far Places: Cape Breton's Herbicide Trial Jonathan Clapperton, University of Saskatchewan Reconsidering Indigenous Environmentalism: Culture, Nature, and Ecological Stewardship on the Northwest Pacific Coast Abstract: This panel will examine the role of transnational networks in the formation of a Canadian style of environmental activism during the crucial years of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Too often in the literature on environmentalism, self-contained national movements are assumed to develop with only superficial connections outside of the home nation, or else a national movement is presumed to have been simply transplanted from abroad. All four of these papers begin from the observation that relations across borders have in fact played an important role in forming the character of activist movements within those borders, especially in Canada. Ryan O'Connor and Henry Trim examine the role of US influence -- that which acts on Canada as well as that which Canadians seek to exert on Americans -- in the formation of federal environmental organizations and discourses. Along with Mark Leeming, the same presenters also deal with interprovincial networks and how those have shaped the course of the movement, even when environmentalists may have intended otherwise. Finally, Leeming and Jonathan Clapperton pay special attention to transnational influences beyond the USA, with a focus on the mutual influence of European and Nova Scotian activists, and of First Nations and non-Native activists. Each of these papers deals with the theme of movements of ideas, money, or people across political and cultural borders in pursuit of influence over environmental policy and activism, as well as with the consequences of those movements for Canadian environmentalism during and after the 1970s.
Great Convergence? Japan and the Globalization of Nature Panel 1-B: Quebec Chair: Brett Walker, Montana State University Commenter: Julia Adeney Thomas, Notre Dame University Panelists: Federico Marcon, Princeton University Satō Nobuhiro and the Political Economy of Natural History in NineteenthCentury Japan Robert Stolz, University of Virginia Land, Life, and Lamarck: Prewar Japanese Anarchism and the Environmental Crisis Ian Miller, Harvard University Homo sapiens and Other Creatures of the Japanese Enlightenment Brett Walker, Montana State University The Great Convergence: Dissecting the Nature of Japan's Historical Ascendancy Abstract: In what he calls the “Great Divergence,” historian Kenneth Pomeranz documents the environmental and economic decisions that set imperial China and early-modern Europe on divergent paths, leading to Western ascendency. Following a research trajectory laid out by our co-panelist, Brett L. Walker, this panel asks, in contrast: how can environmental-historical analysis help account for Japan’s spectacular rise to power during the same period? It is a national story with international resonance. Long held up as a model “late modernizer” and now home to a nuclear crisis with worldwide implications, few countries offer a better case study in the hybrid mechanics of environmental and economic globalization. Each of our panelists takes a different approach to the problem. Federico Marcon goes to the beginnings of early-modern science and technology in Japan—at the core of modernizationschool debates—to argue that the developmentalist agenda was not an import from the West. Robert Stolz moves from modernization to modernism, tracing the use of Lamarckian ideas in radical philosophy to show how leftists sought to control the mechanisms of social and natural evolution. Ian Miller shows how the creation of East Asia’s first zoological garden redefined what it meant to be human in an imperial world. And finally, Brett L. Walker redraws the timelines of analysis, pushing into the hitherto unexplored “deep history” of homo sapiens on the Japanese islands. Through emissions, timber imports, and whale hunts Japan’s ecological footprint is evident worldwide. We explore the origins of that situation in order to show how environmental problems became global in the twentieth century.
Grown Ups vs Kids in the Great Outdoors Panel 1-C: British Columbia Chair: Elizabeth Blum, Troy University Panelists: Elizabeth Blum, Troy University A Comparison of Views of Nature by Children and Adults as Reflected in Popular Culture during the Progressive Era Ben Jordan, Christian Brothers University Environmental Citizenship: The Boy Scouts and the Nature of American Citizens, 1910-1930 Joe Goddard, Aalborg University Mickey’s Trailer and Minor’s Thought Jeff Sanders, Washington State University Conserving Youth and Nature’ During the War on Poverty Abstract: Historians have willingly incorporated gender, race, and class as methods of analysis into many different fields for several decades. Yet the examination of age as a category has been a more recent addition. This panel seeks to unpack some of the different ways that adults and children have negotiated spaces around them, as well as how adults and children have defined and negotiated boundaries for children in nature. In particular, we examine how adults define “nature” as a space for the development of certain qualities and how young people themselves have reacted to those messages. Dr. Ben Jordan examines the connections of masculinity and citizenship as embodied in the nature study of the Boy Scouts of America in the 1910s and 1920s. The Boy Scouts used activities in nature as a way to communicate “modern” values of “corporate loyalty, personal efficiency, and prompt obedience to orders, ” as adults hoped these lessons would not only produce a “modest manliness,” but also strong citizens in a changing world. Dr. Elizabeth Blum uncovers attitudes about nature in children’s award-winning literature in the 1920s and 1930s. Newbery award winning books at the time nostalgically looked back to mid- to late-19th century pioneer life as the culmination of American values and virtue. Children, on the other hand, seamlessly melded urban and rural spaces into their conceptions of the world around them, bringing technology to nature, and seeing nature in cities. Dr. Jeff Sanders focuses a different evaluation of nature by adults through the Youth Conservation Camp program in the 1960s. The YCC, modeled on the CCC of the New Deal, removed poor teens from urban neighborhoods and placed them in work projects on public lands, hoping to promote citizenship values. The participants, however, frequently challenged adult leadership, and later energized civil rights struggles and other movements in their neighborhoods.
Photography as Historical Inquiry Roundtable 1-D: Library Co-Moderators: Neil Maher, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University Cindy Ott, St. Louis University Participants: Cindy Ott, St. Louis University Anne Whiston Spirn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lynne Heasley, Western Michigan University William Wyckoff, Montana State University Abstract: Many environmental historians strive for interdisciplinary synthesis. Often this means a strong engagement with the natural sciences. For this roundtable, we propose to go in a different direction, toward the fine arts. Together with our audience, we explore using landscape photography as an historical approach and field method. The panel includes three environmental historians/photographers who use photography for landscape analysis (research), visual narrative and argument (writing), and teaching. They provide brief practitioner overviews, using photographs to show how one might analyze human-environmental relations and tell stories about landscape evolution and character. Anne Whiston Spirn explores images from her new book, The Eye Is a Door: Photography and the Art of Visual Thinking, and also from a course she teaches at MIT on photographic inquiry. Lynne Heasley offers examples from her research on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin and her field course at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. William Wyckoff draws from his work in re-photography for On the Road Again, and from his current project, Reading the Western Landscape: A Field Guide. Rather than taking on traditional chair and comment roles, panelists Cindy Ott and Neil Maher will use their experience as graphics editors for Environmental History to establish perspective and facilitate maximum audience involvement throughout the session. We hope to build on the dynamism of last year’s “Visual Culture Jam,” organized for the ASEH meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, that asked panelists to interpret images on the spot and which resulted in an enthusiastic audience discussion. Our panel this year will foster a similarly energetic conversation but focus instead on the potential for environmental historians to become visual artists themselves, integrating creative uses of landscape photography into their historical projects. The audience is encouraged to engage with the complex implications of environmental historians as expert image makers.
Between the Park and the Shantytown: Latin American Cities and the Environment during the Twentieth Century Panel 1-E: Algonquin Chair: Jennifer Hoyt, Samford University Panelists: Shawn Miller, Brigham Young University The Street’s Last Hurrah: Competing Motives and Contesting Spaces on Rio de Janeiro’s Central Avenue, 1903-1920 Andrea Moerer, University of Minnesota The Crusade Against Charcoal: Chapultepec Forest in Mexico City, 1938-1942 Jennifer Hoyt, Samford University The Green Counterrevolution: Urban Reforms and the Environment in Buenos Aires during the Proceso Dictatorship, 1976-1983 Dawn Digrius, Stevens Institute of Technology Water Resources Management in Coastal Ecuador: An Historical Assessment of Environmental Sustainability and Power, 1950-2000 Abstract: This panel explores the tensions between development and nature in Latin American cities during the twentieth century. Cities represent a particular environmental challenge as leaders and residents struggle to balance the man-made habitat with natural elements. The desire to find equilibrium often stems from the immediate need to sustain the urban masses. The health and livelihood of city dwellers require incredible inputs of energy and resources, as well as opportunities to seek respite in sunlight and fresh air. The sprinkling of green among the sprawling concrete, steel, and glass also reveals a deeper desire to create a very particular vision or aesthetic. Carefully sculpted parks, tree-lined avenues, and ordinances to stem the rising tide of pollution attempt to counteract uncontrolled growth and to present a modern, progressive appearance. The creation of a balanced urban environment does not come easily, however. Those in power must harness the means necessary for altering the cities and convince urbanites of the exigency of reforms. Unforeseen outcomes often highlight the illusion of control as well as the artificiality of many environmentally-driven actions. From Rio de Janeiro to Mexico City, from Buenos Aires to Quito, these four papers offer unique perspectives on environmental policies in some of Latin America’s largest and most important cities. Each presentation examines particular undertakings meant either to manage resources or to create a specific impression. While each approach varied in its success, the projects underscore the challenges of directing urban development and incorporating nature into the built environment.
Water Conflicts: Redefining Space, Purity, and Basins Panel 1-F: York Chair: Craig Colten, Louisiana State University Panelists: Stéphane Castonguay, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Reservoir Towns: Water And Urban Land Use In Industrial Towns Of Quebec In The Twentieth Century Matthew Evenden, University of British Columbia The Politics Of Purity: Chlorinating Water In Vancouver During The Second World War Craig Colten, Louisiana State University Piracy On The High Plains: Rerouting The Mississippi Through Amarillo Michéle Dagenais and Valérie Mahaut, Université de Montréal Bringing to light and interpreting the traces left by waterways through cartography: the example of Montreal Abstract: Conflict often results from trespass. Three case studies examine water-related conflicts that stem from crossing traditional boundaries and the larger stories these local struggles characterize. Water is a ubiquitous human need and moves freely under the influence of gravity. Thus, it presents complex issues in terms of access, use, and management over time. In Quebec, conflicts arose over changing demands for access to the waterfront, and this conflict rippled through numerous human communities and through the urban planning profession. In Vancouver, plans to chlorinate the public water supply trespassed local notions of purity. The ensuing struggle also revealed deeper political tensions among ethnic groups that inspired the opposition. When Texas sought to divert a portion of the Mississippi River to irrigate the semiarid High Plains, it hoped to overcome traditional opposition to interbasin transfer. It also represents the chronic dilemma of seeking to move water from regions of abundance to regions of scarcity. Together these three case studies consider the range of conflicts that flow through human need for water and society’s efforts to manage access and use of this vital resource.
Science and Sustainability: Institutions and Environment in Eastern Canada, Arctic North America, and Northwestern Russia Panel 1-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Panelists: Suzanne Zeller, Wilfrid Laurier University The Natural History of a Sustainable Institution: The Nova Scotian Institute of Science Since 1862 Ronald Doel, The Florida State University Climate Change as National Security Risk: How Cold War Concerns Influenced the Environmental Sciences Urban Wråkberg, The University of Tromsø, Norway Institutional Modernization and Continuity in the Russian Northwest: Political Change and the Path-Dependence of Industrial Environmental Impact Meredith Denning, Georgetown University, Washington, DC “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”: Fisheries science and cooperative management in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Basin, 1900-1954 Abstract: This session highlights issues at the intersection of science, environment, and locality in eastern Canada, arctic North America, and northwestern Russia since the mid-19th c. It focuses in particular on the evolution of institutions in response to their changing environmental contexts. The Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science, founded in Halifax in 1862, has survived for 150 years by adapting to the coal-rich province's changing fortunes in an industrializing and postindustrializing world; Cold War military science in the North American arctic after 1945 recognized and adapted to the exigencies of modern climate change and new military technologies; and contemporary Russia has begun to adapt its post-Soviet northern economy of resource extraction to technoscientific models of environmental sustainability after a lengthy period of environmental degradation. In all 3 cases, culture has interacted in complex ways with the vagaries of secular change to shape human activities in (and the understanding of) environment. The proposed session will provide internationally comparative perspectives on these large issues, addressing both the dynamics of institutional development as well as the factors that influenced the types of knowledge produced by these institutions.
Between Conservation and Development: Indigenous Rights and the State in East Africa Panel 1-H: New Brunswick Chair: John Soluri, Carnegie Mellon University Panelists: Guluma Gemeda, University of Michigan-Flint Coffee Farmers, the State, Conservationists and 'Wild' Coffee in Ethiopia Guillaume Blanc, University of Trois-Rivieres When Unesco decides to save Ethiopian's wildlife Willis Okech Oyugi, University of California Los Angeles International NGOs, Indigenous Rights, Development, and Human-Wildlife Contestations in and around Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, 1980-2000 Abstract: "History of conservation revisited” This panel would like to challenge thrice the borders of the history of conservation: chronologically, geographically and ontologically. The history of conservation was supposed to have begun in the United States in the 19th century, until Richard Grove argued for the birth of environmental consciousness in the european colonial empire, French in particular, at the end of the 18th century. Gregory Quenet, professor of environmental history at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines is proposing there to analyze the Grand park of the Versailles' casttle as a laboratory for animals conservation from 1682 to the French revolution. Since William McKenzie works on hunting and Empire, the story of conservation in Africa is well known. Thanks to fascinating archives, Guillaume Blanc, doctoral student at the University of Trois Rivieres (CND), is revealing the late story of conservation in Ethiopia, the only African country which has been so briefly colonized. The story of conservation in general is mainly a story of human agency. Julien Alleau, post-doctoral student at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, is using wolves attacks in Europe to analyze contacts and co-existence between human beings and non-human beings, crossing then well-established borders.
The Forest Service at War: Exchanging Ideas Across No Man’s Land Panel 1-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Lincoln Bramwell, U.S. Forest Service Commenter: James Skillen, Calvin College Panelists: Byron Pearson, West Texas A&M University “One Hell of a Complicated Proposition”: How the Lumberjacks of the AEF Helped Win the First World War James Lewis, Forest History Society “Only you can prevent a forest”: The U.S. Forest Service in Vietnam Richard Lasko, U.S. Forest Service (retired) Foresters in Afghanistan: An Agricultural Perspective of the “Great Game” Abstract: The U.S. Forest Service’s close connection to the United States military dates back more than a century, to when both organizations were struggling to become respected institutions led by trained, full-time professionals. Over the past century, the two organizations have not only exchanged personnel, but also ideas about structure, training, and even uniforms. The closest connection between the Forest Service and the military has come during wartime, which has allowed the Forest Service to project its power and influence in different ways and places. Forest Service employees, while either serving in or alongside the military, have had an impact on warzone environments. In World War I, dozens of Forest Service administrators left to log and mill lumber for American troops fighting in France (presenter #1). The ranger in a military uniform was seen again in or near the front lines during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. But in the Vietnam era, this relationship changed. Only a handful of agency personnel served overseas, but they did so through other federal agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development or the Central Intelligence Agency. In a radical departure, the Forest Service—a land management agency charged with protecting 192 million acres at home—aided in destroying Vietnam’s environment by loaning fire researchers to the military for a top-secret operation aimed at them burning down (presenter #2). Before the end of the war, that worked stopped. Now, Forest Service volunteers, including our third panelist, work to improve war-torn environments."
Nature and the Surveying of Canada in the Age of Mechanical Objectivity, 1850-1950 Panel 1-J: Newfoundland Chair: Laurel MacDowell, University of Toronto Panelists: John Walsh, Carleton University Learning how to (Re)Order Nature: Objectivity and Land Surveying in the Province of Canada, 1841-1867 Jason Grek-Martin, Saint Mary's University Trials, Tribulations and Traverse Surveying: The Challenges of Asserting Epistemic Dominion in the Post-Confederation Canadian West Matt Dyce, University of Winnipeg "There are No Strategic Barriers": Environmental Vision and the Survey of Canada Abstract: In this session we focus deeply on the ways in which surveyors sought to affect the making of objective, effective, and useful recordings of territory for a Canadian state in formation. We look at the social practices of knowledge-making by comparing three periods in the survey of Canada, claiming that the way natural landscapes were recorded depended on the education of the surveyor, the environmental conditions they did their work in, and the technologies adopted as the survey progressed. Walsh focuses on the middle decades of the nineteenth when civilian surveyors were being taught to see and know nature with a ‘mechanical objectivity’ . GrekMartin focuses more deeply on how this epistemology was applied in the field, and the frustrations of applying a scientific objectivity to a resistant physical landscape, considering the early post-Confederation era (1870-1890) work of George Dawson of the Geological Survey of Canada. Dyce builds on both Walsh and Grek-Martin’s papers, as he demonstrates how, in the early twentieth century, the nineteenth-century ambition of “mechanical objectivity” and epistemologies of seeing nature, coalesced in the adoption of aerial surveying in which surveyors sought to position their own gaze far above the clutter of the surface landscape in order to view the whole as well its constitutive parts. The archival traces of this work, including fieldbooks, maps, and photographs had and in some cases still have an afterlife that ignores the histories of their making. Beyond speaking to the specifics of nature and Canadian state formation from 1850-1950, our session thus also raises fundamental questions about the afterlife of these artifacts as “evidence” to be used in the service of other historical, environmental, and political narratives.
Thursday, April 4 Concurrent Session 2 10:30-12:00 PM Bodies at Work: Working Class Environments Panel 2-A: Salon A Chair: Chris Sellers, SUNY Stony Brook Commenter: Linda Nash, University of Washington Sarah Payne, Colorado State University Naturally Dangerous: The Hazards and Solutions of Condom Production, 1915-1940 Erik Loomis, University of Rhode Island Timber Worker Safety and the Origin of Blue-Green Coalitions in the Pacific Northwest Janet Ore, Colorado State University Toxic Landscapes: The Plywood Link Between Bodies and Buildings Abstract: As Arthur McEvoy and others have argued, workplaces are their own small ecosystems that feature the human body at their centers. These micro-environments impel historical change much as the biophysical changes of the exterior world do. In the papers for this proposal, threats to working-class bodies become the catalyst for change. Through their experiences of work, laboring people grappled with environmental hazards. How they chose to respond to physical threats provoked changes in the work place and in environmental activism. The three papers in this panel explore the centrality of workers’ bodies to different environments of production; each paper provides a specific twist on understanding the relationship between the biological body and the work environment. Payne focuses on the dangers of early twentieth-century condom manufacture to the women who made them. In these circumstances, the “natural” conditions of humidity and fire motivated women to adjust their work conditions. In Ore’s examination of plywood mills, the factory ecosystem included petrochemicals that invaded human flesh and seeped into the surrounding landscape. Loomis’ study reveals how the hazards of workplace toxins and the inherent danger of logging motivated an alliance between unions and prowilderness groups. The environments of production–plywood, logging, and condom manufacture–supported the landscape of consumption–suburban development, wilderness, and contraception. The potential destruction of workers’ bodies was the price paid for the U.S.’s twentieth-century consumption.
Making International Environmentalism: Nature, State and NGO Panel 2-B: Quebec Chair: Thomas Robertson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Panelists: Robert Gioielli, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College From the Bronx to the World: Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. and Global Conservation Gisela Parak, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart A New Stage to Expedite International Environmentalism: 1970s Green World Fairs Laura Kolar, U.S. Department of State The Panama Canal Treaties and the Modern Environmental Movement, 1977-79 Abstract: At the end of the twentieth century environmentalism was recognized as a significant global movement, not only because of its existence within countries small and large, on every continent, but also because of efforts that cross national boundaries. Independent organizations, states and intergovernmental bodies have all tried to create environmental standards and manage nature across borders, or in areas outside of the control of states, such as oceans. Its importance to global governance efforts and international relations has meant that international environmental activism has received significant attention from social scientists, but not enough from historians, who have continued to focus on national movements and reform efforts. By highlighting a series of key moments from the second half of the twentieth century, this panel will explore the growth and development of environmental activism that was consciously transnational and international. Specifically, it will examine the origins of international organizations in the late 1940s and 1950s, the impact of the ideas and activism of the “environmental decade” of the 1970s on international institutions and agreements, and attempts by international non-governmental organizations to create new wildlife conservation policies during the 1980s and 1990s. The common goal of the papers is to pull apart and examine the intricate networks of state regulatory agencies and bureaucracies, non-governmental organizations, international bodies, as well as individual activists, politicians and scientists, that created international environmentalism in the decades after World War Two.
An Atlantic World of Animals: Museums and Display, 1853-1918 Panel 2-C: British Columbia Chair: Irus Braverman, University at Buffalo, State University of New York Panelists: Eduardo H. Barbosa de Vasconcelos, State University of Goias (Brazil) The Cabinet of Natural History: Science and Nature in Brazilian Periphery, 1853-1865 William Knight, Carleton University The Dominion Fisheries Museum: Modeling Fish and Fisheries, 1884-1918 Daniel Vandersommers, The Ohio State University William Temple Hornaday and His Taxidermist Zoology: From Dead to Living Animals Abstract: During the second half of the nineteenth century, intellectuals around the Atlantic world sought to put nature on display for broad and diverse publics. What constituted “nature” in any given place and time, though, proved contingent on local environments, native flora and fauna, particular cultures, unique aesthetic sensibilities, specific political climates, and personal preferences. However, the task of “making nature” never became completely amorphous. Taxidermists, collectors, modelmakers, and medical doctors (re)created “nature” within the institution of the Museum and through the form of the exhibit. Specifically, this panel will explore animals as symbols of “nature.” Myriad animals, living and dead, originating from all corners of the globe, found new lives in museum displays located in places as disparate as Ottawa, London, Washington, D.C.; and Ceará. From Canada to Brazil to England to the United States, bodies were sliced, skinned, emptied, dried, salinated, stuffed, glossed, painted, disassembled, reassembled, modeled, and duplicated. Within museum displays, the material world always merged intimately with the world of the dead. Even living animals on display relied on the nonliving salmagundi of the museum. By glancing into the Dominion Fisheries Museum, the Smithsonian’s United States National Museum, and Ceará’s Cabinet of Natural History, this panel will explore how nineteenth-century “museum” intellectuals pondered the fragility of life and taught publics, through display, its lessons.
Popular Visions of Environmental Anxiety Panel 2-D: Library Chair: Marguerite Shaffer, Miami University Panelists: Mark McLaughlin, University of New Brunswick Captain Enviro Battles the Pollutians: A Visual Cultural Analysis of the World's First Eco-Hero Finis Dunaway, Trent University Green Goes Mainstream: The Visual Politics of American Environmentalism, circa 1990 Andrew Watson, York University Zombies, Environmental Declensionism, and the Fate of Humanity: Symbolism in the Zombie Metaphor, 1968-2013 Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, people around the world have been confronted with the environmental consequences, actual and potential, of "modern" lifestyles, including the threat of nuclear war, the pervasive use of pesticides, the outbreak of epidemic disease, massive oil spills, and climate change. The widespread concern and anxiety generated by such environmental crises and threats have permeated every aspect of human society. North American popular culture has reflected the ways various groups and individuals have utilized the imagery of these crises as a means to shock society into environmental action, to communicate a sense of environmental hope, and to explore the very essence of human environmental anxiety. The papers in this panel explore the development of popular visions of environmental anxiety on each side of the CanadaUnited States border from the 1960s through the early 21st century. By focusing on a comic featuring the world's first eco-hero, the mainstreaming of green culture circa 1990, and imaginings of the zombie apocalypse, our panel examines how humans in both countries have dealt with the sobering reality of environmental crises and threats through popular culture. Ultimately, these pop culture expressions have more similarities than differences, demonstrating the transnational nature of environmental anxiety and the limitations of human-constructed boundaries.
Crossing Fields, Collaborating Disciplines: History, Environment, Sound, and Music Panel 2-E: Algonquin Chair: Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin, Madison Panelists: Aaron Allen, University of North Carolina at Greensboro The Poetic and the Practical of Ecomusicology Alexandra Hui, Mississippi State University From Silence to Fee-bee fee-bee fee-b-be-be: the place of nature in the sonic environment, 1948-1969 Kevin Dawe, University of Leeds Putting Down Roots: A Social and Environmental History of Small Guitar Workshops in England Abstract: New fields, both scholarly and agricultural, are challenging to cultivate. The burgeoning field of “ecomusicology” is no different. With the aim of furthering collaborations between historical, environmental, music and sound studies, this multidisciplinary panel will address the following questions: What is ecomusicology and why does it matter? How do literary ecocriticsm, musicology, history of science, and anthropology complement each other? And how can environmental history be relevant to and benefit from ecomusicology? We begin with a musichistorical approach; a musicologist will present an overview of recent developments in ecomusicology followed by a presentation of two characteristic ecomusicological case studies: one a poetic approach regarding German symphonies, and another a practical approach regarding violins and (un)sustainable forestry in Italy and Brazil. Second, a historian of science will present two case studies on silence, nature and the sonic environment in twentieth-century America: the ecological rhetoric of early efforts to preserve natural soundscapes, and the cultural context of the science of bird- and frog-song. Third, an anthropologist of music will present the results of an ethnographic investigation of small-scale English guitar makers, whose efforts to source and market their products in environmentally sensitive ways result in them becoming emblems of local and national identity, community building, and environmental values. Finally, a dialogue will follow about the place and relevance of environmental history in relation to ecomusicology. Despite potential pitfalls, the growing historical interest in sensory studies creates a productive and potentially synergistic space for crossing intellectual boundaries and developing transdisciplinary collaborations.
The Convergence of Environmental and Military Histories Panel 2-F: York Chair: Richard Tucker, University of Michigan Commenter: Joseph Hupy, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Panelists: Gerard Fitzgerald, George Mason University A “Purely American Disease:” The Weaponization of Pasteurella tularensis 19111960 Jacob Stoil, Worcester College, Oxford University The Conflict-Environment Nexus in Mandatory Palestine and Israel Francis Grice, King's College, London They made a desert and they called it counterinsurgency: Whitney Lackenbauer, St. Jerome’s University / University of Waterloo Cold War Meteorology: Militaries, Weather Bureaus, and the Joint Arctic Weather Stations (JAWS) Programme in the Canadian High Arctic, 1947-1972 Abstract: Until now the fields of environmental history and military history have had little crossfertilization, though there is broad potential for synergy. Few environmental historians and historical geographers have used the work of historians of war. Conversely, military historians and geographers have paid little attention to the ecological consequences of mass conflict, though for centuries they have studied the environmental settings of military operations in detail. A new convergence between the two fields is emerging, specifically between ASEH and SMH (the Society for Military History). These papers exemplify several facets of that movement. Many studies of armed conflict have environmental ramifications, but few have been explicit. Jacob Stoil’s analysis of the Jewish community in Palestine between the two world wars spells out those implications for an important conflict-ridden movement. Francis Grice’s study of Western counter-insurgency practices during the Cold War delineates the environmental damage, often deliberate, that those strategies caused. Yet another dimension of the interplay between military and environmental history concerns the complex cooperation between civilian scientists and military strategists – in these two instances during the first decades of the Cold War. Gerard Fitzgerald’s paper studies an important example of chemical warfare research in the United States, and Whitney Lackenbauer’s presentation surveys meteorology research in northern Canada. Our commentator, Joseph Hupy, will discuss the overall significance of these studies for the convergence. His work on the ecological legacies of World War I in northern France and later the Vietnam War has established him as an important bridge builder between the two fields.
Lawscapes: Environmental Histories of Law Panel 2-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Kathleen Brosnan, University of Oklahoma Comments: Douglas Harris, University of British Columbia Panelists: Matthew Axtell, Princeton University Customs of the River: Legal Change and Shifting Hydrology in the 19th-Century Steamboat Economy Adam Wolkoff, Rutgers University-New Brunswick Waste, Conservation, and the Question of Improvements in Nineteenth-Century American Tenancy Law Jamie Benidickson, University of Ottawa One Watershed Under Law: An Enviro-Legal History of the Lake of the Woods Peter Alagona, University of California at Santa Barbara Species Complex: Science, Law, and the Indeterminacy of Nature—Or, What Exactly is a Steelhead Trout? Abstract: This proposed panel would present and discuss historical work that analyzes the ecological and environmental health impacts of differing legal regimes on landscapes, waterscapes, animal populations, and human bodies across time. From the story of Progressive era conservation to the wave of pollution control legislation coinciding with the first Earth Day in 1970, law usually appear at the end of environmental histories, as a triumphant piece of legislation or as a court decision commanding the beginning of a more “sustainable” way of being. But as law professor Nicole Graham has recently argued in her “Lawscapes: Environment, Property, and Law” (2011), cultural institutions such as law have long interacted with ecological systems to create tangible environmental change, often to the physical detriment of an environment’s users. While property law has divided land into marketable interests and parcels, tort law has drastically limited the range of pollution liability for industrial activity, protecting owners and other rightsbearers from the full consequences of their actions. At the same time, however, laws can also empower resistance to environmental exploitation: they can withdraw specific spaces from market production, or they can recognize traditional forms of resource management. Focusing upon relationships between law and environment in three very different watersheds and in three different time periods, the papers in this panel explore both the light side and the dark side of law’s environmental footprint, challenging us to ask to what extent environments that seem “natural” at first glance are in fact shaped by human law.
Nature Conservation and World Heritage in a Global Context Panel 2-H: New Brunswick Comments: Jack Hayes, Norwich University Panelists: Gregory Quenet, University of Versailles The palace of Versailles, the birth of conservation (1682-1790) Rachelle Adam, Hebrew University The colonial roots of the World Heritage Convention Claire Campbell, Dalhousie University Between land and sea, nature and culture: Rethinking World Heritage Sites in Atlantic Canada Steve Rodriguez, UCLA Ecotourism, Development, and World Heritage in Doi Moi Vietnam, c. 1990-2010 Abstract: Designed to protect areas of “outstanding universal value,” the development of World Heritage sites over the past forty years has revealed deep divisions in how the world’s cultures define, value, and conserve “nature.” Drawing on case studies from North America, East Africa, and Southeast Asia, our panel will examine how the implementation and management of these sites has been shaped to fit larger political and economic interests. We will emphasize how the Convention’s distinction between “natural” and “cultural” heritage sites has required the erasure of alternative human and environmental histories, invalidating the application of the concept of “universal value” to these protected areas. The creation of a World Heritage site imposes more than just new boundaries and regulatory regimes. The creation of a site also imposes elitist ideas about heritage and culture, developmental ideologies about communities and customs, and statesanctioned assumptions about property and people’s rights. Despite these criticisms, the World Heritage Convention remains the most widely accepted global mechanism for the protection of nature, and new sites continue to be added every year. To stimulate debate on how the Convention might evolve into a more effective tool for harmonizing multiple and divergent nature conservation and heritage traditions is the goal of this panel.
Ecology as Practice: Forging ecological knowledge across national and disciplinary boundaries Panel 2–I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Georgina Montgomery, Michigan State University Commenter: Georgina Montgomery, Michigan State University Panelists: Laura J Martin, Cornell University Coral, Competition, Cold War: Eugene and Howard Odum’s Ecological Research at Eniwetok Atoll Megan Raby, University of Wisconsin-Madison “Nature’s own laboratory?”: The Construction of Barro Colorado Island, a Site for Tropical Ecology Fred Davis, Florida State University Where Ecology and Conservation Meet: Archie Carr and Practices of Ecology and Conservation of Sea Turtles in the Caribbean Abstract: Environmental historians strive to include species, landscapes, and ecosystems in their histories. But access to such objects is often mediated through scientific experts. This panel will put in dialogue three projects at the nexus of environmental history and the history of science that explore how ecologists, technologies, organisms, and places interacted to produce ecological knowledge in the mid-20th century. Following the fieldwork of American ecologists into international environments, the panelists approach ecology as a social process embedded in local material contexts. Megan Raby interrogates the idea of Barro Colorado Island as a ""natural laboratory"": a location in which labor, technologies, organisms, and visitors were managed as a system to make ""tropical biology"" an object of scientific study. Laura Martin discusses how during the Cold War U.S. ecologists came to see competition as a stabilizer of ecological communities, focusing on Eugene Odum’s field work with the AEC in the Pacific Proving Grounds. Fritz Davis explores the resonance and dissonance between ecology and conservation in Archie Carr’s field work. Georgina Montgomery, who studies the history of field methods in primatology, will serve as commentator. Together these papers offer new perspectives on ecology and its role in shaping conservation policy across national and disciplinary boundaries. They raise the broad questions: What has been the relationship between ecological field work and theory? How do disciplines decide on the “right” method for the job? How has ecological science influenced understandings of the natural world? What practices allowed ecologists to act as “spokespeople” for nature?
The Machinations of Power: Hydroelectric Development and the Politics of Improvement in the Twentieth Century U.S. South Panel 2-J: Newfoundland Chair: Christopher Morris, University of Texas at Arlington Panelists: Casey Cater, Georgia State University A Slave in Every Stream and Socket: Work, Hydroelectricity, and the Remaking of the Southern Waterscape, 1900-1930 Laura Bradshaw, Carnegie Mellon University Unlikely Allies: The League of Women Voters, Inter-War Conservation, and the Origins of the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1920-1933 Kenna Archer, Angelo State University "PROPER development of the Brazos River Valley" - Dam Questions, Power Struggles, and the Ideal of Improvement along the Brazos River, 1929-1958 Abstract: New panel – No Abstract
Thursday, April 4 Concurrent Session 3 1:30-3:00 PM The Use and Abuse of Ecological Concepts in Environmental History Panel 3-A: Salon A Chair: Stephen Bocking, Trent University Panelists: Kirsten Greer, University of Warwick Unpacking the Sclater-Wallace System: Birds, Regions, Empire” Robert Wilson, Maxwell School of University of Syracuse Mobile Bodies: The Concept of Migration in North American History Laura Cameron and Sinead Earley, Queen's University ‘I Need Not Translate My Words into Political Language’: The Ecosystem -Movements, Connections and Tensions Dean Bavington, Memorial University of Newfoundland The Population Construct and the Destruction of World Fisheries Abstract: Environmental history has often relied on key ecological concepts derived from the natural sciences in thinking about human interactions with the natural world. Accepted often as stable or uncontested terms, environmental historians and geographers have used such concepts to trace the ways in which humans and "natural" communities shaped each other in different places and times. Building on Arthur Tansley's "The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts and Terms" written in 1935, this panel seeks to contextualize, historicize, spatialize, and contest some of the ecological concepts used in environmental history, including ecosystems, zoogeographic regions, animal migrations, and species populations. Tansley, who launched the term “ecosystem,” critiqued several concepts like biotic community and holism, believing them to be reflections of human imaginings of an idealized human society or "whole" without considering the true facts of nature. Yet, even Tansley's concept of ecosystem revealed his own subjectivities or life-history. As this panel demonstrates, the history of environmental knowledge, including the production and circulation of concepts and practices -- i.e. their geographies -- is essential in thinking about methodological approaches to environmental history.
The Green GOP: Republicans and Environmental Policy Advocacy from the 1960s to the 1980s Panel 3-B: Quebec Chair: Paul Milazzo, Ohio University Commenter: Paul Milazzo, Ohio University Panelists: Erica A. Morin, Texas Tech “Rocky Won’t Back Down”: Environmental Protection and the Decline of Rockefeller Republicanism Laura Gifford, George Fox University “Not a game or a fad”: Tom McCall and the Fight Against Pollution in Oregon, 19671974 Brooks Flippen, Southeastern Oklahoma State University The Perils of Moderation: The Environmental Career of William D. Ruckelshaus Abstract: Contemporary understandings of environmental policy advocacy often equate environmentalism with preservation—and with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. This panel will demonstrate that the reality of environmental policy advocacy between the late 1960s and the early 1980s was far more complex. These years were a time of negotiation and exploration when many of those engaged in environmental policy formation took a wide variety of economic, social and political variables into account. Republicans as well as Democrats responded to the era’s quality-of-life concerns, crafting a diverse array of solutions and playing an influential, and often moderating, role in an increasingly fractious national political climate. Panel presenters examine the environmental policy advocacy of three important Republican Party figures: New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, Oregon governor Tom McCall, and Environmental Protection Agency administrator William Ruckelshaus. Each of these politicians made important contributions to the development of environmental policy as practiced in the contemporary United States. While the Republican Party as a whole has pursued a politics of deregulation since at least the 1980s, Republican officials played important roles in developing some of the most significant legacies of 1970s environmentalism, from zoning and land-use planning to pollution abatement and litter control. The figures profiled on this panel were leaders in delineating the principles of federal-state balance and scientific resource management. While their legacies have not always been appreciated or respected, their contributions remain significant. Understanding these contributions helps us more fully appreciate the contingency and cross-partisan possibilities of this historical moment.
Teaching the Global Environmental Survey Roundtable 3-C: British Columbia Moderator: Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University Presenters: Sam White, Oberlin College John Brooke, Ohio State University Brittany Bayless Fremion, Central Michigan University Maohong Bao, Peking University Ryan Jones, Idaho State University Abstract: The rapid growth of global environmental history has raised new challenges for instructors, especially in the increasingly popular global or world environmental history survey. This panel will open a conversation on approaches and materials for introducing students to the field and for guiding effective learning and discussion. Topics to be addressed may include readings, textbooks, and sourcebooks; regional versus topical approaches; balancing depth and coverage; and handling politically sensitive subjects. The proposed panel brings together a diverse range of academic backgrounds and experiences. The participants represent state and private, American and foreign, research and teaching, liberal arts and science- and engineering-focused programs. Dr. White will briefly present on core pedagogical issues in a 100-level global environmental history course. Dr. Brooke will consider how to move beyond traditional declensionist narratives and environmental cautionary tales, and how to frame the field in terms of earth systems change or “big history.” Dr. Bayless Fremion will describe a more data-driven approach employing geospatial technologies; Dr. Bao will share perspectives from teaching global environmental history in and of China; and Dr. Jones will discuss teaching the “bad guys” of environmental history, including Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. The panel would invite all attendees to share their ideas and experiences from the classroom. While we do not expect to find a one-size-fits-all approach for the survey, the panel aims to encourage innovation and promote best practices in teaching the field.
Americans Abroad: Nature, Culture, Agriculture in Postwar International Development Panel 3-D: Library Chair: Paul Sutter, University of Colorado Panelists: Thomas Robertson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute American Environmental and Social Engineering Overseas: The US and DDT in Cold War Nepal Amrys Williams, National Museum of American History / Smithsonian Institution Agricultural Extension, International Development, and Urban Reform Stephen Macekura, University of Virginia "When Small Seemed Beautiful": NGOs, USAID, and the Appropriate Technology Movement Abstract: Recently, scholars have begun to examine the history of the United States’ efforts to promote the modernization of the “developing” world. Scholars have noted how these efforts were often predicated upon simplistic understandings of the relationship between humans, technology, and nature. This set of assumptions justified interventions upon the people and natural environments of other nations, often with deleterious consequences for foreign citizens and the natural world. Our panel seeks to deepen our historical understanding of how and why American experts sought to transform societies across the world. It offers three case studies of American environmental influence overseas to explore a number of guiding questions. To what extent did American experts – in government and non-governmental roles – impose or project particular understandings of nature and technology onto foreign environments? What ideas about nature and technology successful flowed across borders, and to what extent were these ideas shaped or constrained in foreign places? To what extent were American efforts effectively adopted or challenged? What kinds of alliances were forged between Americans and people in other nations, and what kinds of power dynamics shaped these interactions? How and in what ways have notions of “development” changed over time and place? In short, by exploring these lines of inquiry our panel will investigate how and to what extent American power was brought to bear on both foreign peoples and environments. We hope that exploring the transnational flow of American knowledge, personnel, and technology and its interaction with other environments will encourage reflection on how environmental historians can provide new insights to old questions about the interactions between humans and the natural world.
Environmental Pollutants in North America Panel 3-E: Alonquin Chair: Martin Melosi, University of Houston Panelists: Brittany Luby, York University Visible Growth and Invisible Peoples: The Relationship between Waste and Water Management and Food Security at Dalles 38C First Nation, 1900 – 1975 Fawn Wapioke, Iskatewizaagegan #39 (Shoal Lake First Nation) Tap Water Flows from Iskatewizaagegan #39: An Examination of Winnipeg, Manitoba's Water Supply and Aboriginal Rights Neil Forkey, St. Lawrence University The “Slick of ‘76’’: Oil Pollution and Citizen Action on the St. Lawrence River Melissa Blimkie, York University Shifting Relationships of Labour, Land, and Learning Along the Shores of the Ottawa River Abstract: New Panel – No Abstract
From Nekropolis to Zoöpolis: Tracing Wildlife in Human Spaces Panel 3-F: York Chair: Frank Gaughan, Hofstra University Panelists: Frank Gaughan, Hofstra University Coyote’s journey from trickster to varmint and back again Mike Commito, McMaster University “A game animal in his own right, a tourist attraction, and an economic asset”: The Shifting Status of Ontario’s Black Bears, 1933-2003 Thomas Wolber, Ohio Wesleyan University White-tailed Deer and the City: Points of Conflict and Options for Control Peter Aagaard, Homer Central School The Rewilding of New York’s North Country: Beavers, Moose, Canines and the Adirondacks Abstract: In his landmark work The Culture of Cities (1938), Lewis Mumford describes the complete degeneration of urban space as “Nekropolis,” a nightmare scenario in which municipal services fail, shops are looted, and “grass grows in the cracks of the pavement.” Eventually, the city itself falters, residents flee, and “sand sweeps over the ruins” (292). Some writers prefer to dwell in this apocalyptic scenario. Take for example, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us. Both works depend upon the premise of a civilization that has failed for reasons that are either mysterious--or else are so obvious that they remain unstated. Dystopian scenarios may be entertaining and informative, but they can also be paralyzing. Despite the grim landscape of the 1930’s--global war, depression, a badly degraded environment--Mumford offered a platform for recovery, emphasizing geographically coherent units of land over artificially bordered municipalities and “garden cities” over suburban sprawl. More recently, Jennifer Wolch has proposed “zoöpolis,” which emphasizes the role that wildlife should play in negotiating the ongoing tension between natural and built environments (Animal Geographies 124). Similarly, the panelists below chart places where zoöpolis functions--albeit imperfectly-as a viable alternative to the metropolitan dystopias imagined by Mumford and others. The panelists focus, respectively, on the black bear, the coyote, the white-tailed deer, and the reintegration of these and other species in the Adirondacks. In the process, each panelist identifies conceptual and legislative obstacles that limit our understanding of the wildlife that move across the urban/rural gradient.
Here, There and Everywhere: Living with Permanent Environmental Problems Panel 3-G: Nova Scotia Chair: James Turner, Wellesley University Panelists: James Feldman, University of Wisconsin Osh Kosh Permanence, Justice, and Nuclear Waste at Prairie Island Jennifer Thomson, Harvard University From Rural Oregon to Vietnam: The Lasting Consequences of Agent Orange Keith Woodhouse, University of Southern California Defending The Environment: The 'Choice Of Evils' Argument in Court Abstract: Radioactive waste. Persistent pesticides. Climate change. The post-WWII environment is ridden with problems that resist containment, mitigation, or eradication. Rural communities and large municipalities, national governments and international climate congresses alike increasingly grapple with these consequences of industrial capitalism, whose permanence and irreversibility confounds existent bodily, political, geographic, and generational boundaries. Some consequences, like pesticides, move freely across borders. Some, like radioactive waste, provoke fierce battles between those who refuse to live near them and those who refuse to allow them passage. Some, like climate change, challenge with their omnipresence the very notion of boundaries. How have different communities defined environmental permanence? What political and legal responses have they developed? How have the permanence and irreversibility of environmental problems re-shaped temporal, physical, and spatial boundaries? Our panel examines three engagements with permanent problems. Beginning in the 1970s, communities adjacent to the Mississippi River’s Prairie Island nuclear reactor battled each other and the government over how long the waste would remain toxic, how long it would remain at the site, and how many generations its presence would affect. In the late 1970s, a global network of Agent Orange victims campaigned to ban the chemical based upon the inter-generational costs of genetic mutation. The forests and courthouses of the 1980s Pacific Northwest gave rise to the “choice of evils” legal defense, intended to interrupt the permanence of environmental destruction. Each of our cases illuminates how irreversible environmental problems have shaped human interactions in ways that challenge and expand geographical, generational, and physical boundaries.
Environmental Restoration around the World Panel 3-H: New Brunswick Chair: J. Donald Hughes, University of Denver Panelists: J. Donald Hughes, University of Denver Restoration of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique Sarah Hamilton, University of Michigan Development and Restoration of a Natural Park in Valencia, Spain Eagle Glassheim, University of British Columbia Recultivation in Postwar Czechoslovakia Anne Dance, University of Stirling Mind the Gaps: Reclaiming the Athabasca Oil Sands and Sydney Tar Ponds Abstract: This is the second of two proposed panels on environmental restoration; the other is organized by Mark Madison and deals with projects in the US. This panel consists of presentations on restoration projects in Mozambique, Spain, Czechoslovakia, and Canada. Each is unique in its goal and the methods used, and may serve as a model for restoration projects elsewhere. Three of the projects have an important cross-border dimension.
Science and the construction of global space in the ocean Panel 3-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Jennifer Hubbard, Ryerson University Panelists: Wilko Graf von Hardenberg, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society Standardizing the sea. A history of science, policy and the environment of a global space Franziska Torma, Harvard University / Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society Locating marine life: Global circulation of marine animals and the birth of the oceanic environment Carmel Finley, Oregon State University Marine science and the development of Japanese fisheries Joy McCann, Centre for Environmental History, Australian National University To the ends of the earth - an environmental History of the Southern Ocean Abstract: During the nineteenth century, scientists in Germany, Japan, and Britain began the systematic construction of knowledge about the oceans. Both Germany and Japan built a network of marine experiment stations between 1870 and 1945. These networks facilitated the development of global ideas about marine science and fisheries. Fundamental research about life in the oceans took place within the framework of the German marine biological stations. Many biological disciplines merged into the foundation of the Institute for Environmental Research, located at the Hamburger Aquarium, creating important places for knowledge transfer. When Japan began to modernize in 1869, the start of the Meiji Era, it brought Western fisheries technology and knowledge from Germany, Britain, and the United States. The network of marine research stations was central to establishing Japan as the world’s leading fishing nation by the 1930s. Knowledge of marine biology was also rooted in geography. During the first half of the nineteenth century, British scientists made the first attempts to define a standard “mean sea-level.” After 1860, the measurement of the sea-level became a global endeavour. All major nations either adopted existing standards or worked at the creation of their own networks of tide gauges. The collected data were then deployed in colonial settings, affecting the way extra-European lands and seas were seen and interpreted. The legacy of these endeavors helps in understanding the basis for modern marine biology and oceanography.
Animals and Byproducts in Medieval Europe Panel 3-J: Newfoundland Moderator: Timothy Newfield, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Panelists: Stuart Morrison, University of Stirling Transitions on the Icelandic Coastline – AD 1000 to c.1400 Cristina Arrigoni Martelli, York University Ducks with read feet and shifting boundaries: Hunting in the Venetian Lagoon in the late Middle Ages Nils Hybel, University of Copenhagen Danish animal products in Europe c. 1100-1550 Philip Slavin, McGill University Neglected dairy: capro-ovine milk production and consumption in late-medieval England Abstract: The papers in this panel share a common interest in the exploitation of the non-human animals of medieval Europe. Each presenter tackles a different body of source material and employs unique methodologies, but all impart novel investigations that help us appreciate medieval animal populations themselves, the economic and cultural value of animals and their by-products, and the multifaceted nature of pre-modern food production, procurement and processing. Applying a truly interdisciplinary approach, Morrison uncovers high medieval cod fisheries in Iceland’s Vestfirðir region centuries before the supposed rise of such specialized industries, and argues for a corresponding intensification in cod processing and consumption. Drawing on the sentences of the Piovego, Martelli explores the commercial exploitation of waterfowl in the late medieval Venetian Lagoon. This hunting of prized birds for rent and market, Martelli proposes, transpired under considerable anthropocentric and environmental pressure, and became, consequently, highly regulated. Hybel examines the place of Danish equines in the expanding high medieval market for animals and foodstuffs, and suggests that horses, alongside herrings, then made up the Danish export and that this contributed to new internal divisions of labor. Following an examination of more than 10,000 manorial accounts, Slavin illuminates the contribution of sheep and goat milk to the late medieval English economy and argues that ewes and gimmers were valued more for their milk than their wool or mutton. Together these papers illuminate possibilities for environmental histories in a range of source material traditionally utilized in political, religious and economic studies.
Thursday, April 4 Concurrent Session 4 3:30-5:00 PM Infectious Disease and Environmental History Roundtable 4-A: Salon A Moderator: James Webb, Colby College Participants: George Dehner, Wichita State University Stuart McCook, University of Guelph Myron Echenberg, McGill University Paul Sutter, University of Colorado Abstract: The field of infectious disease history is opening up new perspectives in local, regional, and global environmental history. The field explores the micro-environments and macroenvironments in which diseases are transmitted, the impacts of disease on human communities, the nature and consequences of disease processes and of efforts at control, and the broad contexts in which these processes have taken place. This roundtable brings together global and environmental historians of varied backgrounds and research interests to reflect on their research approaches to the history of infectious disease and its control. The participants will speak briefly on one or more of a range of topics that include the significance of microbiological science about infectious disease for environmental history; some of the core problematic issues such as equilibria, gradients, and immunities; how studies of disease are changing the ways that we think about and teach global environmental history; the political, social, and economic contexts of infectious disease control; and future directions in infectious disease history.
Tracing Fault Lines: Environmental Conflicts in Late Twentieth-Century North America and Europe Panel 4-B: Quebec Chair: Alan MacEachern, Western University Panelists: Darcy Ingram, University of Ottawa Moderates, Radicals, and Foreigners: A Historical Perspective on Canada’s Contemporary Environmental Crisis Sandra Chaney, Erskine College Environmental Health in Socialist East Germany, 1970-1989 Caroline Peyton, University of South Carolina Radioactive Dixie: Debating Nuclear Waste in South Carolina Alfredo Menendez-Navarro, University of Granada, Spain Gone with the Wind: Environmental asbestos hazards and public concerns in Spain during the Transition to Democracy Abstract: New Panel – No Abstract
The Cold War and the Circumpolar North Panel 4-C: British Columbia Commenter: Ronald E. Doel, Florida State University Panelists: Peder Roberts, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm The circumpolar north: transnational environments and Cold War knowledge Julia Lajus, Higher School of Economics and European University at St. Petersburg Construction of “the Soviet North”: cross-border gaze and the internationalization of environmental knowledge and national strategies of economic development Janet Martin-Nielsen, University of Aarhus Science in spaces under the ice: Greenland's Camp Century, 1959-1966 Abstract: This panel considers three different perspectives on the overall question of how the Cold War both divided the Arctic into a series of geopolitically-demarcated spaces, and -- paradoxically perhaps -- also helped advance a view of the circumpolar north as a single environment. Roberts considers how the increased strategic value of Arctic knowledge helped spark the careers of Graham Rowley and Terence Armstrong, two of the authors of the 1978 book The Circumpolar North, a book that reflected a push (notably from the Canadian geographer Trevor Lloyd) to depict the Arctic as a single environment for ideological as well as analytical purposes. Lajus argues that the Khrushchev-era 'thaw' that allowed Soviet scientists to forge international contacts helped broaden Soviet perspectives on their own northern frontier, while permitting contacts between scientists that helped forge understanding of common Arctic environmental processes. Martin-Nielsen uses Camp Century, a United States military facility in Greenland, as a window into the Cold War military origins of Arctic climate research -- a field that has helped define the Arctic in the present. Doel's commentary will bring his seminal research on the Cold War military origins of the physical environmental sciences -- including through polar research - into conversation with these papers. The overall goal is to advance our understanding of how the geopolitical divisions of the mid to late twentieth century helped forge a view of the Arctic as a single environment today.
Urban Landscapes in Crises: Local, State, and Global Interventions Panel 4-D: Library Chair: Richard Stren, University of Toronto Panelists: David Soll, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Drying Out the Global City: The Disappearance of Tanks in Bangalore Nathan Clarke, Minnesota State University Moorhead Reforming the Tragic City: Rebuilding after the 1970 Earthquake in Chimbote, Peru Emily Brownell, University of Northern Colorado Food and Politics in Dar es Salaam Harris Ali, York University The Political Economy of Global Cities and Disease Outbreaks Abstract: This panel of papers investigates different ‘crises’ in developing world cities, examining in particular how local governments and citizens respond to both sudden events and rapidly changing urban environments. The “crises” discussed here range from economic and public health disasters to massive urban migration, and natural disasters. In all four papers, a desire to intervene and control changing environments (or, in the case of Harris’ paper, public health landscapes) becomes the rationale for municipal governance to take liberties in reforming cityscapes that do not necessarily represent the will of the people. These papers also examine the ways in which the environmental fortunes of developing world cities have hinged on major global changes in the last forty years as evidenced in Clarke’s discussion of the boom of Peru’s fishing town of Chimbote and Soll’s depiction of the rise of Bangalore, in contrast to Brownell’s focus on the collapse of municipal governance and the national economy in Dar es Salaam, during the 1970s. Regardless of whether these “crises” were spurred by global events, local responses to events are often filtered through (or managed by) not just local agents but global organizations or networks of knowledge. All these papers contemplate several different networks of authority that intermingle in disputes over how to shape and reshape crowded city environments.
East Meets West: Middle Eastern Environments and Western Eyes Panel 4-E: Algonquin Chair: Sam White, Oberlin College Panelists: David Schorr, Tel Aviv University East, West, and American Conservationism Philipp Lehmann, Harvard University The Science of Sand: The East in Nineteenth-Century European Climatology Tamar Novick, University of Pennsylvania Getting their Goat: Disturbing Creatures and Attempts to Change the East Abstract: Panels at recent ASEH meetings have explored North, South, and West as environmental categories; this panel proposes to do the same for the East. In particular, it will focus on the Middle East-North Africa region – ""the Orient"" – with its exotic and ancient civilizations and arid climes, as both an object of fascination and anxiety for westerners and an influential source of their own attitudes. All three papers focus on the region – as experienced directly and mediated through classical literatures – in interaction with western environmental attitudes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but they do so at different scales and in reference to different western groups. One paper focuses on a single animal species as a symbol of the East to a group of western settlers, another looks at the place of the extreme desert environments of the region in the evolving thought of a scientific community, and the third takes on the significance of the region as a whole in the environmental attitudes of an entire culture. More than a point on the compass (the Middle East was actually south for Europeans), the East represented a complex of promises and fears with great resonance in the environmental imaginations of westerners.
Distance as Deviance? Food and Knowledge Production across the Great Divide(s) Panel 4-F: York Chair: Stuart McCook, University of Guelph Panelists: Laura Sayre, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique A tale of two terroirs? Cheese, knowledge production and the impacts of global trade in Northwest England and east-central France
Hayley Goodchild, McMaster University In Pursuit of ‘Honest Milk’: Nature, Proximity, and Labour in Early Ontario Cheese Making
Benjamin Cohen, Lafayette College Fake It Till You Make It: Cottonseed, Gilded Age Food, and Angst for the Natural
Thomas Fleischman, New York University Purchased at the Garden Door: Pigs, Produce, and Garden Farming in the Backyards of East Germany, 1975-1989
Abstract: This panel seeks to historicize the environmental problem of distance between people and the land using examples from food and agricultural history. By considering multiple forms of distance—geographic, temporal, economic and cultural—we suggest that its relationship to knowledge is not always a linear (or inverse) one: in other words, increased proximity has not always translated into greater food knowledge or vice versa. These three papers unravel the contradictions and ironies in the history of food by following cheese and cottonseed products as they simultaneously inhabited local and global spaces. The panel moves from Western Europe and the United States to Ontario between the 17th and 21st centuries. Taken as a whole the papers are comparative, while also interweaving a wider story. Both Canadian cheese and the European cheese that it undercut, for example, were dependent on the growth of the livestock feed industry, of which cottonseed was a part. The very materiality of cheese and cottonseed byproducts suggests that abstract oppositions between local/global, rural/urban, and producer/consumer are inadequate for explaining the current capitalist global food system. Such a perspective is critical at a time when ‘food miles’ have become a key consideration for consumer food movements—laudable efforts, to be sure—but ones in which the divisions between production and consumption are far more complex than mere physical distance suggests. As a whole, the panel helps bind together agro-environmental and food history within the growth of global industrial traffic.
The Value of Fish Panel 4-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Ruth Sandwell, University of Toronto Panelists: Kent LaCombe, University of Nebraska Forcing the Elusive Dream : why a convergence of ecological upheavals, industrial degradation and global warfare were required to initiate ongoing cooperation in the management of the Great Lakes fisheries Donnie Sackey, Michigan State University Carp Ontologies: Storying Biological Invasions Trudy Ledsham, University of Toronto The Value of a Fish: Lake Ontario Fisheries, 1960-20120 Michael Del Vecchio, University of Western Ontario Farming Fish: Transnational Networks of Fish-culture, 1850-1900 Abstract: New Panel – No Abstract
Visions of Economic Growth and Environments Panel 4-H: New Brunswick Chair: Paul Sabin, Yale University Panelists: Michael Rawson, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center No Limits to Growth: Utopian Socialism and the Environmental Future Troy Vettese, University of St Andrews The OECD as West Germany’s ‘Growth Conscience’: Evolving, Competing, and Subversive Conceptions of Economic Growth, 1960–1980 Iris Borowy, University of Rostock The Brundtland Commission: sustainable development with economic growth? Abstract: This panel focuses on different portrayals of economic growth in the twentieth century, in its socialist, sustainable, and internationalist guises. As an economy's size and rate of expansion is closely related to its environmental impact, historicising attitudes towards economic growth in different times and regions can do much to enrich the field of environmental history.
Restoring, Recovering, and Re-Creating a Landscape: Ecological Restoration Across National and Cultural Boundaries Panel 4-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Panelists: Robert Gardner, Southwestern University Restoring an Imagined Nature: Planting Trees and Building Forest in the American Grassland Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service From Refuse to Refuge: An Unnatural History of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Jeff Sellen, Western State College, CO Restoring Abandoned Farmland and Struggling Rural Communities Jared Dahl Aldern, Prescott College and Stanford University Creative Expression and Environmental Restoration in Indigenous Australia and California: A Comparison of Two Wests Abstract: The subject of “ecological restoration” leaves unanswered the question of the baseline of this restoration. These four case studies examine restoration of wilderness, agrarian landscapes, imagined ecological baselines, and indigenous management regimes across North America and Australia. Madison calls into question the restoration of a natural wildlife habitat in the midst of the fastest growing urban ecosystem in the Rockies. Sellen, working in the same region, notes how water wars represent an ongoing century old battle in the West between urbanism and agriculture, with both claiming the mantle of ecological restoration. Gardner’s combination of history of ecology and ecological history, notes aptly the as soon as their were self-identified American ecologists there were calls for ecological restoration. This earliest restoration regimen was framed as the re-creation of forests in the grasslands as an “antidote” to what was perceived as discredited indigenous fire regimes. By contrast, Aldern notes how modern ecological restoration techniques in Australia and Canada seek to reincorporate centuries of Indigenous techniques to manage the landscape. Taken together, these four case studies suggest our baselines for ecological restoration are incredibly broad and based as much on our cultural presuppositions as they are upon measureable ecological baselines.
The Fruits and Insects of the early Middle Ages Panel 4-J: Newfoundland Chair: Philip Slavin, McGill University Panelists: Ben Graham, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Lucca's lights: Olive oil in the early Middle Ages Noah Blan, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Charlemagne's Peaches: the Cultivation and Consumption of a Mediterranean Fruit and its Limitations in Early Medieval Northwestern Europe (c. 750-850 CE) David Owen, York University; Tim Newfield, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Locust swarms in first-millennium Europe, environmental contexts and human responses Abstract: Multiple aspects of early medieval food production remain unaddressed, among them fruitbearing trees and pests. The interrelated, interdisciplinary papers of this panel work to remedy these omissions. Building upon Squatriti’s recent work on the chestnut tree, Graham and Blan examine the cultivation of olive and peach trees, and the marketing and consumption of their prized fruit. Graham illuminates the re-organization of olive cultivation in the Tuscan countryside after the collapse of Roman hegemony and argues that the dietary significance of the olive declined but that the tree remained widely grown as the church used olive oil for lighting and accepted olives as rent. Blan investigates the cultivation of the typically Mediterranean peach tree in northwestern Europe, shining light on Carolingian fruit production and providing a basis for the reappraisal of the intended meaning and application of Charlemagne’s infamous Capitulare de villis. Climatic and environmental contexts underpin Graham and Blan’s papers, so too Owen and Newfield’s contribution on first millennium locusts. These authors argue that infestations of gregarious grasshoppers could devastate agricultural and arboricultural production, eating enormous quantities of grain and the fruit and bark of trees, but that the gestation of large swarms depended on very particular climatic contexts and occurred irregularly. These papers ask new questions of old sources, and consider the results of several disciplines. In doing so, they diversify our understanding of early medieval food production and demonstrate possibilities for environmental histories previously overlooked.
Friday, April 5 Concurrent Session 5 8:30-10:00 AM Energy, History, and Culture Panel 5-A: Salon A Chair and Comments: Brian Black, Penn State -- Altoona Panelists: Matthew Huber, Syracuse University Refined Politics: Petroleum Products, Neoliberalism, and the Ecology of Entrepreneurial Life Mogens Rüdiger, Aalborg University, Denmark “Weatherlessness” and the Danish standard house, 1950-1970 Stephanie Lemenager, UC Santa Barbara Forgetting Oil, or Why Oil Spills Don’t Make History Bob Johnson, National University Embodying Coal: History, Bodies, and the Modern Dialectics of Fuel Abstract: Energy,” Stuart Chase once wrote, “is a determiner of civilization.” While few people today would doubt that fuel sources like petroleum and coal are in some basic material sense a determinant of history, it remains a much muddier project to identify how, when, where, and to what extent access to nature’s energy flows (and their conversion into work, heat, and light) has enabled and constrained historic patterns of social and cultural expression. Likewise, even thornier questions surround how a society’s cultural norms and predilections have, in turn, left their own deep imprints on the availability, quality, and structure of nature’s energies at different times and in different places. In keeping with the conference theme “confluences, crossings, and power,” this panel brings together a cross-disciplinary group of scholars (including a geographer, a literary critic, and a historian) to explore how scholarship on fuels like coal and oil can be mainstreamed into the type of cultural work that we do in the humanities and social sciences. To that end, Stephanie Lemenager’s “Forgetting Oil, or Why Oil Spills Don’t Make History” examines why highprofile spills like the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill ultimately do very little to dislodge the dominant material and discursive relationships that we have to petroleum and its production. Bob Johnson’s “Embodying Coal: History, Bodies, and the Dialectics of Fuel” illustrates how the shift to coal in the United States structured the corporeal and psychic experiences of coal miners working on the hard edges of the nation’s mineral frontier and a middle class which encountered coal at the more privileged point of its consumption. Matt Huber’s “Refined Politics: Petroleum Products, Neoliberalism, and the Ecology of Entrepreneurial Life” illustrates how the centrality of petroleum (and the material products that came out of petroleum) underwrote a neoliberal narrative of entrepreneurial life that emerged with such vigor in the West after World War II.
“A New World in Place”: Post-1960’s Environments, Race, and Activism Across the U.S. South Panel 5-B: Quebec Chair: Mark Hersey, Mississippi State University Commenter: Marie Price, George Washington University Panelists: Mark Finlay, Armstrong Atlantic State University A Home For People, or For Geese? Struggles over Harris Neck and the Georgia Lowcountry in the 1970s and Beyond Catherine Conner, UNC-Chapel Hill Making Birmingham a Place to Live: Black Women Combating Environmental Racism and Reforming Municipal Politics, 1969-1974 Chris Sellers, Stony Brook University The Suburban Roots of Black Environmentalism around Atlanta Ellen Spears, University of Alabama Beyond Both “Model City” and “Toxic Town” Abstract: When southern environmental historian Jack Temple Kirby spoke of “a new world in place” in the U.S. South, he was talking about the transformation wrought by the 1950s-60s civil rights revolution. That this “new world” coincided with what C. Vann Woodward famously described as a “Bulldozer Revolution” across the region suggests the centrality to this “new world” of contests over land and the environment. This session considers the many flows, crossings, and coalitions that drove these clashes, as a new environmental rhetoric and activism gained sway across this most obdurately hinterlandish of American regions. Just as scholars in U.S. environmental history have moved away from uni-directional narratives of ascension or decline, historians of Southern places have complicated older narratives about a “backward” region that then modernized. These three papers, as well, seek a more complex and multifaceted understanding of the historical interplay between this region’s economy, landscape, and culture and those of the larger nation. They explore environmental practices and activism in different places—rural, suburban, and small-town—and on different lands-- the low-country, the Piedmont, and the hill and valley region of the interior South. Uniting the papers, in particular, is their attention to the various racial dynamics of southern environmentalism, arguably more difficult to avoid than in other of America’s regions. Comment comes from someone outside southern history proper: a geographer of Latin America who is a prominent contributor to the theory of regions.
Wetlands as Borderlands: Environmental Histories of the “Unknown Landscape” Panel 5-C: British Columbia Chair and Comments: Robert Wilson, Syracuse University Panelists: Jared Taber, University of Kansas Between Wetlands and Dry Land: How the Industrializing Cities of the Connecticut River Valley Lived With Wetlands, 1840-1910 Adam Mandelman, University of Wisconsin-Madison The Soggy Frontier: Louisiana’s Cypress Logging Industry, 1880-1930 J. K. Johnson, Georgia State University The Lure of Leisure: Sport Fishing and the “Reclaiming” of Gulf Coast Wetlands Abstract: From the Connecticut River Valley, to Louisiana swamps, to the transnational Gulf Coast, these three papers explore the ways in which wetlands—the places “where land and water meet,” to quote Nancy Langston— might be productively understood as borderlands. Wetlands exist simultaneously as both boundary and intersection. As physical borderlands, they mark the edges of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems while also embodying thorough hybrids of land and water. As liminal places, wetlands come to exhibit truly unique ecological characteristics. Yet how might these places also embody social and cultural borderlands? Ann Vileisis once described wetlands as “landscapes on the periphery.” This panel, however, re-imagines such watery landscapes as sites that imply encounter and exchange, rather than marginality and obscurity, thereby moving wetlands to the center of historical and geographical questions about nature and society. Rather than simply being wild places on the edges, edges that have receded with ever-greater human transformations of the environment, wetlands as borderlands become busy places full of deeply human questions. Urban wetlands offer insights into creative and unexpected nineteenth-century negotiations of the boundaries between wet and dry land. Swampy resource frontiers illustrate stories of dramatic industrial, labor, and bodily adaptations to an uncomfortably soggy environment. And a twentieth-century political economy of leisure works to transform undervalued, mucky coastal marshes and mangrove forests, into elite recreational zones of consumption. Together, these three papers trace the many permeable boundaries— physical, socio-spatial, and conceptual— running through North American watery landscapes of the last 170 years.
Landscape, Place, and the Configurations of Race Panel 5-D: Library Panelists: Joshua Kercsmar, University of Notre Dame Fall of the Wild: Taming Animals, Civilizing Slaves, and Improving Nature in the British Atlantic World, ca. 1550–1700 Katherine Stevens, Harvard University Inroads: Overland Migration and the Frontier of Slavery, 1800-1837 Sandra Swart, University of Stellenbosch Tarzan of the Veld - popular and academic debates over South Africa's "feral man". Brian McCammack, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University Building Trees and Building Men: Black Chicagoans and the Civilian Conservation Corps Abstract: New Panel – No Abstract
Long History of Urban Agriculture in North America Panel 5-E: Algonquin Chair and Comments: William Kerrigan, Muskingum University Commenter: William Kerrigan, Muskingum University Panelists: Courtney Wiersema, University of Notre Dame Where Have All the Gardens Gone? The Domestic Pastoral and the Decline of Urban Agriculture in Chicago, 1833-1893
Joseph Cialdella, University of Michigan Pingree’s Potato Patches and the Politics of Urban Agriculture in Detroit
Nate Ela, University of Wisconsin-Madison Toward a Political Economy of Resilience: A Comparative-Historical Study of Urban Farming Regimes in Chicago
Vikram Bhatt, McGill University; Leila M. Farah, Ryerson University Cultivating Montreal: A Brief History of Citizens and Institutions Integrating Urban Agriculture in the City
Abstracts: Urban gardening is making a comeback. Today, the movement’s proponents range from First Lady Michelle Obama to community activists working to revitalize their neighborhoods. What are the historical changes that can help us to better understand this contemporary movement for urban environmental change? How did past models for urban agriculture work? What confluences of ideas, cultures, politics, and power produced these spaces in the past and present? In short, what are the key moments, people, and concepts that could define the narrative for the “long history” of urban agriculture? With these questions as a guide, this panel will contribute to the field of environmental history by promoting an interdisciplinary discussion of urban agricultural history. Our papers will examine the historical trajectory of urban agriculture from diverse disciplinary perspectives (history, American Studies, architecture, and sociology) by using examples from Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal, across a range of time periods (from the late-nineteenth century to the present). As we analyze various periods in the fraught history of urban food production in North America, our papers aim to achieve a better understanding of the politics, culture, and power dynamics behind the appearance and disappearance of different food production regimes.
Nineteenth-century Industrial Pollution and Regulation Panel 5-F: York Chair: Leslie Tomory, McGill University Commenter: Christine Rosen, University of California – Berkeley Panelists: David Zylberberg, York University 'Abating the Smoke Nuisance': Responses to Air Pollution in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1800-1830 Donna Rilling, State University of New York - Stony Brook Judicious Regulation: Philadelphia’s Board of Health, 1855-1860s Joel Tarr, Carnegie Mellon University Perspectives on the Environmental Pollution Record of the Manufactured Gas Industry Abstract: Nineteenth-Century industrialization vastly increased the production of manufactured goods. In the early part of the century, manufacturing became increasingly concentrated in a few locations, particularly on the coalfields of Europe and America. While steam-engines facilitated industrial expansion, the bigger change was the scale with which textiles, pottery and metal wares were being produced. As the century progressed industrial expansion came to include the development of entirely new chemical products. Manufacturing has always created by-products, affecting local waterways, air and neighbouring properties. However, nineteenth-century industrialization vastly increased the scale of these effects. This panel will examine some of the ways in which people dealt with manufacturing’s growing impact on water and air. In the 1810s, steam-engines from various textile processes emitted a lot of soot, dirtying property and damaging plant life. Following legislative changes in England, many factories were ordered to modify their steamengines to reduce the amount of smoke produced. Meanwhile, traditionally polluting industries, like bone-boiling, grew along with population and came into increasing conflicts with expanding residential neighbourhoods. Municipalities, like Philadelphia, attempted to separate residential areas from the worst of these problems through zoning. An especially ubiquitous pollution problem in American and British cities from approximately 1840 to 1950 resulted from the manufacture of gas, primarily coal and water gas. This panel will focus on air and water contamination by various industries and the attempts to control their impacts.
Creating a Toxic Diplomacy: Chemical Therapies for Health, Wealth, and Death? Panel 5-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Marcus Hall, University of Zurich Panelists: Mark Kuhlberg, Laurentian University "We have noticed actually very little of it": Collateral Damage in Killing Insects with Arsenicals in Canada Forests, 1927-1930 Chau Kelly, University of North Florida Cattle Dip, Shark Oil, and the Cult of Science: Acute Arsenic Poisoning at Malangali School, Tanzania, 1934 Spencer Segalla, University Tampa Tri-ortho-cresyl-phosphate, Cooking Oil, and America’s Cold War in North Africa, 1959-1960 Neil Oatsvall, University of Kansas Chemical Diplomacy: Politics By Other Means Abstract: This panel seeks to explore the social, diplomatic, and technological tensions as a variety of industrial and agricultural toxins found their way into human bodies during the twentieth century. These papers reveal how chemical solutions required more than scientific knowledge; we must consider how chemicals created pathways for global technological diplomacy. We argue that toxic substances move through networks of power to create confluences of knowledge and silence. Toxins flowed from industrialized nations to colonial and post-colonial spaces where these substances sickened and killed by the thousands, technological benefits lost in the interstices of suffering. Frequently ignorant of how these chemotherapies harmed the land and people, the agents who administered, sprayed, or distributed chemicals became intermediaries who worked to forestall diplomatic crises. Spanning several decades, from the 1920s to 1970s, this panel provides a comparative longitudinal perspective at how toxins moved about the globe. Two papers deal with arsenic toxins; the first explores the silences around arsenic dusting in Canadian forests during the 1920s and 1930s, when concerns about aerial dusting were few. The second questions how an accidental poisoning in colonial Tanzania in 1934 was driven by ideas about chemotherapies for human and animal health. Next, we explore how Moroccans ingested jet engine lubricant that was added to cooking oils and the subsequent diplomatic crisis regarding questions of responsibility after 10,000 people suffered paralysis. The final paper considers how American Agent-Orange sprayers (1962-1971) engaged in a “chemical diplomacy” with Vietnamese nations whose suspicion of the defoliant threatened the program.
Bounty and Boundaries: Making Environmental Meanings in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, 1920 to 1990 Panel 5-H: New Brunswick Chair: Evan Ross, The University of Texas at Austin Panelists: Evan Ross, The University of Texas at Austin Mythologizing the Great Pine Tree of Southern Brazil: Environmentalism and State Development in the Early Twentieth Century Bridget Chesterton, Buffalo State College Controlling the Suquía: Urbanization and La Cañada in Córdoba, Argentina 19391940 Ivani Vassoler-Froelich, State University of New York at Fredonia An urban landscape transformed: an assessment of the urban park system in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. Carlos Gomez Florentin, Stony Brook University Dammed City: Ciudad del Este, the Parana River and the Itaipu Dam (1957-1991) Abstract: Our panel examines how intellectuals, political elites, and municipal planners have shaped natural space over time in Latin America from 1920 to 1990. We focus geographical on the Southern Cone countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. We examine waterways and green spaces as center points for economic contention, sociopolitical division, and cultural reformation. Latin America’s population and urban density increased dramatically in the twentieth century, inviting massive development projects that permanently altered the physical and social landscape. While a large corpus of scholarship examines the environmental impact of development in regions such as the Amazon and other rain forests, less work considers the heavy hand of human activity in the Southern Cone. Our panel aims to refocus an environmental lens on both large- and small-scale projects that have reshaped rural and urban spaces. From the construction of the largest hydroelectric plant in the world to the intellectual rendering of meaning for a single type of pine tree, we demonstrate that the bounty of Southern Cone natural resources was not infinite. We also show that city parks and rivers are much more than physical attributes, but also complicated boundary points and loci of propaganda in global marketing campaigns to entice commerce and tourism.
Modernizing the Canadian North: New Cases and Methods Panel 5-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Andrew Stuhl, University of Wisconsin-Madison Panelists: Matthew Farish, University of Toronto ‘Skill and Experience vs. Elements and Terrain’: Logistics, Landscape, and the Building of the DEW Line Arn Keeling, Memorial University of Newfoundland The Politics and Practice of Oral Environmental History Research in Northern Canada Leah Fusco, University of Toronto Developing Canada’s Oil Frontier: Panarctic and the Bent Horn Oil Project Heather Green, Memorial University of Newfoundland If You Ask Them, They Will Tell: Conducting Oral Histories to Study High Arctic Mining, Heritage, and Memory Abstract: Beginning during the Second World War, a series of dramatically more intense links were forged between the ‘frontier’ of the Canadian Arctic and centres of government and population to the south. The resulting transformations, often grouped under the suggestive yet troubling term ‘modernization’, had tremendous consequences for lives and landscapes across the north. While the environmental history of the Arctic is not a new field, it remains a limited one; only recently have scholars moved past familiar examples to document a fuller range of industrial schemes, military exercises, and governmental initiatives, many entangled or aligned with others. In this paper session, which includes graduate students and faculty in history and geography, our aim is to move toward a more wide-ranging, nuanced environmental history of the Canadian Arctic, in terms of both context and method. Each paper documents the movement of ideas, people, resources and technologies across the imagined boundaries that separate north and south. The papers also variously explore poorly documented cases, including extraction and military projects in remote locations, or under-used methodical approaches such as oral histories. The result, we hope, will be a form of environmental history that is both-placed based and sensitive to the connections wrought (and broken) by modernization, and one that forges stronger affiliations with historical geography, the history of science, and environmental justice.
Defining Environment: Case Studies in Design Pedagogy Panel 5-J: Newfoundland Chair: Daniel Barber, University of Pennsylvania Panelists: Brendan Moran, Syracuse University Environmental Design: More Than Just a Professional Concern? Mary Lou Lobsinger, University of Toronto Challenging Expertise Irene Sunwoo, Oberlin College Rational Technology Abstract: This panel proposes to explore how concerns over the environment became a central influence in the teaching of architecture and urban design in the mid-20th century, and to assess how the current renewed interest in connections between environmental history and architectural history can cast these efforts in a new light. The papers focus on methods in design teaching in the US and the UK that [were attempting to assess how the emergent category of ‘the environment’, broadly conceived, offered to transform the design fields. Design strategies relative to energy, new materials, the use of the computer and urban renewal all came to be seen according to their potential for mitigating environmental problems. At the same time, design pedagogy became a crucial venue for discussing these new concerns, as the design fields came to play a central role in how to think creatively about the environmental challenges of the present and future. The session aims to use these specific histories of environmental design pedagogy as a means to reflect more generally on the relationship between professional practices, education, and the growth of environmentalism across the mid-century period. The session also hopes to spark discussion between environmental historians and architectural historians, and to provide a venue for further analysis of the many connections between these two fields.
Friday, April 5 Concurrent Session 6 10:30-12:00 PM Cornucopianism, Improvement, and the Future: Thinking About Possibilities and Limits in the Modern World Panel 6-A: Salon A Chair: Paul Warde, University of East Anglia Panelists: Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, University of Chicago The Origins of Cornucopianism Mark Fiege, Colorado State University The Forgotten Promise of Improvement Daniel Barber, University of Pennsylvania School of Design Designing the Energy Future Abstract: The papers in this session will reconsider the origins and meanings of three concepts that, by crossing intellectual boundaries, opened new avenues for people to think about the material possibilities for, and limits on, human action in the modern world. Fredrik Albritton Jonsson of the University of Chicago, an expert on eighteenth and nineteenth century British environmental history, the history of science, and political economy, will sketch out the origins of “relative scarcity,” a crucially important but later oversimplified concept that laid the basis for the theory of unlimited resource abundance known today as cornucopianism. Mark Fiege, an environmental historian at Colorado State University and a specialist in United States history, will examine definitions of improvement overlooked or lost in the modernist drive to accumulate unlimited wealth and power. An architectural historian at the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel Barber, will focus on early solar housing designs to relate the origins of the energy future, a concept born of resource uncertainties in the aftermath of the Second World War. Together, these papers will survey a range of thought directed at environmental and energetic problems, potentials, and limits as understood by various people in the modern world from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Paul Warde, a reader in early modern European history at the University of East Anglia and a leading expert on energy, environment, and resource use, will chair the session and will moderate a discussion involving the presenters and the audience.
Water, Power and Society: a Comparative History of Rivers and Lakes in Asia Panel 6-B: Quebec Chair: Jayeeta Sharma, University of Toronto Commenter: James Scott, Yale University Panelists: Iftekhar Iqbal, University of Dhaka From Ganga to Brahmaputra: Imperial Shift in Eastern India, 1770-1905 Arupjyoti Saikia, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati The Modern Fate of Brahmaputra Ling Zhang, Boston College Whose Water, Whose Sand, and Whose Land? The Yellow River and the Local Environmental History of Lankao County (12th-20th centuries) Mark Sokolsky, Ohio State University Colonization and Environmental Change in the Russian Far East: The Case of Lake Khanka Abstract: This panel presents early efforts in pursuing a collaborative project about a comparative environmental history of three Asian rivers: the Brahmaputra, the Ganga, and the Yellow River. Based on our fundamental agreement that a river constructs and dominates its own regime, the three papers included here intend to unfold the historical processes in which these rivers’ similarities and differences are constituted, amplified, deconstructed, and even reversed, especially in terms of their complex relationships with humans and other species in larger ecosystems. They also seek to promote methodological conversations on how environmental history speaks for and/or is formed by the subjectivity of a natural entity like a river. Iftekhar Iqbal and Arupjyoti Saikia’s papers explore the British Empire’s environmental governance in relation to rivers, and question how the transformation in cultural representations of the rivers endowed the rivers with different political meanings, and further reshaped the political, economic, territorial, and ecological landscapes across South Asia. Ling Zhang, from a different perspective, argues that the materiality of a river played a central role in forming the power structure among various social strata, and set the rhythm of socio-economic practices in its riverine society. We seek to explore the value of comparative studies from these different approaches toward a general common goal, that is, to articulate the historical interactions between a river and the power structure of its surrounding human society as an endless, ever ongoing process of contestations and negotiations between humans and nature. It is hoped that the panel would also initiate a new trans-regional turn in Asian environmental history.
A Highway Runs Through It: Highways and the Environment Panel 6-C: British Columbia Chair: H. V. Nelles, McMaster University Commenter: Louise Dyble, Michigan Technological University Panelists: Christopher Wells, Macalester College Road Ecology: Exploring the Environmental Consequences of Accelerating Road Construction in the Interwar U.S. Danielle Robinson, McMaster University ‘What kind of city do we want to be?': Expressway Debates in Vancouver, British Columbia c. 1954-1973 Ben Bradley, Queen's University Can’t See the Forestry for the Trees: Hiding Logging from Motorists in British Columbia’s Provincial Parks, 1940-1970 Kyle Shelton, University of Texas at Austin The Highest and Best Use?: Transportation Politics and the Urban Environment in Houston, Texas Abstract: The study of highways has enjoyed a recent resurgence fuelled by historians in both the United States and Canada. The papers in this panel represent four perspectives from this emerging work, exploring the intertwining environmental, political, economic and social debates over the impact of highways in urban, suburban and rural regions on both sides of the border. Debates over the necessity, construction and use of highways reflected broader questions about the importance of autocentric infrastructure and the decision-making processes surrounding it. Disagreements about the environmental impact of highways revealed broader divisions surrounding the prioritization of environmental protection and preservation in transportation planning. In this way, debates over highways often evolved into broader-based challenges to rectify imbalances in the existing political and social status quo and calls for reform to planning procedures, environment assessments and public consultation processes. As channels of mobility, highways facilitated increased connectivity. As concrete structures, they often divided neighborhoods, cut through “natural” landscapes, and created both real and imagined boundaries. At the heart of critics’ unease over planned and existing routes were numerous concerns about the environmental ramifications, including air and noise pollution, loss of public park land, and the disruption or loss of delicate ecosystems and habitats. Kyle Shelton and Danielle Robinson consider the ways environmental politics influenced the outcomes of urban road debates in Houston and Vancouver. Chris Wells and Ben Bradley consider how new perspectives and uses for roadways in the U.S. and rural British Columbia changed the environments through which they ran.
Coping with Wild Predators— About Perception and Interaction Panel 6-D: Library Chair: Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Commenter: Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Panelists: Julien Alleau, NINA, Norway Development of wolf human relationships during 400 years in the French Alps (16th to 19th centuries) Jana Sprenger, Goettingen University “Roaming through the villages” – The Persecution and Extirpation of Wolves in Germany in the 18th and 19th Centuries Sharon Adams, The University of Texas at Austin The Spots that Divide: Jaguars, People and Negotiation of the Borderlands Michaela Thompson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Shark Summers: Predators and People in 21st Century New England Abstract: Coping with wild terrestrial and marine predators has always played a major role in the interaction of man and animals. Their paths have crossed frequently throughout history. Large predators are not only held responsible for losses of domestic livestock; they are also considered to be a threat for human life itself. The animals serve as symbols for a wide variety of ideas. They have inspired thoughts and imaginations, and have found their way into stories and legends unlike any other wild animal. Based on three case studies the panel focuses on relationships between humans and different beasts of prey. The talks concentrate on perceptions of predatory species along with their actual interactions with humans in several parts of the world. We are looking at jaguars in the Mexican-American borderlands, wolves in Germany, and sharks in marine environments. Historical documents like scientific reports, travel accounts, literature and killing statistics reflect the contemporary narratives of the respective animals as well as reveal information about the actual interactions including research, livestock killing, hunting, persecution, and reintroduction/return. In governmental policy-making, for instance, predator control has often been an important legitimizing political tool. It becomes apparent that predator narratives show various similarities in Europe and North America, but are also dependent on different groups like naturalists, hunters, farmers, and indigenous people. Analyzing discourses about predators over a longer time period also demonstrates possible shifting of predominant perceptions and therefore societal changes in the valuation of nature.
"Fishing Just gets in the Blood": Fishing, Conservation and the Working Class Panel 6-E: Algonquin Chair: Frank Zelko, University of Vermont Commenter: David Arnold, Columbia Basin College Panelists: Charles Closmann, University of North Florida "Just Leave Us Alone to Fish": Shad Fishing and Conservation Policy along Florida's St. Johns River, 1900 to 1990 Steven Beda, University of Washington "Our Forests, Our Fish": Timber Workers, Fishing, and the Battle for Sustained Yield Forestry, 1920-1950 Evan Bennett, Florida Atlantic University Whose Fish?: Race, Class and Nationalism in Florida's Saltwater Fisheries Abstract: Recently, scholars have explored how working class perceptions of nature have shaped environmental policy. A growing part of this field concerns fishing, and especially the way that commercial fishermen have fought to maintain their livelihoods in the face of regulations, pollution, and competition from recreational anglers. In many cases, commercial fishermen have also articulated a conservation agenda that differs from that of state officials and other powerful interests. In all cases, working class visions of conservation have revealed relations of power; in particular, who has the power to define conservation policies. This panel focuses on working class conservation among fishermen. Drawing especially upon oral histories, these papers emphasize the way that the experience of working class people influenced the way these same people thought about the natural world. Two papers deal with commercial fishermen in riverine environments: the first explores attempts by shad fishermen along Florida’s St. Johns River to protect a dying profession during the mid-20th century, while the second concerns competition between fishermen and indigenous people in Australia’s Gippsland Lakes in the 19th century. Two other papers examine the views of workers toward sports fishing. One concerns timber workers in Oregon, and their attitudes towards salmon fishing and sustainable forestry from the 1920s to the 50s. The other examines the relationship between notions of masculinity and sports fishing for tarpon along the Florida coast. In all cases, notions of power, or powerlessness, influenced the thoughts and actions of the people our panelists are writing about.
States of the Environment: Technogovernance in the Age of Regulation Panel 6-F: York Comments: Karl Brooks, Environmental Protection Agency Panelists: Karen Hoffman, University of Puerto Rico Democracy and Power in the Regulation of Toxic Pollutants in the United States Jongmin Lee, Virginia Tech/ Linda Hall Library Environmental Effects of a Pollution Control Technology: Scrubbers Demonstration and Sludge Disposal at the EPA Jay Turner, Wellesley College Recycling Lead: Lead-Acid Batteries and the Paradoxes of the Environmental Regulatory State Jody Roberts, Chemical Heritage Foundation From Inception to Reform: An Oral History of the Toxic Substances Control Act Abstract: The rise of environmentalism not only addressed the crisis of the environment, but shaped technoscientific and managerial approaches to the environment. While environmentalists blamed technology and the government for the cause of pollution, they also accepted best available technology and federal regulations as ways to pressure the industry. As a new and the biggest federal regulatory unit, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performed various roles from pollution research to enforcement to public engagement. Were scientists and engineers at the EPA different from their peers in academia and industry in understanding environmental issues? Were EPA’s regulators different from other federal and state regulators? This panel lays out the full regulatory landscape of the 1970s and covers major environmental laws: CAA, CWA, TSCA, & Superfund. Hofmann finds public participation and citizen suits crucial in the decision making process of regulation. Lee argues that an engineering approach contributed to the rise of control technology and economic incentives in smokestack emissions regulation. Turner uses lead-acid battery industry history to understand the consequences of seemingly “environmental success.” Roberts confirms lack of a clear mandate in the provisions of TSCA and contrast different regulatory cultures at environmental laws and congressional committees. Together, the panel shows the formation of EPA’s technoscience and governance by highlighting the confluence of knowledge, power, and the environment.
Desert Debates: Geology, Climate Change, and Environmental Engineering in the Nineteenth Century Panel 6-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Kristine C. Harper, Florida State University Commenter: Kristine C. Harper, Florida State University Panelists: Erik Altenbernd, UC Irvine Mapping the Desert Sublime: Cartographic Aesthetics, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Advent of the Modern American Desert Lawrence Culver, Utah State University / Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society Debating Climate and Climate Change in Nineteenth-Century America Philipp Lehmann, Harvard University The Threat of the Desert: European Debates on Climate Change in the Late Nineteenth Century Abstract: The current debate on global warming has already inspired a close historical examination of anthropogenic actions and their effects on the environment. So far, the historical dimension of ideas on environmental change has received far less attention. This panel will explore notions of aridity, climate change, and desertification in the nineteenth century. It attempts to go beyond the grand narrative of the history of concerns about global warming that draws a direct line from Svante Arrhenius’ findings on the role of carbon dioxide to modern models of the greenhouse effect. All three papers in the panel explore ideas and perceptions of extreme environments with a particular focus on deserts – whether as landscapes to be defined by popular or scientific discourse or as places for the formulation of climatological theories and grand engineering visions. How did the perception of deserts change and evolve with colonial expansion? What was the political and economic context for the development of academic climatology? And how did scholarly theories and popular ideas on growing deserts and climate change relate and interact with each other? The debates in the nineteenth century revolved around deforestation, sand erosion, and sunspots rather than the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Yet, in their anxieties over largescale climatological and environmental degradation, they often appeared strikingly similar to our contemporary concerns. With a focus on deserts from North America to North Africa, this panel will offer comparative perspectives across continents, aiming to open a wider debate on the origins and precedents of our current debates on desertification and global warming.
New Perspectives on U.S. Agriculture Panel 6-H: New Brunswick Chair: Boyd Cothran, York University Panelists: Emily Pawley, Dickinson College Landscapes of time: Tracking Seasonal and Climatic time in American Agriculture, 1790-1860 Albert Way, Kennesaw State University Making Hay: Agrostrology and the Creation of a Modern Southern Landscape Michael Winslow, University of Iowa On American Soil: Soil Surveys, Hygiene, and the Rationalization of Dirt Jane Hutton, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Dept. of Landscape Architecture Charismatic mega-flora: changing perceptions and proposals for kudzu Abstract: New Panel – No Abstract
Zhaawni-binesi and the Chenail Ecarté lands: Politics, Ecology, and Biography on the lower Great Lakes in the early nineteenth century Panel 6-I: Prince Edward Island Commenter: Dean Jacobs, Walpole Island Heritage Centre - Nindawaabjig Panelists: Victor Lytwyn, Independent Consultant “The first fork on the south side”: Landscapes of Imagination and Cartographic Misrepresentations in Southwestern Ontario Treaties Rick Fehr, Western University Footpaths, Indian fields and old orchards in Chenail Ecarté: Chippewa land use at the turn of the nineteenth century. Jared MacBeth, Walpole Island Heritage Centre – Nindawaabjig; Summer SandsMacBeth, Bkejwanong First Nation Public Library “Chief of this River:” A Portrait of Zhaawni-binesi - a leader of the Anishinaabeg of Chenail Ecarté. Abstract: At the turn of the eighteenth century the lower Great Lakes region developed as a frontier land between settlers loyal to the Crown, those whose loyalties were with the fledgling United States, and the Indigenous nations who struggled to maintain their sovereignty in the midst of this geopolitical turmoil. This panel will offer three interconnected perspectives into the Chenail Ecarté lands and a little known Anishinaabe chief, Zhaawni-binesi “Southern Bird.” Individually, the papers explore the cartographic, ecological, genealogical and political histories of the Chippewa and the Chenail Ecarté lands. Euro-Canadian settlement in the region is often portrayed as a simple sale of land. Yet, the Chenail Ecarté land was actually set aside as a reserve for the Chippewa, Potawatomi, Odawa, Shawnee and allied nations from the Ohio river valley. Ultimately, the story of the Chenail Ecarté and Zhaawni-binesi offers a compelling narrative of the lower Great Lakes at the turn of the century and the War of 1812. On one level, the account of Zhaawni-binesi and the Chenail Ecarté detail a confluence of mixed communities (Chippewa, Odawa, British, Scottish, French, and American). But on another level, the story of Zhaawni-binesi offers a glimpse into the shifting patterns of land and political power from traditional Anishinaabe governance to Imperial British rule.
Nature in Transit: How Specimens Travel Through Social, Geographic, and Epistemic Space Panel 6-J: Newfoundland Chair: Michelle Murphy, University of Chicago Panelists: Nancy Jacobs, Brown University Intercontinental Migration? The Movement of Bird Specimens and Names from Africa to Europe Shira Shmu'ely, MIT From Poison to Anesthetic: Curare's Trans-Atlantic Journey and the Question of Animal Pain Lukas Rieppel, Northwestern University Where was the Brontosaurus Discovered? Gordon McOuat, University of King's College From Gifts to Commodities: Exchanging specimens, types and "duplicates" between museums Abstract: This panel brings together four papers that discuss the way different kinds of natural history specimens moved through space at particular times in the past. Specimens offer a particularly instructive lens through which to explore the various ways that knowledge and objects travel, mutually constituting each other along the way. Objects not only become specimens by traveling through space but they are also transformed in the process. Thus, vertebrate fossils must be excavated and brought into a museum, where the remaining rock matrix is laboriously prepared with an eye to bringing certain elements of a specimen into relief. Similarly, flying, singing birds are eviscerated, stuffed with cotton, then stored in a drawer, whereas insects are carefully pinned so as to dry in a desirable pose. But we intervene in more subtle ways too. Specimens are labeled to commemorate their origins but also solidify their place in a new a formalized classification system, a new epistemic environment. We seek to develop the notion of “movement” as both a concrete historical event and a useful metaphor to help us think through the significance of specimens. Which features of a natural object promote or constrain its movement through social, geographic, and epistemic space? And how does an object’s movement cause it to be re-shaped, re-configured, and re-imagined? Finally, how are social bonds and the power relationships negotiated through interactions around mobile specimens?
Saturday, April 6 Concurrent Session 7 8:30-10:00 AM Bordering on Relevance: Watersheds in Canada-U.S. Transnational History Panel 7-A: Salon A Chair: Lynne Heasley, Western Michigan University Commenter: Lynne Heasley, Western Michigan University Panelists: Nancy Langston, University of Wisconsin-Madison Climate Change and History in the Lake Superior Watershed Joseph Taylor, Simon Fraser University Lines that Don’t Divide: Chemicals, Animals, and Borders in the Salish Sea Noah Hall, Wayne State University The Boundary Waters Treaty and the Historical Development of Transboundary Environmental Law in North America Daniel Macfarlane, Carleton University/Michigan State University “A Completely Man-Made and Artificial Cataract”: The 1950 Niagara Treaty and the Transnational Manipulation of Niagara Falls Abstract: The border between Canada and the United States contains over 20% of the world’s freshwater and ecologically and economically vital rivers and lakes. The U.S. and Canada are also each country’s largest trading partner, making the border a critical diplomatic space for negotiating commerce and security. Yet the history of borers watersheds has received little historical attention relative to their importance. The overarching themes of this panel will follow the struggle to sustainably share, manage, and care for waters and ecosystems at the northern North American border. This panel directly engages the themes of ASEH 2013, “Confluences, Crossings, and Power,” which calls attention to flows and boundary-crossings while also highlighting the role of power in shaping movements and their direction. Indeed, a major theme for this panel is the extent to which the Canadian/American border matters. The four papers in this panel all have a 20th century focus, though they are geographically spread across the continent, and reflect different methodological approaches. Reflecting the transnational nature of the panel, the papers come from scholars at both Canadian and American universities. The panel will be chaired by Lynne Heasley (Western Michigan).
Environmental History in the Streets: Engaging and Educating the Public about their Urban World Roundtable 7-B: Quebec Moderator: Aaron Shapiro, Auburn University Participants: Vera Candiani, Princeton University Kip Curtis, Eckerd College Joanna Dean, Carleton University Danie Greenwell, Drexel University Thomas Peace, SSHRC Fellow, Dartmouth College Paula Wang, Sidwell Friends School Abstract: In 2008, the world population reached a major milestone when half of all humans lived in urban areas; in 2050, about seventy percent of people will live in or around cities. Environmental historians and environmentalists need to educate the urban public about the problems of living in close proximity. The participants of this roundtable engage various groups in constructing initiatives on how to live sustainably in the city. Participants include those who work with urban agriculture, community gardens, urban forestry, and local streams, and those who work with students and the community in studying suburban transformation and the urban built environment. They represent a range of institutional affiliations, and have collaborated with a variety of organizations, groups, and agencies in forming their environmental initiatives. The roundtable will examine the role of environmental history in teaching the public about why their cities evolved the way they did, and how this knowledge can be used to better urban environs. Participants will begin with questions about forming fruitful partnerships as well as the best methods of reaching the general public, and the conversation will evolve from there. It will draw audience members who work in all sectors, not just in secondary or post-secondary education. With such a diverse panel of discussants who collaborate with the public from Ottawa, Ontario to St. Petersburg, Florida, the ASEH Education Committee hopes to spur discussion about bringing environmental history and environmentalism outside the walls of academia and into the streets.
Indigenous post/Colonial Ways of Knowing Nature Panel 7-C: British Columbia Commenter: Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma Panelists: Cynthia Radding, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Territoriality and techniques of landscape production in Northern New Spain Kristin Huffine, Northern Illinois University Indigenous Knowledge at the Margins of Empire: The Secret History of Indian Informants to Pedro de Montenegro's Materia médica misionera Marco Aurelio Almazán, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social - Mexico Local Woodlots at the National Crossroads: Coflicts over Forests in Mountain Villages of the Nevado de Toluca during the Mexican Porfiriato (1876-1910) Chris Boyer, University of Illinois at Chicago Anthropologists, Native Communities, and the Politics of Development in TwentiethCentury Mexico Abstract: This comparative panel brings together scholars of the native experience in Latin American environmental history in both colonial and modern contexts. Presentations focus on Mexico and Paraguay in order to show how native people living under colonialism and postcolonialism understood and used their natural resources even as outside actors from Jesuits to modern anthropologists tried to advance counter agendas of their own. In some instances, outsiders sought access to native knowledge. In the northern reaches colonial Mexico, native people and settlers clashed over the meaning of territory and possession, while in Paraguay colonial scientists made use of native knowledge while simultaneously denigrating indigenous understandings. The conflict between native and non-native ways of knowing nature changed valence in the post-colonial era, when commercialization of “natural resources” raised new issues. During the nineteenth-century dictatorship of modernizer Porfirio Díaz, pro-business laws and galloping demand for wood fueled the conflict between native people and logging companies in the Nevado de Toluca mountain not far from Mexico City. By the twentieth century, the state had not lost its developmentalist orientation but sought to use natural resource extraction as a means of assimilating native people and funding the expansion of services in native communities. This panel provides a temporally and geographically diverse look at how the relationship between native people, outsiders, and environmental knowledge has changed over the long term.
Commodities Embodied: We are what we make, we are what we eat Panel 7-D: Library Chair: Kendra Smith-Howard, State University of New York, Albany Panelists: Tom Finger, University of Virginia The Metaphysics of Wheat: Ecology, Energy, and the Origins of the Western Industrial Diet Tom Okie, Bowdoin College Georgia Fuzz: Weather, Workers, and the World's Peach Paradise Kate Brown, University of Maryland Baltimore County Plutonium's Progress Bart Elmore, University of California Berkeley From Silos to Stomachs: Coca-Cola, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, and the Obesity Epidemic of the Late Twentieth Century Abstract: What humans produce, whether it be peaches, wheat, soft drinks, or atomic bombs, determines how they organize daily life, political and social institutions, and also determines the shape and form human bodies take. Historians often leave out this endpoint, the bodies themselves, in histories of the commodity chain. We think this is so because the commodities become invisible as they enter bodies so that only the material “chain” itself remains visible. The papers of this panel will explore the commodity chain as it crosses the divide from natural environments to bodily environments. We investigate both commodities that physically enter our bodies through ingestion (""we are what we eat""), as well as commodities that interact with our bodies through contact (""we are what we make""). We are interested in the bidirectional forces that exist between commodities and human beings, both the ways in which the human physique changes in response to dynamic commodity flows as well as the ways in which physiological concerns shape the political and cultural institutions that govern commodity trading. In short, collectively in this panel we offer a new model for commodity flow analysis that shows how macroeconomic policies alter microscopic biological systems, and how, in turn, biochemical forces drive largescale political and economic trends.
Reimagining the North Atlantic: Borders and Boundaries Panel 7-E: Algonquin Chair: Brian Payne, Bridgewater State University Commenter: Richard Judd, University of Maine William Parenteau, University of New Brunswick Fighting the Tide: Net Fishers, Anglers and the Politics of Resource Management in the Canadian Atlantic Salmon Fishery, 1867-1914 Suzanne Morton, McGill University Putting Lines on the Water: Mapping Lobster Districts, 1873-1930 Robert Gee, University of Maine ‘A Vile Calumny’: Local Fisheries, International Waters, and Scientific and Institutional Theories and Practices at Grand Manan Abstract: The inshore marine fisheries of the North Atlantic Coast present a number of unique challenges for the environmental historian. This panel uses the salmon, lobster, and the herring fisheries in Canadian Atlantic waters to highlight new approaches to this emerging branch of environmental history. The second half of the nineteenth century brought controversies in almost every facet of North Atlantic fishing as proponents of scientific conservation challenged traditional rights and defended the use of modern fishing technologies. Scientific fisheries management promoted a new and unfamiliar relationship to place and fish, and it opened the door for a regulatory regime consonant with new capital-intensive fishing equipment and international markets – or, in the case of salmon, secured place in the fishery for an international sport-fishing fraternity. However, as these papers demonstrate, traditional ways of fishing persisted through this period. Communities of islanders, harbor-based lobster catchers, and indigenous peoples possessed intimate ecological understandings of the marine environment, and they used this work-based knowledge to defend customary rights and traditional uses of the marine environment. Reimagining the North Atlantic in the late nineteenth century was a difficult process for fishers and fisheries managers alike. These three papers take into account not only the “top down” process of imposing new scientific regimes, but also the “bottom up” resistance that in many cases shaped the dialogue over who owned the fish and how they were to be harvested.
Genealogies of Risk: Perspectives on the construction of environmental risk in North America, Europe and Asia Panel 7-F: York Chair: Sam Temple, University of Oklahoma Panelists: Sam Temple, University of Oklahoma Changes in the Air: Climatic engineering and environmental risk in nineteenthcentury France and the French empire Brian Leech, University of Wisconsin-Madison Cracking Plaster and Rattling Windows: How the Anaconda Company and Butte, Montana Residents Understood the Risk of Blasting Damage from Open-Pit Mining Alexander Hall, University of Manchester, UK Becoming experts in adversity: the Meteorological Office and severe weather forecasts in post-war Britain Kathryn Ottaway, Indiana University Invisible risks of herb collecting in Tibet’s sacred mountains and lakes Abstract: This panel offers new perspectives on the concept of risk in recent environmental history. Presentations on mining in Montana, weather forecasting in Great Britain, climatic engineering in France and medicinal herb gathering in Tibet offer a comparative look at the historical construction of environmental risk and its varying political, cultural and economic implications. Each examines how risk is perceived, cataloged, managed and mobilized at their particular site. Their focus ranges from the roles of bureaucratic institutions, scientific expertise, local knowledge and religious beliefs to industrial regimes, state projects, and global networks. In addition to offering empirical case studies of the construction of environmental risk, the panel also reflects on the broader significance of risk as both an object and method of inquiry in environmental history, as well as some of particular archival, methodological and theoretical challenges it poses. Often emerging from unexpected confluences, flows and exchanges, the construction of environmental risk promises to be an intriguing topic for the 2013 ASEH conference in Toronto.
The Nineteenth-Century Plantations at the Intersection of Economy, Environment, and Culture Panel 7-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Andrew Isenberg, Temple University Commenter: Mart Stewart, Western Washington University Panelists: Lawrence Kessler, Temple University Raising Cane: Ecology, Economy, and the Ascendance of Hawaiian Sugarcane Plantations, 1835-1876 Philip Herrington, University of Virginia Continental Divide: “Farming” and “Planting” in the United States, 1820-1860 Erin Mauldin, Georgetown University The Ecology of Emancipation in the Black Belt of Alabama, 1850-1880 Casey Cater, Georgia State University (Re)making Southern Land and Waterscapes Abstract: This panel considers the environmental history of three nineteenth-century plantation systems. In keeping with the theme of this year’s conference, the panel explores the role of plantations within the context of broader economies and cultures. The plantation is the site where geographically dispersed forces converge to exert power over the environment and people who labor upon it. It sits at the confluence of the non-human environment and human society, where natural resources, labor, and capital meet, and plants transform into commodities. The cotton plantations of the Alabama Black Belt saw major ecological change after the Civil War. Erin Mauldin argues that on these plantations emancipation led to increased pressure to produce cotton at the expense of the local environment. Plantation societies, however, were not simply forced into dependency by larger markets. Lawrence Kessler examines how latenineteenth-century Hawaiian sugarcane planters exerted agency in seeking greater economic integration between Hawai’i and the United States, and the impact economic integration had on Hawaiian ecosystems. Adding the crucial factor that plantations are cultural as well as material entities, Philip Herrington explores the ways mid-nineteenth-century Americans thought about plantations. Herrington shows that the idea of “planting” was fraught with moral implications stemming from the agricultural reform movement. Collectively, these papers locate plantations at the center of historic change. They demonstrate the function of plantations as nodes in economic, environmental, and cultural networks.
Crossing Boundaries, Creating Borders: Expertise, Environmental Control, and State Projects in the Middle East Panel 7-H: New Brunswick Chair: Karl Appuhn, New York University Panelists: Samuel Dolbee, New York University State, Disease, and Land in Late Ottoman Aleppo, 1858-1914 Elizabeth Williams, Georgetown University Mapping, Machines, and Mouchaa: Drawing the Cadastre in French Mandate Syria Fredrik Meiton, New York University Like Nature Intented It: Hydroelectricity on the River Jordan Abstract: The panel seeks to probe how boundaries - technical, epistemological, bodily, class, imperial, colonial, and national - were constituted and reconfigured in the course of large scale development projects in the Middle East and North Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. How did environmental control projects function as part of particular visions of development? What role did large-scale technological undertakings play in constituting people’s relations with each other and with non-humans? How were notions of human and nature reconfigured within these political forms? In answering these questions, we explore people’s relationship to nature and the ways in which the practical effects of development projects fit with particular visions of material, economic, and political development.
Rethinking Human Action: Aldo Leopold’s Multidisciplinary Synthesis Panel 7-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Susan Flader, University of Missouri Commenter: Susan Flader, University of Missouri Panelists: Jeremy Schmidt, Post-doctoral Fellow Harvard University Leopold’s Classification of Things: Ecology, Nominalism and Obligation(s) John Hausdoerffer, Western State Colorado University 'A Change in the Mental Eye': Aldo Leopold, Vandana Shiva, and Ecological Revolutions in Citizenship Qi Feng Lin, McGill University, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and School of Environment Leopold and the Emergence of Cybernetic and Complex Systems Abstract: One of the legacies of the Enlightenment is the separation of academic study into distinct fields, with an emphasis on reductionist, rational inquiry. This has invigorated disciplinary fields of study—the sciences, economics, law, governance, and politics—resulting in a major transformation of human society. This same approach has come to characterize the study of the increase in human population and consumption and degradation of the biophysical environment. The work and writings of Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) represent a critique of the Enlightenment mentality from the then-relatively new field of ecology. Leopold analyzed and criticized the pillars of modernity—in particular, modern economics, scientific reductionism, and governance structures. Above all, Leopold questioned the perpetual pursuit of progress through pure reasoning, the central tenet of the Enlightenment movement. Leopold drew upon a wide range of subjects in his critique of modernity, using not only the science of ecology but also ethics, history, and aesthetics, among others. This panel will focus on the interdisciplinary thinking of Aldo Leopold and how he used this interdisciplinarity to point out the shortcomings of existing structures of power, be they economic, democratic, or ontological. The first presentation asks whether Leopold's work could be traced to nominalism in terms of how things are classified, and examines how Leopold extends political and ethical considerations to communities of organisms in nature. The last two presentations argue that Leopold's work anticipated two intellectual movements which emerged after World War II: the Earth democracy and citizenship of Vandana Shiva in India, and the field of cybernetics, whose founders include Gregory Bateson.
Challenges in Understanding Remote Environments Panel 7-J: Newfoundland Chair: Colin Duncan, Queen's University Panelists: David Spanagel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Abstract Geometry Versus Physical Geography: Inscribing Invisible Political Boundaries Upon North America Antony Adler, University of Washington The Sea as Laboratory: The Transformation of Oceans into Scientific Space Gregory Good, American Institute of Physics Earth’s Cosmic Environment: Space Weather Stephen Andersen, Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development Global Success in Halting the Intangible Threat of Stratospheric Ozone Depletion Abstract: Fruitful places in which to examine overlap and tensions between environmental history and the history of science and technology reside in those situations where natural phenomena cannot be directly apprehended by human senses. The presenters in this session approach the question of how unsensed environments have substantially shaped our knowledge structures and political realities from three dramatically distinct perspectives. From his background in the history of American geology, Spanagel examines the technical, diplomatic, theoretical, and practical complications of boundary survey work during the decades when the frontier between Canada and the United States was transformed from a highly contested zone prone to outbreaks of armed aggression to become the world’s longest unfortified international border. Good builds upon his previous studies of geomagnetism in the history of physics to explore how our planet’s natural exposure to fluctuations in the surrounding electromagnetic field became at once detectable and important as soon as technologies were developed that are particularly vulnerable to those fluctuations. Andersen, a former Director of Strategic Climate Projects at the EPA and, before that, a leader in the implementation of the landmark Montreal Protocol, reflects upon the world’s experience of instrumentally perceiving the Antarctic ozone hole, and its lessons for climate science.
Saturday, April 6 Concurrent Session 8 10:30-12:00 PM The Environment: A History Panel 8-A: Salon A Chair: Libby Robin, Australia National Univeristy Panelists: Paul Warde, University of East Anglia, UK Environment before THE Environment, c.1850-1940 Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden Turning Ecology into Environment through Expertise: The Critical Post-War Moment Libby Robin, Australian National University Globalizing the Environment David Pena-Guzman, Emory University Genealogies of Inner and Outer Nature: On the Evolution of the Concept 'Environment' Abstract: The Environment: A History is the working title of a new book in the Expertise for the Future project, convened by Libby Robin, Sverker Sörlin and Paul Warde. Our focus is on the mid-20th C reinvention of the idea of the environment. Supported by the new global institutions of science, technology and environment emerging under the auspices of UNESCO and global-scale research programs created by the International Geophysical Year (1957-58), the ‘environment’ emerged from its narrow use in ecology to become a major policy focus. Mathematical prediction, supported by the IT revolution, created a thirst for new sorts of environmental expertise, and shaped a new global imagination. These in turn supported the emerging 21st visions for environmental futures in the epoch of the Anthropocene. Building on the anthology of documents, <<The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change>> (Yale UP, forthcoming 2013), the new book will offer a narrative history of the concept of environment as a tool for and a product of the Great Acceleration of global change. Our panel will, in turn, discuss the history of three key concepts that shape what constitutes The Environment today: prediction, expertise and globalization. We aim to keep presentations short to allow generous time for feedback, questions and discussion of the presentations and the project as a whole.
Natural Disasters and Migration: Explorations into a new Field of Research Panel 8-B: Quebec Chair: Uwe Luebken, Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich, Germany Panelists: ď‚ˇ Randall Dills, University of Louisville Attachment to Place: Post-Flood Settlement and Relocation in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1824-1862 ď‚ˇ Giacomo Parrinello, University of Siena Post-Disaster Displacements and Migrations: the 1908 Messina Earthquake and the 1968 Belice Earthquake ď‚ˇ Rebecca Hoffman, Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich Natural Disasters and Migration in Micronesian History Abstract: Almost every natural disaster triggers large movements of people. Potential victims are evacuated before a catastrophe is expected to happen; they flee during the course of a disastrous event, and quite often they never come back. When settlements are frequently exposed to natural hazards, state authorities tend to relocate houses, villages, or entire towns, with or without consent of those relocated. While the literature on the history of natural disasters has been growing fast over the last two decades, we still know very little about the relationship between extreme natural events and the various forms of (forced) mobility and migration they can create. All three papers of this panel address these questions. The first paper examines resettlement schemes and resistance against those plans in the aftermath of the St. Petersburg Flood of 1824. Focusing on the settlement at Galley Harbor on Vasilevskii Island in the river Neva the paper shows the tension between the governance and the personal experience of natural disasters, in particular the conflict between attachment to place and modernization plans of the authorities. The second paper in this panel compares the population displacements caused by two Sicilian earthquakes in 1908 and in 1968. After both events thousands of earthquake victims fled the affected regions for other parts of the country or even went abroad, encouraged and directed by the government. The third paper will provide an anthropological and historical analysis of natural disasters and migration in Micronesian history from pre-colonial times to the current problems of global warming and sea level rise.
Controlling Animals? Human and Animal Agency in North America Panel 8-C: British Columbia Chair: Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Panelists: Susan Nance, University of Guelph Does Elephant Experience Matter to History? Jessica Wang, University of British Columbia Dogs, Humans, and 'the Uses of the Streets': Mad Dog Panics in New York City, 1840-1920 Jennifer Bonnell, University of Guelph Negotiating Protections for Honey Bee Health in Twentieth-Century Ontario Tina Adcock, University of British Columbia & Rutgers University "One must know the wild animals as a mother knows her child": Strategies of Control in Fur Trapping Discourses Abstract: This panel pursues a central concern in environmental and animal historiography: power and agency in human-animal relations. Panellists focus upon diverse species, times, and places, but converge on several points. Neither humans nor animals could claim control over their mutual transactions; the agency of both was constrained or modified by quotidian and structural circumstances. By questioning and displacing the necessary dominance of humans, panellists’ analyses easily crisscross the species divide, detailing histories in which human and animal lives are entangled in particular material and discursive ways and can act upon each other with equal, if different force. Papers also cross and query related divides between wild and domestic animals and natural and man-made environments. Studying escalating violence among American circus elephants, Susan Nance concludes that these nonhumans resisted human attempts to modernize and thereby control them. Jessica Wang examines mad dog scares in New York City, elucidating the material and social consequences of shared human-nonhuman experience there. Whether people chased dogs or vice versa, such actions reflected ongoing multispecies dramas of power and control. Jennifer Bonnell describes the human management of Ontario honey bees’ health and behaviour. Because honey bees eluded human control by freely foraging, people negotiated changes in the bees’ socio-ecological landscapes to protect them from harm. Tina Adcock considers ideas of control and power within fur trapping literature. Trappers controlled neither animals nor their environments, but could compensate by gathering intimate, local environmental knowledge, a process which saw trappers operating at the cusp of the species divide.
Nature and Culture: Expressions of Power and Resistance Panel 8-D: Library Chair: Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin, Madison Panelists: Alix Heintzman, University of Vermont E is for Elephant: Jungle Animals in Late 19th Century British Children’s Literature Roger Levine, Sewanee: The University of the South Vermin Drives and the Black Peril: Popular Racism, Segregation, and Environmental History on the Witwatersrand, 1912 Tait Keller, Rhodes College Movie-Made Mountains: The Alps on the Silver Screen, 1920-1933 Erik Wallenberg, University of Vermont Bread and Puppet Theatre Abstract: This panel examines how cultural forms have been used to construct and critique ideas about nature and convey power or resistance. In our examinations of literature, film, theater, and popular news, we attempt to understand how images, discussions, and ideas about nature are crucial to the articulation of both power and resistance. We consider this question across a highly diverse set of time periods and geographic areas. The individual papers range from nineteenth century British children’s literature to radical puppet theater in 1960s America. This range will lend universality and depth to our consideration of nature, power, and culture. We draw on scholarship considering the relationship between nature and imperialism. Studies of environment and empire have illuminated the significance of power dynamics to environmental history, and have identified key themes like biological exchange, conservationism, scientific naturalism, and the rise of global industrialization. However, these studies have had a tendency to focus on the physical, ecological alterations that followed the extension of imperial power. The more cultural, popularly consumed interactions with nature are often treated as subsidiary issues. This panel aims to explore the role of culture in conveying ideas about nature, both as an aid to imperial domination and as resistance to that domination. We seek to bring attention to the complex power dynamics at work in cultural representations of nature, and to simultaneously identify nature as a significant site for the study of imperialism and resistance.
Thinking Outside the Box: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Graduate School Roundtable 8-E: Algonquin Moderator: Edmund Russell, University of Kansas Participants: Brandon Luedtke, University of Kansas Katelyn Parady, Arizona State University Jeff Brideau, University of Maryland Adam Fix, Canisius College Jessica Dunkin, Carleton University Craig Kinnear, University of Notre Dame Abstract: Collaborations between the natural and social sciences have become more common in recent years. The complexity and gravity of environmental problems caused by a globalized economy require the expertise of environmental historians, geographers, anthropologists, ecologists, and biologists. Concern about global warming and climate change has increased government and institutional support for these efforts and provided interdisciplinary scholars with new and invaluable sources of funding. Despite this, transcending disciplinary boundaries often proves difficult. Interdisciplinary scholars struggle to find “homes” in more traditional departments, worry their work will not be publishable in academic journals, and encounter the often frustrating challenges that accompany interdisciplinary research.
This roundtable addresses the challenges and benefits of collaborative research projects from a graduate student’s perspective. It brings together six young scholars who have spent a substantial portion of their graduate school careers working with colleagues in other fields . It includes three scholars from three different IGERT programs (the NSF’s flagship interdisciplinary training program), a historian who has worked with Northeast Consortium for Hydrologic Synthesis (a broadly interdisciplinary institute attempting to describe and quantify hydrologic change in the Northern United States), a NPS employee pursuing a degree in anthrozoology, and a historian teaching in a Human Kinetics department. It is hoped that this roundtable will highlight the importance of bridging disciplinary gaps early in one’s career, help faculty support graduate students involved in collaborative research, and connect graduate students involved in interdisciplinary research.
Fluvial Confluences Roundtable 8-F: York Moderator: Belinda Dodson, University of Western Ontario Participants: Joy Parr, University of Western Ontario Ellen Wohl, Colorado State University Karen O’Neill, Rutgers University Peter Ashmore, University of Western Ontario Abstract: Rivers function as physical, social and political systems. To better understand fluvial landscapes, scholars should admit this interface of human and physical systems and the epistemological challenges arising from it. Explanations of historical changes to river form and function, therefore, can profit from a combination of mechanistic analyses from river science, examination of the contingencies of history, the social science of river management, and meanings of rivers in changing societies. This combination of perspectives and knowledge has not previously been exploited in environmental histories and geographies of rivers. The invited participants from physical geography, geosciences, historical and political sociology, environmental history, and history of technology, will bring this combination of expertise from natural and social sciences to bear on the question of how we combine these disciplinary insights into an integrated understanding of river history and change. The session will engage environmental historians with the hydrological and geomorphological understanding of watershed processes, and the social science of river management. The result will be a confluence of ideas across national and disciplinary borders with a focus on the themes of land-water interactions, and power (physical, political, social). Discussion will be based partly on cases from the urban watersheds of the Great Lakes, and montane rivers of north-west North America, in the 20th century.
Reclaiming Nature: More Trouble with Other People's Wilderness Panel 8-G: Nova Scotia Commenter: Marcus Hall, University of Zurich Panelists: Emily Brock, University of South Carolina American Foresters, German Politics, and the Nature of Wildness: The Oberländer Excursions of 1935-36 Julie Hughes, Vassar College Princely Wilderness: Hunting Grounds and Wildlife Management in the Indian Princely States Darren Speece, Sidwell Friends School Managing the Redwood Wilderness: Protecting Old Growth, Rehabilitating Habitat, and Citizen Proposals in Humboldt County, CA, 1990-1999 Abstract: Reclaiming Nature” explores transnational and postcolonial land management regimes and their attending value systems. The papers consider times and places where the lines between humanity and ecosystems blurred, exposing previously unexamined ideologies embracing human intervention and overlapping human and nonhuman spheres. At the same time, those practices and beliefs were often undergirded by political and social ideology. In the princely states of India, ruling elites incorporated colonial forestry and wildlife management in ways grounded in regional traditions that recognized landscapes as locations of cohabitation. The Raj’s regimes did not separate humanity from the landscape or wildlife. Still, local peoples and wildlife struggled for survival. In Germany, Nazi foresters shared their efforts to create Dauerwald – a scheme to mimic ancient, pre-economic ""Aryan"" forests -- with visiting American foresters, including Aldo Leopold. Wider consideration5 of the potential of German management amongst American foresters was hindered by the increasingly negative perception of Nazi Germany. In California, activists during the redwood wars proposed bold management plans to protect old growth redwood, regulate private logging, and rebuild habitat. Seeing the landscape as a matrix of habitats and resources, they positively evaluated select human interventions. Activists were disappointed when much of the last remaining stands received protection along minimally invasive lines. As this panel clearly demonstrates, numerous historical peoples have perceived themselves as capable of augmenting wilderness—not by civilizing it, but by helping it become ideal. In short, wilderness can be and often has been thought of as an intensively managed place.
Embodying Nature: Food, Health, and Bodies in Environmental History Panel 8-H: New Brunswick Chair: Thomas Andrews, University of Colorado at Boulder Panelists: David Fouser, University of California, Irvine “Health, Comfort and all that Modernization Implies”: Bread, Medicine, and Britain’s Global Food Chain, 1846-1939
Gabriel Rosenberg, Yale University “How is Race Suicide to be Prevented When the Cholera gets Among the Hogs?”: Animal Bodies and Racial Knowledge in late 19th and early 20th century America
Sarah Sutton, Brandeis University Growing a nation of milk-drinkers: Dairy cattle, human bodies and the land in early 20th century New England Alexandra Rudnick, University of Wisconsin – Madison Diets and Landscapes of Deficiency: Pellagra, Sacks of Corn Meal, and Economic Underdevelopment in the American South, 1907-1940
Abstract: Eating is one of the most basic means through which human cultures interact with nature. Although environmental historians focus on relationships between nature and bodies, and landscapes of health and disease, the field has not fully explored how evolving food and agricultural landscapes alter perceptions of the human place in the natural world, as well as how industrial food production continues to transform material bodies, human and animal. The four papers on this panel explore the changing meanings of health and embodiment that accompanied the industrialization of agriculture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States and Great Britain. Buoyed by claims of more efficient food production and a “scientific” agriculture, experts in agricultural, medical, and nutritional sciences also announced that, by altering the nature of food production, they could improve animal and human bodies. What types of discussions about food, animals and nature did these new forms of expertise promote? What implications did they have for broader cultural assumptions about gender, race, and nation? And how did new agricultural landscapes cultivated by those experts transform interwoven fauna, food, and animal and human bodies? In seeking to answer these questions, this panel hopes to foster discussion about the place of food in environmental history, while raising broader questions about how historians might further integrate the history of the body into studies of agricultural production and environmental history.
Fish, Food and French Society in Three Environments Panel 8-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Richard Hoffmann, York University, Toronto Commenter: Richard Hoffmann, York University, Toronto Panelists: Abigail Dowling, University of California, Santa Barbara Fish as Social Capital: The Politics of Pisciculture under Countess Mahaut d’Artois, 1302-29 Bertie Mandelblatt, University of Toronto Feast to Famine: Colonization, Food Shortage and the French Adaptation of Amerindian Agriculture, Hunting and Fishing Practices in the Caribbean (1635-1675) Christopher Morris, University of Texas at Arlington Cleaning Fish and French from New Orleans and Surrounding Wetlands, 1790-1850 Abstract: This panel explores three episodes from French history, in which fish and other foods functioned as intermediaries between distinct natural environments and people of different status, caste, and ethnicity. In all three cases, social/political power was linked to human control over fish and other foods and the particular environments from which they were taken. Abigail Dowling will discuss how privileged access to natural sources of fish, the wherewithal to construct and maintain artificial ponds of fish, and the ability to spread fish upon castle dining tables reinforced the social status of the Countess Mahaut d’Artois, and by extension, other 14th century French manor lords. Bertie Mandelblatt will discuss French efforts to establish plantation colonies in the unfamiliar environment of the Caribbean, first by adopting under duress the foods and procurement methods of Amerindian peoples they displaced, and later by rejecting those foods and methods or else transforming them into aspects of French colonial culture. Christopher Morris will discuss French incorporation of Louisiana’s wetlands and fish into their colonial culture by the time of the Louisiana Purchase, and the subsequent efforts of Anglo-Americans to eradicate wetlands from the countryside, regulate and sanitize the commerce in fish in New Orleans, and control the non-white, non-Anglo laboring classes, free and enslaved, who caught, marketed, and consumed fish.
Conflicts over Resources and Space in Latin America Panel 8-J: Newfoundland Chair: John Soluri, Carnegie Mellon University Panelists: Adrian Zarrilli, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes - Argentina Deforestation and environmental crisis in modern Argentina Stephen Cote, Ohio University The Nature of Oil in the Chaco War, 1932-1935 Carmen Concepción, University of Puerto Rico Energy, Environment, and Development: The Debate in Puerto Rico surrounding the Use of Coal since the 1970s Olivia Tello, Mexican Federal Congress Irregular settlements in conservation land in Mexico City Abstract: New Panel – No Abstract
Saturday, April 6 Concurrent Session 9 1:30-3:00 PM The confluence of public good and private profit in twentieth-century hydroelectric power Panel 9-A: Salon A Chair: Paul Hirt, Arizona State University Panelists: Scott Shubitz, Florida State University Interest Group Politics and the Rise of the Modern Regulatory State: The Development of Water Power Policy and Debate, 1880-1912 Paul Hirt, Arizona State University The Neoliberal Myth of the Market: Why We Started Regulating Electric Power Systems and Who Benefited H. V. Nelles, McMaster University Hydro and After: The Canadian Experience with the Organization, Nationalization and Deregulation of Electrical Utilities Eve Vogel, University of Massachusetts – Amherst How Federal Columbia River Power Spread Conventional Economic Development in The Postwar Pacific Northwest Abstract: This group of papers explores the shifting interrelationships between the public sector and private sector in the evolving policies and institutions of hydropower-based electric systems in the United States and Canada.
Out from the Market's Shadow: Subsistence as the Primary Concern of Environmental History Roundtable 9-B: Quebec Moderator: James Murton, Nipissing University Participants: Clint Westman, University of Saskatchewan Joshua MacFadyen, University of Western Ontario Sarah Martin, University of Waterloo Nancy Pottery, Nipissing University Dokis, Nipissing University Jeremy St. Onge, Transition Town North Bay Abstract: For most of history, subsistence has been the norm for relationships between humankind and nature. The staggering variety of such relationships has only recently been replaced by the homogeneity of industrial market societies. This roundtable will examine the history and contemporary reality of subsistence relationships, from fishing to farming, from hunting to foraging, and their relationships to, and persistence alongside, local, national, and global markets. Why subsistence? Because from the local food movement to the defense of the right to hunt and fish by rural people and First Nations to peasant movements for land rights, subsistence is key to current political movements aimed at creating locally controlled societies and economies. Second, because subsistence scholarhip has the potential to pose a serious challenge to the hegemony of capitalist markets, since eliminating access to self-provisioning has been (and remains) perhaps capitalism’s central move. Emerging from a larger multi-university and interdisciplinary research project, this roundtable will feature historians, anthropologists, philosophers and development scholars reflecting on subsistence as a diverse set of ideas and practices with the the potential to assist the ongoing search for liveable futures and to reshape environmental history.
The Bicycle in Environmental History Panel 9-C: British Columbia Chair: Michael Egan, McMaster University Panelists: Richard Keller, University of Wisconsin—Madison Crossroads: The 1970s Bike Boom at the Intersection of Environment and Health Sarah McCullough, University of California—Davis The Origins of Mountain Biking and Battles over 'Appropriate' Experiences of Nature Brian Frehner, Oklahoma State University Grassroots Origins of BMX: Bicycles, Youth Culture, and Public Space Abstract: Bicycling and vélo-mobility are currently enjoying a renaissance as part of a larger swath of local movements toward more sustainable living. This is tied to local foods and communitybuilding ventures, but the bicycle's place in this movement is more complicated, spurred by an older trend toward health and fitness as well as more environmentally-friendly modes of alternative transportation. This session examines some of the key points of that resurgence—the rise of the fatter tired BMX and mountain bikes as new leisure activities and the concomitant 1970s energy crisis—and how these transformed the relationship between bicycles and landscape in both mountainous and suburban environments.
Environmental History Goes Digital: Latin America Roundtable 9-D: Library Participants: Lise Sedrez, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Angus Wright, CSUS Myrna Santiago, Saint Mary's College of California Andy Gerhart, Stanford University Renata Andrade, Universidade Católica de Brasília Abstract: This roundtable discusses new ways to produce and present Latin American environmental history. Beyond the traditional formats of essays and books, its members have each participated in new and sometimes experimental formats of digital scholarship – by producing annotated online bibliographies and articles reviews, investigating spatial history, developing interactive websites, etc. As Latin American environmental historians reach out to new audiences by embracing new technologies, they also highlight the singularities of their approach to the discipline. In fact, to analyze these singularities may enhance global understandings of environmental history. For instance, the production of bibliographies as a way to understand themes and gaps in the field, has also brought to light the different conceptual frameworks for works produced in Latin America and elsewhere. In another case, an oral history project to produce comparative narratives of environmental history of Latin America has resulted in a bilingual webpage that include an area of comments to put in contact Brazilian and Argentineans communities and their memories of urban floods, with some amazing responses. Spatial history projects show a new vision of fisheries in Chile, and a web-based non-profit organization engages with environmental history to propose new sustainable technologies for unprivileged communities in the Brazilian cerrado and the Amazon. As well as a scholarly discussion on content or sources, the emphasis for this roundtable is on what these new languages and technologies enable, and what new challenges they present, in shaping our production of knowledge about the history and the environment of Latin America.
Uneven Ground: Provincial Powers over the Environment and Economy in Canada Panel 9-E: Algonquin Panelists: Liza Piper, University of Alberta Alberta’s Historical Fossil Fuel Economy and the Significance of a “Province” to Canada’s Climate Future Philip Van Huizen, University of British Columbia Flooding Borders: Conceptualizing a Canadian-American Environmental Controversy Gaston Côté, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Domesticating the wildlife : Sport hunting and management of big game in Quebec during the twentieth century Abstract: This session considers key features of Western Canada’s economic history – hydroelectric development, the transition to corporate agriculture, and the rise of the oil and gas industries – as means to evaluate the relevance of provincial and national borders to the environmental history of the region. The panellists ask how different levels of government, in particular provincial governments, can shape the physical environment through their control over natural resources, relations with corporations, industry, and local residents (including Aboriginal peoples), and environmental regulation. Stunden Bower and Piper each consider how provincial governments moderated or exacerbated the risks faced by people living in the Prairie provinces and created environmental conditions that were contiguous with provincial borders, in effect inscribing provincial politics in the land, air, and water. Environmental conditions and relations also transcend provincial and national boundaries, in the words of the conference call for proposals: we consider “political borders and the flows across them.” Van Huizen considers the case of the Ross Dam in the Skagit Valley (crossing the BC/Washington border) to question the relevance of “transboundary” places and the need for conceptual boundaries to correspond with lived experience. Collectively, these papers will evaluate the material and cultural implications – past, present, and future – of mismatched political, economic, and environmental boundaries in the West.
Seeing from the Sea: Marine Environmental Histories Panel 9-F: York Chair: Ryan Jones, Idaho State University Commenter: Michael Chiarappa, Quinnipiac University Panelists: ď‚ˇ Valerie Dufeu, University of Stirling Human Ecodynamics in the North Atlantic: modelling settlement patterns and the emergence of commercial fishing in Iceland and the Faeroes, 9th- 13th centuries ď‚ˇ Ian Miller, Harvard University Rice, rocks, silt and sea: Ming China maritime perspectives and the New Canal ď‚ˇ Jakobina Arch, Harvard University Coastal Whaling Groups in the Seascape of Early Modern Japan (1603-1868) Abstract: This panel looks at ways in which marine environmental history can offer new perspectives on the lives of people living with, on, and beside the sea in different areas of the globe. While the field of maritime history is most often about using the sea as a road for trade, marine environmental history offers a way of seeing the sea as a more comprehensive environment. It is also a field which promises to provide new explanations for the dynamics of different societies before the modern era, whether or not they were involved in global trade. Jakobina Arch will discuss the marine environment of western Japan in the 17th to 19th centuries through the lens of whalers and human-whale interactions that knit together far-flung islands even in a period historically seen as disconnected from the offshore realm. Ian Miller will consider the ways in which the tension between an agricultural interior-based perspective and a coastal marine-based perspective manifested in the discussions of a canal project through the Shandong Peninsula in 16th-century China. Finally, Valerie Dufeu will relate a history of North Atlantic fisheries development where the marine environmental perspective reshapes our ideas of the economic structure of Iceland and the Faeroes from the 9th to 13th centuries. All of these papers, by considering the marine environment more closely, demonstrate the possibilities offered by a closer investigation of the influence of the sea in history.
When Nature and Numbers (Don’t) Meet Panel 9-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Chair: Conevery Valencius, University of Massachusetts-¬Boston Panelists: Melanie Kiechle, Virginia Tech Seeing Smells, Knowing Nature Sarah Milov, Princeton University Making Quality Tobacco Kristoffer Whitney, University of Wisconsin-Madison A Bird in Hand: Science and Senses in Twentieth-Century Bird Banding Phaedra Daipha, Rutgers University The Total Observation Collage: Weather Forecasting and the Search for Ground Truth Abstract: This panel examines the confluence of bureaucracy, expertise, and bodily experience of the environment. We are attuned to reflexive moments when numbers become experience; moments of cooptation when quantification appropriates the language of experience or vice versa; and moments of resistance when the mismatch between experience and quantification overwhelms the discussion. Melanie Kiechle uses an 1873 public health hearing to explore how visualizations brought together diverse epistemologies of Boston’s changing environment. In the context of an emerging public health bureaucracy, maps, charts and tables became tools for balancing the dictates of health with those of economy. Asking “what is quality tobacco?,” Sarah Milov explores American tobacco production and regulation in the 1960s as a window onto the tensions between knowing these plants as a farmer, manufacturer, scientist, or bureaucrat. Both farmers and their crops resisted standardization and regulation. Kristoffer Whitney addresses the twentieth-century evolution of non-lethal tracking techniques for migratory birds. Ostensibly an attempt to rationalize natural phenomena, bird “banding” also became a nexus for sensory and emotional connections between human and nonhuman nature. Conceptualizing a “total observational collage” to describe weather prognostication in the U.S. National Weather Service, Phaedra Daipha integrates the technologies of forecasting with the experiences and senses of the experts compelled to “ground truth” these techniques. Together, these papers address some of the myriad ways in which bodily and sensorial experiences of nature meet – or fail to meet – nature(s) known through quantification, bureaucratization, and scientific expertise.
Flow of Memory Panel 9-H: New Brunswick Chair: Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center Commenter: Frank Uekoetter, Rachel Carson Center Panelists: Karena Kalmbach, European University Institute, Florence, Italy Chernobyl: a Transnational Lieu de Mémoire? Jeanette Prochnow, Bielefeld University, Germany The German-Russian energy cooperation and the production of energo-political knowledge and memory Timothy LeCain, Montana State University The Ontology of Absence: Memory, Matter and Ecology at an Abandoned Open-Pit Copper Mine Abstract: Memory studies are booming, and yet it seems that environmental history has been somewhat hesitant to join the trend. That is certainly not for lack of deserving topics, as this panel on different paths of environmental commemoration shows. At its core, this panel seeks to discuss historic events that have entered our collective memory. The panel situates itself in the tradition of "sites of memory" studies that goes back to Pierre Nora's famous "lieux de mémoire" project on France, but it treats Nora*s approach as a flexible and adjustable one. In fact, one of the arguments we want to explore is whether we can push memory studies forward by including "material memories": artifacts and traces in the ground that act in ways that are similar or analogous to human memory. The comment will focus on these methodological issues and seeks to encourage a dialogue on the potential (and the limits) of memory studies within environmental history.
Historical, sociological and biological aspects of invasion biology Panel 9-I: Prince Edward Island Chair: Laura Cameron, Queen's University Panelists: Radu Guiasu, Glendon College, York University, Toronto Charles Elton and the origins of the endless war on invasive species Jane Duggan, Glendon College, York University, Toronto The disparity between the claims made about non-native species and the available scientific facts: an exploration of the propaganda associated with invasion biology Brendon Larson, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada The conterproductive use of fear-inducing and militaristic metaphors in invasion biology and the quest for better alternatives Mark Davis, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN USA ''Invasive" species: Who gets to decide? Abstract: The young and rapidly growing field of invasion biology started out as a branch of ecology, but has now become increasingly apart from mainstream ecology and evolutionary biology. Invasion biology has artificially divided the natural world into two very distinct categories: native species, generally perceived as good and desirable, and non-native species, usually perceived as bad and unwanted intruders. This dichotomy is mainly simplistic and ideological in nature, and often unsupported, or insufficiently supported, by comprehensive scientific data and studies. Since invasion biology is becoming increasingly influential in defining our relationship with nature and many of our fellow species, we have decided to explore some of the essential historical, sociological, and biological foundations of this field, in order to critically assess the origins of some of the key ideas, as well as the impact of these ideas on the way we relate to other species.
Early modern waterways, economies, and states under climatic stress of the Maunder Minimum, ca.1670-1730 Panel 9-J: Newfoundland Chair: Richard Hoffmann, York University, Toronto Commenter: Richard Hoffmann, York University, Toronto Panelists: Bradley Skopyk, Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City Colonial Cataclysms: Hydrological Responses to Climate Change and Land Use in Two Neighboring Basins of Central Mexico, 1680-1780 Verena Winiwarter, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt-Graz-Wien Sandbars, Ice floes, and Rebels on Horseback: How the Changing Danube Shaped Early Modern Warfare Dagomar DeGroot, York University, Toronto Water, Weather, and Transportation in the Dutch Republic, 1650-1750 Abstract: Through early modern waterways on both sides of the Atlantic flowed intersecting currents of natural and human power. Societies in New Spain (Mexico) and northwestern and central Europe around the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries confronted regional manifestations of the sharply cold phase of the Little Ice Age now called the Maunder Minimum. Unfamiliar extremes of temperature, precipitation, and/or storminess altered hydraulic regimes and threatened land use, transport, built infrastructures, and conduct of military operations. In valleys of central Mexico climatic variability joined with erosion from an unstable agrarian regime to turn long-stable wetlands and lakes into dangerously flood-prone watersheds and leave unrecognizable an entire cultural landscape. Accentuated seasonal floods, low water, and ice jams on Europe’s longest river affected logistics, tactics, and outcomes of riverine warfare between Habsburg forces and their Ottoman adversaries. Rivers and canals provided essential and advantageous inland transport for the Dutch economy, so long periods of freeze-up sharply hampered large-scale commercial users while local farmers and traders more easily adapted to use of sleds and skates on the frozen surface. The papers collectively illustrate the diversity of factors influencing regional consequences of even a decade-scale global climatic fluctuation.
Saturday, April 6 Concurrent Session 10 3:30-5:00 PM Edmund Russell’s Edmund Russell’s Evolutionary History: A Critical Appraisal Roundtable 10-A: Salon A Co-Moderators: Emily Greenwald, Historical Research Associates, Inc. Brett Walker, Montana State University Participants: Conevery Valencius, University of Massachusetts-Boston Alan Mikhail, Yale University Donald Worster, University of Kansas Edmund Russell, University of Kansas Abstract: In his new book Evolutionary History, Edmund Russell argues that evolutionary processes take place in historical time and need to be taken seriously as a factor in human history (and human history needs to be taken seriously in the study of evolution). Russell examines the complex interplay between human actions and the evolution of organisms, offering valuable insights for historians and biologists alike. Scholars from various stages in their careers will assess how Evolutionary History fits into the field of environmental history. Is it a game-changer?
International Perspectives on Urban Animals in the 19th Century Panel 10-B: Quebec Chair: Joel Tarr, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University Panelists: Andrew Robichaud, Department of History, Stanford University Making and Remaking Animal Space in San Francisco, 1860-1900 Catherine McNeur, New York Historical Society and the New School Hog Wash and Swill Milk: Corrupt Politics and Urban Animals in 1850s New York City Sean Kheraj, Department of History, York University The 1872-73 Canadian Horse Distemper Chris Pearson, Department of History, University of Warwick Securing the City: The Police and their Dogs in fin-de-siècle Paris Abstract: This panel examines the role of domestic animals in nineteenth-century urban environments from an international perspective, including case studies from Canada, the United States, and France. Industrialization and urban development in the nineteenth century transformed cities in North America and Western Europe, creating environments with very dense populations of humans. These cities, however, were not exclusively human habitats. Instead, industrial cities emerged as multi-species habitats in which humans and non-human animals not only co-existed, but were interdependent. The papers in this panel explore the different ways in which non-human domestic animals were co-actors in industrial urbanization in the nineteenth century. The case studies include an examination of the spatial dimensions of the regulation of animals in San Francisco from 1860 to 1900, public health controversies and city politics in New York relating to the keeping of pigs and cows in the 1850s, the spread of equine influenza in Canadian urban centers during the Great Epizootic of 1872-73, and the complicated relationship between Parisian police and dogs in fin-de-siècle France. Each paper speaks directly to the broader conference theme of “Confluences, Crossings, and Power” as they look at the boundaries between peoples, species, and cultures in urban environments.
From Deep Sea to Near Space: Cultural Encounters with Extreme Nature Panel 10-C: British Columbia Commenter: Neil Maher, Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, Newark Panelists: Helen Rozwadowski, University of Connecticut From Danger Zone to World of Wonder: The 1950s Transformation of the Ocean’s Depths L. Ruth Rand, University of Pennsylvania Orbital Extreme: Earthbound American Encounters with the Planetary Borderlands Michael Robinson, Hillyer College, University of Hartford The Cultural Evolution of Extreme Environments Abstract: Extreme environments, characterized by remoteness, unfamiliarity, and inhospitability to human presence, challenge the boundaries of human experience and environmental discourse. Yet, these unruly spaces have proven enduringly compelling in their illegibility and inaccessibility. “From Deep Sea to Near Space: Cultural Encounters with Extreme Nature” historicizes understandings of extreme environments by examining the ways in which human beings cross unruly material and discursive boundaries into forbidding or forbidden spaces. The three papers investigate how human beings make sense of remote, illegible nature through physical or virtual encounters. The panel will begin by considering two extreme environments characterized respectively as the last and the final frontiers—the ocean and outer space. The first paper will analyze the transformation of the ocean's depths from an inaccessible borderland of human experience—a mysterious, dangerous place in which human beings simply could not exist—to an environment accessible to anyone with a breathing apparatus and transgressive ambition. Moving upward and outward, the panel’s second paper will characterize near-Earth space as a uniquely illegible ecosystem, examining how the growing problem of space pollution forced Americans to rethink cultural and scientific boundaries between Earthly and outer space environments. The panel concludes with a comprehensive analysis of the variable, contingent, cultural codes that define human experiences of extreme environments in Western society. Taken together, these three papers will explore what, exactly, it means for a place or an experience to be considered extreme, and how human beings encounter environments in which—for physical or discursive reasons— they should not be.
The Humans Behind Disasters: A Comparative Study of Floods Panel 10-D: Library Chair: Kathleen Brosnan, University of Oklahoma Panelists: Joanna Dyl, University of South Florida Writing the Environmental History of "Natural" Disasters Vladimir Sanchez, Universidad de los Andes Bogota Floodings, Urban Segregation, and Mining in Bogota, Colombia: The Case of the Lower Tunjuelo River Basin in the 20th Century Natalie Schuster, University of Houston Political Disasters: The US Federal Response to the Midwest Flood of 1993 Niklas Robinson, Delaware State University Tropical Depression Stan: A "Natural Disaster" Revisited Abstract: There is an intimate relationship between humans and nature. More specifically, a relationship in which overtime those with power have attempted to manage the natural world, be it through, for example, extracting resources, building dams, creating parks, selling land, or providing disaster relief. The purpose of this panel is to explore comparatively the human dimensions of floods over space and time with an emphasis on how humans cause and exacerbate the negative effects of flooding. Our panel will begin with an examination of Bogotá, Columbia, an area in which gravel mining in the Tunjeulo River caused the flooding of lower-class neighborhoods. This paper will illuminate the interconnections between technological change, “natural” disaster, and socio-spatial segregation. Moving into the 1990s, a second paper will grapple with how the US federal government, which prides itself on rhetoric of small government, independence, and individualism, handled the Midwest Flood of 1993. Disaster relief overshadowed the ideology of limited government and led to a moment of significant state planning; the flood therefore eclipsed conservative ideology, showing the contradictions between conservatism and a sense of entitlement to a strong federal role. A third paper will move into Chiapas and Guatemala in 2005 to study how human inventions such as land laws, settlement patterns, civil wars, and drug trafficking compounded the deadly effects of flooding initiated by Hurricane Stan. Our panel will close with a theoretical piece exploring how historians approach the study of natural disasters and its overall use for the field, the public, and policymakers.
Crossing the Land-Sea Border: Fishermen and Environmental Identity in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Its Islands Panel 10-E: Algonquin Chair: Claire Campbell, Dalhousie University Panelists: Edward MacDonald, University of Prince Edward Island Blurring Lines: Time, Place, and Identity in the 19th-Century Prince Edward Island Fishery Brian Payne, Bridgewater State University A Fisherman’s Identity: Negotiating Nationality in the Disputed Geography of the North Atlantic, 1854-1870 Rainer Baehre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus Ship Owners, Captains, and Fishers: Narrative Accounts of Disputed American Fishing Practices in Newfoundland Waters, 1890-1925 Abstract: Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Gulf of St. Lawrence was both a political and a geographic borderland. It was a place that was both at the center of a resource economy; the North Atlantic fishery, while also at the periphery of those nation-states invested in that economy. Fishermen conducted multiple border crossings on a daily bases as they worked to maintain a livelihood in this complex geo-political region. Fishermen moved through places ranging in scale and scope from the local village or outport in which they lived, the regional governments that set the laws, and the larger Atlantic marketplace in which they sold their commodities. Fishermen also crossed environmental borders, working both land and sea as part of their occupational pluralism. Through this process Americans, Canadian, Prince Edward Islanders, and Newfoundlanders not only competed with one another for control over the valuable resources, but; as this panel will demonstrate, often cooperated in efforts to find stability and profit in their work and lives. While these structures (village, nation, empire, market, and environment) did shape the legal parameters of fishing in the North Atlantic, all three of these papers will show how fishermen often negotiated the overlaps of the structures to redefine those limits in ways that would best suit their immediate needs. As such, this panel seeks to show how fishermen were both influenced by the natural and human environment in which they worked while also actively redefining the cultural geography and their own identities.
Keeping Calm and Carrying On in Contaminated Communities Panel 10-F: York Chair: Joy Parr, University of Western Ontario Commenter: Joy Parr, University of Western Ontario Panelists: Tor Oiamo, University of Western Ontario From Producing to Being Consumed by Mobility in Windsor, Ontario: Place, Space and Autoworkers Paul Gibson, University of Maryland Dirty Water or Plant Closures: Labor-Environmental Decision Making in Youngstown, Ohio, 1975-1980 Jessica van Horssen, York University I Heart Asbestos: The Resistance and Resilience of People and Place in Asbestos, Quebec Abstract: We are used to hearing about contaminated communities when they become disaster zones, receiving widespread public attention and millions of dollars for environmental cleanup. Townspeople living in these communities frequently talk to the press about the painful diseases they received as a result of living in such close proximity to a site of contamination, and campaigns are often launched to lobby for closer restrictions on industry while treating the natural environment with kid gloves. Love Canal, Chernobyl, and Bhopal are all examples of these environmental and human tragedies. But what about communities that interpret contamination in a different way? This panel will focus on three North American case studies in order to examine the ways in which communities cope, internalize, and manage contamination of their environment and their bodies. The complex histories of Youngstown, Ohio, Sarnia, Ontario, and Asbestos, Quebec offer unique perspectives on the different ways in which working class communities understand and interact with environmental risk on a daily basis, and sacrifice their own health and well-being in order to maintain their chosen way of life. This panel will highlight major themes of environmental justice, while questioning declensionist historiographies that overlook the resilience and commitment to place often found in contaminated communities.
Reading the City’s History Through its Ecologies: Urban Ecological History and Landscape Architecture Panel 10-G: Nova Scotia Chair: Thaisa Way, University of Washington Panelists: Nina-Marie Lister, Ryerson University, Toronto Insurgent Ecologies: Beyond Ecosystem ‘Restoration’ in a World of Resilience Jane Amidon, Northeastern University, Boston The Spontaneous Archive: Urban Ecology Research in the Unmanaged Landscape Kenneth Yocom, University of Washington Swallowed Whole: The legacy of bog environments in Seattle, Washington. Jane Wolff, University of Toronto Environmental History, Development, and the Future of New Orleans Abstract: Reading a city’s history through it’s ecologies offers us a powerful tool in our design and planning responses to 21st century urban landscapes while contributing to the growing discipline of urban environmental history. This panel brings together innovative ecologists, designers, and urban historians to consider how an overlapping of domains begins to shape a transdisciplinary language of understanding and response to the urban. It opens possibilities for a richer flexibility of practice and research grounded in the very complexity of urban landscapes. The research thus plays a role in better understanding the historic narratives of cities while building a framework for a more adaptive design practice that is at once both a cultural and an ecological enterprise; recognizing the constant flow of species, challenging notions of “native” and “alien”, while requiring concomitant strategies for renewal within living systems. In this context, resilience of complex urban landscapes must be (re)mediated: to accommodate dynamic shifts in the cultural and natural systems and to navigate inherent tensions between stability and perturbation, constancy and change, histories and futures. Drawing on four case studies in the cities of New Orleans, Boston, Seattle, and Toronto, these projects are meant to generate a broad discussion of the potential synergies that might emerge among the disciplines of history, ecology, and urban studies. It will build on the critical turn toward urban environmental history not only as a domain of study, but as a practice of design and planning.
Early Environmental Discourses Under State Socialism: The Case of China, East Germany, Hungary and the USSR Panel 10-H: New Brunswick Panelists: Johanna Conterio, Harvard University Medicine and Conservation in the U.S.S.R., 1919-1941 Alana Boland, University of Toronto From factory to field: Managing water pollution in China’s early socialist cities Viktor Pal, University of Tampere Discourses of water protection in the Borsodi Basin in Hungary in the 1960s Scot Moranda, SUNY Cortland Think Local, Act Global: East Germany’s 1970 Environmental Protection Law Abstract: State-socialist systems are well-known for their ecological destruction, industrial pollution and gigantic construction projects which depleted the environment in many ways. Little has been written, however, about early environmental discourses which unfolded in these regimes. This panel will aim to explore ecological discourses in a relatively early period, from the 1950s to the early 1970s in three state-socialist countries: China, the GDR and Hungary. Alana Boland's paper explores the responses to the growing problem of water pollution in China's cities during the 1950s. She focuses on waste water recycling efforts and places these initiatives in the broader context of urban development strategies of the same period. The second paper by Viktor Pál introduces discourses over heavy-industrial water pollution and water protection in Hungary in the 1960s. He aims to reconstruct power plays and discourses between water superintendents and heavy-industrial plants in Northern-Hungary. The panel's last paper by Scott Moranda challenges the existing interpretation of the 1970 East German Landscape Planning Law. He argues that the East German regime only recognized environmental protection when it connected to tourist leisure, which the unpopular regime promoted to improve its popular legitimacy in the 1960s. The landscape planning law of 1970s thus did not appear out of thin air; it reflected a long-developing bureaucratic struggle that linked landscape protection to outdoor recreation and thus to worker productivity and economic efficiency.
Political Ecology and Environmental History in Asia Roundtable 10-I: Prince Edward Island Moderator: Bharat Punjabi, Western University Participants: Ravi Rajan, University of California-Santa Cruz Gunnel Cederlof, University of Uppsala Kundan Kumar, Western University Ramya Swayamprakash, Yale University Abstract: In the past decade, there has been a growing disconnect between political ecology and historical inquiry in environmental research on India. Most of the highly cited past classics in South Asian political ecology were clearly influenced and informed by intellectual currents in South Asian environmental history. These contributions also showed a clear awareness of the colonial origins of environmental problems in India. However, the last ten years have seen a transformation in political ecology as historical research based on the archives has not been a priority with scholarship in that field. There could be several factors behind the neglect of history in present day political ecology research on South Asia. One major reason could be the overwhelming scale of present day resource management issues in contemporary India. The second could be that the theoretical frameworks of political ecology preclude a historical focus. This interdisciplinary panel comprising of scholars from history, environmental studies and geography will explore these issues, and throw light on this growing disconnect between political ecology and environmental history. The focus of the panel will be on theory used in political ecology and also around methodological issues in South Asian environmental history.
Rinderpest/Cattle Plague in Historical and Global Context Panel 10-J: Newfoundland Chair: Nancy Jacobs, Brown University Commenter: Nancy Jacobs, Brown University Panelists: Karl Appuhn, New York University When Rinderpest was just Cattle Plague: Public Health Environments in EighteenthCentury Italy Thaddeus Sunseri, Colorado State University From Metropole to Colony: German Reactions to Rinderpest, 1890-1914 Amanda McVety, Miami University The Internationalization of Rinderpest Control Abstract: In Spring 2011 the United Nations formally declared that Rinderpest, or cattle plague, had become the second disease (after smallpox) to have been eradicated globally. More than any other cattle disease, the Rinderpest virus preoccupied governments and public health officials across Europe and in their colonial empires, and was a major concern of international development activities before and after the Second World War. Rinderpest was a disease that affected cattle, water buffalo, many species of wildlife, with far reaching environmental, economic and social consequences. The papers on this panel will investigate the evolution of Rinderpest control measures in several historical epochs and across continents: from its early modern European context, when the problem of the cross-border marketing of cattle and wartime instability were recognized as leading factors in the spread of the disease; to the nineteenth century, when industrialization and the widespread working class demand for beef created wider contexts for international disease control; from the late nineteenth century with the European conquest of Africa and Asia that exacerbated Rinderpest outbreaks everywhere except the Americas; and into the 20th century, when international bodies such as the League of Nations and United Nations came to see Rinderpest as a global concern.