Environmental History Seminar

The Environmental History Seminar at the MHS is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Presenters come from a variety of disciplines including history, urban planning, and environmental management.

 

Most seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a pre-circulated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. Each session is followed by a reception with light refreshments.

 

Attendance is free and open to everyone. Subscribers who remit $25 for the year will receive early online access to any pre-circulated materials. Subscriptions also underwrite the cost of the series. Pre-circulated materials will be available to non-subscribers who have RSVP’d for a session on the day prior to the program. Subscribe to this seminar series and you will receive access to the seminar papers for SIX series: the Boston Seminar on African American History, the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar, the Boston Seminar on Environmental History, the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture, and our new Seminar on Digital History. We recognize that topics frequently resonate across these four fields; now, mix and match the seminars that you attend!

 

Join the mailing list today by emailing seminars@masshist.org.

 

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the latest scholarship.Subscribe

November 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: TBA This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the ...

This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within broader global circulations of agricultural knowledge. Connecting the dry farming knowledge of American agronomists to that of French colonial officials working in North Africa who were themselves indebted to centuries of knowledge about dry farming techniques developed by farmers working in rainfed lands around the Mediterranean basin, it sheds light on the politics of expertise involved in the production of this “science.”

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
December 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg Environmental History Seminar Local Food Before Locavores: Growing Vegetables in the Boston Market Garden District, 1870-1930 16 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Sally McMurry, Pennsylvania State University Comment: Andrew Robichaud, Boston University The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930 ...

The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930.  Suburban market gardeners' practices both countered and anticipated broader trends in the US food system.  For example, intercropping  (though long-known) stood well outside the US agro-ecological mainstream. Boston growers also developed the modern forcing house, an engineered greenhouse environment dependent on fossil fuels, irrigation, and commodified insect pollinators.  Year-round lettuce from these houses helped prepare the way for consumers to embrace a de-seasonalized, nationalized vegetable supply.  This agro-environmental episode shows how the history of local food complicates our narratives about US food system modernization.

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: TBA Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within broader global circulations of agricultural knowledge. Connecting the dry farming knowledge of American agronomists to that of French colonial officials working in North Africa who were themselves indebted to centuries of knowledge about dry farming techniques developed by farmers working in rainfed lands around the Mediterranean basin, it sheds light on the politics of expertise involved in the production of this “science.”

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close

Environmental History Seminar Local Food Before Locavores: Growing Vegetables in the Boston Market Garden District, 1870-1930 16 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Sally McMurry, Pennsylvania State University Comment: Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930.  Suburban market gardeners' practices both countered and anticipated broader trends in the US food system.  For example, intercropping  (though long-known) stood well outside the US agro-ecological mainstream. Boston growers also developed the modern forcing house, an engineered greenhouse environment dependent on fossil fuels, irrigation, and commodified insect pollinators.  Year-round lettuce from these houses helped prepare the way for consumers to embrace a de-seasonalized, nationalized vegetable supply.  This agro-environmental episode shows how the history of local food complicates our narratives about US food system modernization.

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close