Call for Contributions: Environmental Humanities Month, November 2022

 

 

The Helsinki Environmental Humanities Hub and associated global partners are now inviting proposals for online and hybrid events, interventions, projects, actions to be included in the globally focused Environmental Humanities Month in November 2022.

 

The main goal of the Environmental Humanities Month is to raise awareness about the humanities and social sciences aspects of circularity and humanity’s shift to sustainability by targeting a global audience via scientific and artistic interdisciplinary cross-pollination, and by using local knowledge as well as languages beyond English to amplify vulnerable and marginalized voices of environmental humanities across the globe. 

 

Thus for the 2022 Environmental Humanities Month organizers invite submissions to be submitted by 21 August, 2022.

 

What are we looking for? 

The first Environmental Humanities Month was organized in November 2021 and it included some live events and mostly hybrid and online events. Nearly 30 contributors created over 10 different projects and engaged over 500 participants from four continents. 

 

Building on the success of the first environmental humanities month, organizers are now soliciting a wide range of humanities and social sciences perspectives on circularity and sustainability to be presented and debated jointly with actors from the arts, civil society, and sciences arenas. Perspectives will be included from a very wide range of humanities perspectives as diverse as critical plant studies, discard studies, and energy humanities, via anthropology, gender studies, history, indigenous studies, literature, philosophy, posthumanities studies and the arts widely interpreted. Organizers encourage contributors to create new collaborations with the actors outside their respective disciplines in order to allow activists’, artists’, and scientists’ perspectives to converse and blend. 

 

By doing so, the second Environmental Humanities Month aims at planning, organizing and implementing a celebration of diverse environmental humanities that will pay particular attention to confront systems of privileges and oppression and work toward a more inclusive and solidar as well as sustainable future.

 

Thus, organizers welcome a wide range of scientific, artistic, and blended; live, hybrid and online events, interventions, projects, actions, exhibitions, walks, tours, lectures, MOOC, media premieres during the envhum month of November 2022. 

 

For more information on the envhum aspects of inclusivity and solidarity kindly refer to the recent publication: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/environment/2022/06/19/toward-solidarity-and-inclusivity/

 

What do we offer? 

Organizers of the Environmental Humanities Month offer to work with you to develop your contribution for the Environmental Humanities Month as well as will disseminate information about the projects via social media e.g. @helsinkienvhum twitter, @HelsinkiEnvhum Facebook, and through a wide network of partner information channels globally. Unfortunately, the Environmental Humanities Month 2022 project is all done by voluntary work. Thus, we are unable to offer honoraria and costs reimbursement for contributors this year, but we hope this will change in the future. 

 

How can you apply?

Please send your page long contribution synopsis (or relevant weblink plus brief description) and your short CV to organizers at viktor.pal@helsinki.fi  by Monday, 21 August 2022. 

 

Contributors will be informed by the end of August about further steps. 

 

First volume of Helsinki Envhum Book Series has been published! “Social and Cultural Aspects of the Circular Economy Toward Solidarity and Inclusivity”

Kindly would like to share the good news that a new book on the cultural and social aspects of the Circular Economy has just been published by Routledge titled: “Social and Cultural Aspects of the Circular Economy Toward Solidarity and Inclusivity”

This edited collection is based on the conference organized by the UH Environmental Humanities Hub and supported by the Social Impact Fund of HELSUS in 2020.

Kindly see the book’s info page at the publisher’s websites via the link below: https://www.routledge.com/Social-and-Cultural-Aspects-of-the-Circular-Economy-Toward-Solidarity-and/Pal/p/book/9781032185804

You may read the OA FULL-TEXT pre-print of the introductory chapter via the link below:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/357130706_Introduction_Social_and_Cultural_Aspects_of_the_Circular_Economy_Toward_Solidarity_and_Inclusivity_In_Ed_Viktor_Pal_Social_and_Cultural_Aspects_of_the_Circular_Economy_Toward_Solidarity_and_Inclusivit

 

Book Contract Signed: “”Waste and Discards in the Asia Pacific Region: Social and Cultural Perspectives.”

I am happy to share that the brilliant world leading expert on waste: Iris Borowy, distinguished professor at Shanghai University and I just signed a book contract with Routledge Studies in Sustainability Series for our upcoming environmental humanities, sustainability edited volume: “Waste and Discards in the Asia Pacific Region: Social and Cultural Perspectives.”
Introduction and conclusive chapters will be co-authored with Peter Wynn Kirby, an authority on toxic and nuclear waste based the University of Oxford.
The hardback will be out in 2023 and contains studies from India, China, Japan, & Australia.
This volume is one of the project outcomes of the Waste Now! His­tor­ies and Con­tem­por­al­it­ies of Dis­cards On­line Conference:  https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/news/society-economy/waste-now-histories-and-contemporalities-of-discards-online-conference-program

Polluted Histories, Clean Futures? Opposing Scenarios for an Electronic Waste Circular Economy in China 

Polluted Histories, Clean Futures? Opposing Scenarios for an Electronic Waste Circular Economy in China 

Alicia Ng, University of Helsinki

For ZOOM Link please register HERE by Nov 18. You will receive the ZOOM link an hour before the event.

How does China’s polluted past and present inform it’s cleaner, more sustainably-minded future(s)? Are there other ways of engendering more sustainable thinking for wastes and pollution beyond normative ideas of the circular economy?

This presentation discusses the past, contemporalities, and futures surrounding the environmental issue of electronic waste and the pollution alleviation method of bioremediation in China. China has been the recipient of the majority of the world’s electronic waste, and has overtaken the US as the biggest e-waste producer. Pollution from e-waste has been an environmental and human health issue in e-waste towns such as Guiyu and Taizhou, and soil pollution there still detrimentally affects local communities.

Despite China’s pollutive past, the country has been one of the first in the world to adopt nation-wide circular economy regulations for waste and pollution, and it has also shown interest in nature-based solutions such as bioremediation, which uses plants and microbes to cleanup soil pollutants.

This presentation will explore bioremediation through the circular economy framework, as well as introduce the concept of ‘permanent pollution’ as put forth by chemical and toxicity scholars of the environmental humanities such as Max Liboiron and Eben Kirksey, as another way of understanding pollution and sustainability. Through methods like bioremediation, are we seeing zero waste and zero pollution goals be fulfilled, or are we instead observing our embeddedness in waste and toxicity, and its continued inevitability?

By interrogating standard conceptions of the circular economy, we will be exploring sustainable thinking for waste and the implications of ontologies of co-existence.

 

Bio: Alicia Ng, MSc in World Politics (University of Helsinki) is a Doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI) program at the University of Helsinki and a member of HELSUS. Her Doctoral research focuses on non-human, multispecies belowground interactions of microbes and electronic waste in bioremediated soils in China, and the role of soil pollution and microbes in influencing concepts of sustainability, the Anthropocene, decay and transformation.

Energy(and)Storytelling Online Workshop

For ZOOM Link Register HERE  by November 23. You will receive the zoom link an hour before the program begins.

Since the rise of debates on climate changes and environmental changes within academia and beyond, energy related issues have been integral to communicating the transformation of value paradigm of the energy dependent society. The focus on studying energy storytelling within ‘literary energy narrative frames’ (Goodbody 2018) allows distinguishing socio-cultural dimensions of energy, regarded not only as a resource but also as a societal value. Responding to energy humanities’ agenda in debating energy storytelling and energy narratives for translating the energetic history, interpreting our energy dependable present and predicting the energetic future, this online event intends to use ‘ energy storytelling’ as a starting point to discuss the contemporary multidisciplinary perspectives on using stories, narratives in highlighting the critical role of energy in shaping our energy dependence. The event participants are invited to share their opinions on the ideas, raised in Moezzi, M., Jandab, K. (2017) Using stories, narratives, and storytelling in energy and climate change research. Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 31, pp. 1-10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.06.034 and Goodbody, A 2018, Framing in literary energy narratives. in H Bergthaller & P Mortensen (eds), Framing the Environmental Humanities. Studies in Environmental Humanities, vol. 5, Brill | Rodopi, Leiden, Boston, pp. 15- 33. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004360488_003. 

The online event, chaired by Dr. Inna Häkkinen, will take place on Zoom on November 24 at 4-6 pm within Helsinki Environmental Humanities Month

Hunting for Hope: New Perspectives on the History of Game and Fish Management Workshop 

Hunting for Hope: New Perspectives on the History of Game and Fish Management Online Workshop 

For ZOOM Link please register HERE by Nov 8. You will receive the ZOOM link an hour before the event.

Historians have devoted a great deal of attention to the history of hunting and fishing. Yet, as this session shows, many of the assumptions that have driven those histories merit investigation. This session thus unites five papers that reframe the history of game and fish management in new ways, despite offering divergent approaches to the subject. In the first paper, Erki Tammiksaar draws on the rich fishery survey data of Lake Peipsi, stretching from Karl Ernst von Baer’s famed 1851-1852 expedition to the present day, to assess changes in the lake’s fish population over time, connecting those shifts to a number of factors, including climate change. Victoria Peemot centers her attention on the 1917 Finnish Geological Expedition to Uriankhai, approaching it as a multispecies venture in which the human participants paid a great deal of attention to game.In her paper, Anastasia Fedotova explores the reasons for the preservation of European red deer during the long nineteenth century in regions where the kind of intensive agriculture that would typically explain its extinction were still practiced. Drew Swanson takes a different approach in his study of white-tailed deer in the United States, turning his focus to the cultural construction of hunting regulations. In his case, American hunters internalized early efforts to protect does to the degree that many came to see bucks as the only ethical game—an attitude that proved difficult to undo and that contributed to mid-twentieth century population irruptions. Mark Hersey also looks at the unanticipated consequences of wildlife management in the US, underscoring the ways in which efforts to preserve wildlife took a distinctive regional form, one that problematizes assessments of success and failure. 

Panelists 

Anastasia Fedotova, Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Science; Collegium for Advanced Studies, Helsinki University

Mark D. Hersey, Mississippi State University, Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki

Victoria Soyan Peemot, University of Helsinki

Drew Swanson, Wright State University

Erki Tammiksaar, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Science Studies

Chair: Mikko Saikku, University of Helsinki

Presentations: 

Erki Tammiksaar, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Science

Fish and fishing in Lake Peipsi (Estonia/Russia) since 1851: similarities and differences between historical and modern times

The first survey data on the fisheries in Lake Peipsi were collected by Baltic German natural scientist Karl Ernst von Baer as a result of the world’s first special fishery expedition in 1851–1852. In the current presentation, all available numerical datasets on fishing in Lake Peipsi from 1851 to 2018 have been drawn together in order to analyse the long-term changes in the lake’s fish assemblages. As the study indicates, the overexploitation, catching of juvenile fish and predator–prey imbalance have been common problems associated with fisheries in Lake Peipsi for the last two centuries. Similar to many inland waterbodies worldwide, total catch of fish from Lake Peipsi has decreased about four times since the mid-19th century, and the decline of cool-water fish, such as vendace, burbot and Peipsi whitefish during the last two centuries, and the domination of warm-water fish, such as Eurasian perch, common bream and pike-perch in the catches of the last 20 years mark considerable structural shifts in fish assemblages. Of the multiple stressors (e.g., nutrient enrichment, increased water temperature, overfishing) triggering shifts in fish assemblages, the impact of climate warming, especially extreme weather events such as heatwaves, seems to be the strongest during the last three decades.

Victoria Soyan Peemot, University of Helsinki

A Geological Expedition As The Multispecies Venture 

This study investigates a history of the human-nonhuman animal relationships drawing on the archival materials—photographs, diaries and publications—which were gathered and produced by the past scientific expeditions. I focus on the archive of the 1917 Finnish Geological Expedition to Uriankhai (currently—the Tyva Republic, Russia) and the region where the Finnish researchers worked—the Sayan and Altay Mountains of Inner Asia. Numerous photographs and observations which feature domesticated and wild animals allow me to approach the historical expedition as the multispecies venture.  

In addition to numerous observations about their main means of transportation—riding and pack horses—Finnish researchers paid attention to, for instance, farming the red deer (Cervus elaphus sibiricus) in the Upper Yenisey river region, frequent wolf attacks, diversity of wild species and, in particular, game. The latter was mentioned in frames of hunting (one of the expedition members was tasked with securing fresh meat supplies) and visits to local households where researchers were often offered meat of a game animal. The 1917 expedition’s archive is the important source on a history of multispecies relationships in Inner Asia because in the following decades the major geopolitical, social, and economic transformations took place in the region. These transformations drastically affected human-nonhuman relationships too.  

Maralhjortar 14.9. 1917

The red deer in the enclosure (the Kaa-Khem river region, the Tyva Republic). 14.9.1917. Photograph by Kenneth Wrede.  

https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/victoria-peemot

Red deer and Russian aristocracy in the long 19th century

Anastasia Fedotova, Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Science; Collegium for Advanced Studies, Helsinki University in cooperation with Dr Tomasz Samojlik, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża

The thesis that populations of big animals were the first to become extinct due to agricultural colonization is a common ground for the history of conservation. In our project, we would like to consider how some species of big mammals still survived even in regions with intensive agriculture and a relatively high population. We offer to use the case of a relatively common species – red deer. In the lowland forests of Central and Eastern Europe this species was on the brink of extinction in the long 19th century. It survived not due to “primeval” refugiums but due to the prestige of big game hunts among the higher aristocracy. Creation of deer parks and other protected hunting grounds by the highest aristocracy had several consequences: (1). Preservation of some species in the region. (2). Preservation of landscapes – close to “primeval” but with many “cultural” elements. Some of those places successfully evolved into national parks and other types of protected areas. (3). Introduction of animals from other regions resulted in mixing of genetic lines of distant populations. (4). Accumulation of scientific data and scientific collections on ungulates. The main focus of our study is red deer in Białowieża Primeval Forest where this species went extinct by the mid-18th century. In the 1860s, red deer were successfully reintroduced, first with 20 deer from a game park in Silesia, and later from other places. On the eve of WWI, Białowieża red deer population reached more than 5 000.

Drew Swanson, Wright State University

Legal Deer and Real Men: Buck Laws, Doe Hunts, and the Contested Ethics of Sportsmanship in the Twentieth-Century United States

As white-tailed deer, once among the most abundant big-game animals in North America, faced near extinction in the late-nineteenth century, public and private conservationists implemented measures to save and then restore their populations.  In many states buck laws—regulations that permitted killing only mature, male deer—were an important part of conservation initiatives, as were campaigns to convince hunters that only bucks were ethical game.  When whitetail populations quickly rebounded between the 1920s and 1950s, game managers turned to either-sex and doe hunts in an effort to control or prevent irruptions, only to face stiff opposition from hunters of all classes.  Hunters had internalized arguments about the ethics and sportsmanship of the buck laws, and resisted redefinition of proper game management.  This history highlights the cultural construction of ethical game management and the unanticipated ways in which wildlife often respond to management, and rejects simplistic class-based understandings of American sportsmanship in the twentieth century.

Drew Swanson is a professor of history at Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio.  He is the author of three books on the intersections of nature and culture in the U.S. South, most recently Beyond the Mountains: Commodifying Appalachian Environments.  He currently serves as President of the Agricultural History Society

Mark Hersey, Mississippi State University, Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki

American Deerscape: Toward a Landscape History of Hunting

Once hunted to the brink of extirpation, whitetail deer (valkohäntäpeura) have made a remarkable recovery in the American South, one that has been understandably celebrated by wildlife ecologists. Scholars of hunting in the United States have noted the recovery in passing, but have tended to gloss over the wildlife itself. Their focus instead has centered on the role of hunters in the conservation movement, especially on the sometimes-undemocratic impulses hunting fostered. Both wildlife ecologists and historians, however, have paid considerably less attention to the ways in which the recovery of whitetail deer has materially altered the physical landscape itself. Taking a somewhat longue durée snapshot of hunting in a quintessentially southern American state, this paper explores the ways in which hunting reshaped the natural world of Alabama over the course of the twentieth century – and in so doing amplified and reoriented the identities bound up in those landscapes.

 


This panel thanks the support of the Helsinki Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities 

Listening to Atmospheric Encounters

Listening to Atmospheric Encounters – An evening on high altitudes
2 November 2021, 19:00-20:30 at SOLU Space
(Luotsikatu 13, Katajanokka, Helsinki, Finland)
On November, 2nd from 19h to 20h30, HAB artists Noora Sandgren and Till Bovermann warmly welcome you to an evening of soundscapes and discussions in relation to the Atmospheric Encounters exhibition. We will start the evening with a guided tour through the exhibition and the opportunity to dive into the politics of approaching Other-than-humans. This will be followed by a soundscape performance with Till Bovermann, framing and extending on “flock” (H. Imlach/T. Bovermann), one of the artworks in the exhibition.
Listening to Atmospheric Encounters is related to the current exhibition Atmospheric Encounters by High Altitude Bioprospecting (HAB).
Noora Sandgren is a visual artist working with photography and related installation, texts and embodied practice. She is interested in the theme of fluidity, different materialities and questions of entanglement. Noora collaborates with weather, insects, soil and outdated light-sensitive materials.
Till Bovermann is an artist and scientist working with field recordings and interactive sound programming to create sonic experiences of immersion and reflection. Till currently works for the art-science project Rotting Sounds at University for Applied Arts, Vienna. He is also part of the artistic collective friendly.organisms.

ECO-POETICS FOR THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD: A READING AND CONVERSATION

ECO-POETICS FOR THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD: A READING AND CONVERSATION

17 NOVEMBER (WEDNESDAY) 18:00-19:30 (HELSINKI) 11:00-12:30 (NEW YORK)

For ZOOM Link please register HERE by November 16. You will receive the ZOOM link an hour before the event.

This session features contributors to the recent anthology of poetry and commentary, Poetics for the More-Than-Human World. Six scholar/poets/artists will read from recent poetic works representing a diversity of voice, place, and connections between human and non-human communities at this time of imminent danger pressing for change. There will be time for conversation. Featuring Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Joseph Bruchac, Cheryl J. Fish, Juan Carlos Galeano, Hanna Ellen Guttorm, and Mary Newell.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge is the author of fourteen books of poetry, most recently, A Treatise on Stars (New Directions) and Hello, the Roses (New Directions), which has been translated into Swedish by Ana Jaderland.  She received Bollingen Prize in 2021 and was short-listed for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.  She has collaborated with artists in visual arts, theater, music and dance.  She lives in northern New Mexico.

Joseph Bruchac is an enrolled member of the Nulhegan Abenaki Nation. Author of over 170 books in several genres, his poems, essays, and stories have appeared in hundreds of anthologies and magazines ranging from Akwesasne Notes and Parabola to the Paris Review and National Geographic. His books of poetry include: Ndakinna/Our Land, Nisnol Siboal/Two Rivers, and Four Directions, New and Recollected Poems.

Cheryl J. Fish is an environmental justice scholar, poet, and fiction writer. Her new book of poem and photographs, THE SAUNA IS FULL OF MAIDS, celebrates Finnish sauna culture, travel, and friendships. She has published essays on resistance to extractivism in Sápmi, focused on the work of Sami filmmakers and photographers. Fish has been a writer-in-residence at KulttuuriKauppila in Ii, Finland, and was Fulbright professor at University of Tampere. Her collection of poetry, Crater & Tower, addresses trauma, ecology, and aftermaths at Mount St. Helens Volcano and the World Trade Center since 9-11-01. She is professor of English at BMCC/City University of New York, and docent lecturer in the Dept. of Cultures at University of Helsinki.

Juan Carlos Galeano is a poet, essayist and filmmaker born in the Amazon region of Colombia. He has published several books of poetry and has translated the works of North American poets into Spanish. Over a decade of fieldwork on symbolic narratives of riverine and forest people in the Amazon basin resulted in his production of a comprehensive collection of storytelling (Folktales of the Amazon, ABC-CLIO, 2009) translated into several languages, the documentary film (The Trees Have a Mother, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2009), and most recently, last summer, El Río, 2018. His poetry inspired by Amazonian cosmologies and the modern world has been anthologized and published in international journals.

Hanna Ellen Guttorm, is widely interested in life and its possibilities on our planet. She is especially inspired by Indigenous ontologies, post theories, and nomadic, autoethnographic writing, with which she investigates–especially in the context of the Sámi society and her own roots–how we could do and write research in order to make a change towards a more ecological, social and cultural sustainability and solidarity possible. Currently she works as senior researcher in Indigenous Studies at the University of Helsinki, also affiliated to HELSUS (Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Studies).

Mary Newell authored the chapbooks TILT/ HOVER/ VEER (Codhill Press 2019) and Re-SURGE  (Trainwreck Press 2021), poems in journals and anthologies, and essays including “When Poetry Rivers” (Interim journal). She is co-editor of Poetics for the More-than-Human-World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary and the forthcoming (2022) Routledge Companion to Ecopoetics.

 

Storying with Land: Tracing Environmental and Societal Changes in the Sayan and Altay Mountains, Inner Asia

Storying with Land: Tracing Environmental and Societal Changes in the Sayan and Altay Mountains, Inner Asia

Talk by Victoria Soyan Peemot, University of Helsinki

23 November 2021, TUE, 14:00-15:30 (Helsinki)

LOCATION: PORTHANIA 244 HELSUS LOUNGE, University of Helsinki 

For ZOOM Link please register HERE by November 22. You will receive the ZOOM link an hour before the event.

This research project explores stories of land in the Sayan and Altay Mountains, Inner Asia. Since the beginning of the twentieth century the region has been controlled, subsequently, by the Qing Empire, Russian Empire, and Soviet Russia. Currently the region is situated between Mongolia, Russia, and China. As a starting point, I draw on the archive of the 1917 Finnish Geological Expedition to Uriankhai (currently—the Tyva Republic, Russia). As the second temporal frame for comparative studies, I investigate community-homeland relationships and circulation of land stories in present-day Russia at the intersection of the state’s mining regulations and politics of memory. I investigate the potential of landscapes in keeping, sharing, and ensuring continuity of human-nonhuman stories.

Photo C-124_Pehrman

Voronin at the gold mines. 10.8.1917. Photo by Gunnar Pehrman (1895-1980), geologist.

The photograph was taken in the Kaa-Khem river region, the Tyva Republic.

 

Bio

Victoria Soyan Peemot is a journalist, ethnographer, and Ph.D. student in cultural studies at the University of Helsinki. Her research is supported by the Kone Foundation (2018-2021). Raised by her grandparents in the Tyva Republic, she spent her youth riding horses and herding livestock on the Inner Asian steppe. She takes a critical approach to these experiences in her doctoral research, which examines the complexity of bonds connecting horses and herders in the Sayan-Altai Mountain Region of Russia and Mongolia. Victoria will defend her doctoral dissertation entitled ‘The Horse in My Blood: Land-Based Kinship in the Sayan and Altay Mountains, Inner Asia’ in December 2021.

In her postdoctoral research project Victoria draws on Indigenous and academic epistemologies—storying with landscapes, analysing archival materials, and studying history of mining and its impact— to trace environmental and societal changes in the region.

Victoria co-authored a series of essay films “Cher Törel: In Kinship with the Land” about how people relate to their animals and homelands in Inner Asia in collaboration with Dr Robert O. Beahrs from the Center for Advanced Research in Music, Istanbul Technical University.

Photo by Stanislav Krupar (published with the author’s permission).

Fulbright Bicentennial Inaugural Lecture by Mark Hersey, Mississippi State University, University of Helsinki

5 November 2021, FRI, 16:15- (Helsinki), 15:15- (Paris)

Fulbright Bicentennial Inaugural Lecture by Mark Hersey, Mississippi State University, University of Helsinki

Black Belt Sketches: Ecology and Identity in the American South

Mark D. Hersey

EVENT SITE: https://www.fulbright.fi/about-us/events/inaugural-lecture-fulbright-bicentennial-chair-american-studies

Register by November 2 at https://www.lyyti.in/05112021

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/fulbright.finland/

Abstract:

Although it is hardly one of North America’s most celebrated landscapes, the physiographic Black Belt of the American South offers an uncommonly productive place to explore the historical intersections of nature and culture. Drawing on examples from the region’s environmental history over the longue durée, this talk explores the often-surprising junctures of land use, race, and poverty in the Black Belt. In doing so, it calls attention to the ways in which cultural identities have been cobbled onto and read out of the material world and aims to spur an appreciation for the landscapes of ostensibly ordinary places.

Bio:

Mark D. Hersey is the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair of American Studies for the 2021-2022 academic year. He is associate professor of history at Mississippi State University where he directs the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment of the South. He is the author of My Work Is That of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George Washington Carver (2011) and the co-editor of A Field on Fire: The Future of Environmental History (2019). He currently edits the journal Environmental History.