The Boston Seminar on Environmental History 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

October 2019
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg Environmental History Seminar Brighton Fair: The Animal Suburb and the Making of Modern Boston 8 October 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Zachary Nowak, Harvard University In the nineteenth century, Brighton, Massachusetts became an iconic center of livestock and animal ...

In the nineteenth century, Brighton, Massachusetts became an iconic center of livestock and animal industries in North America. Andrew Robichaud explores the political and environmental dimensions of the rise and fall of this “animal suburb,” and explains its significance, both then and now.

More
November 2019
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg Environmental History Seminar Engineering, Politics, and Dams: John R. Freeman and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Water Supply 12 November 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Donald C. Jackson, Lafayette College Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Dam sparked one of America’s first great environmental ...

San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Dam sparked one of America’s first great environmental controversies. This paper explores John R. Freeman’s work as a consulting engineer and his essential role in championing the city’s Sierra Nevada water supply. Freeman was among the most influential engineers of the Progressive Era and his technocratic vision underlay hydraulic projects throughout North America. For good or ill, Freeman’s vision has had a long and enduring legacy, not just for San Francisco but for dams and watersheds nationwide.

More
December 2019
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg Environmental History Seminar Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs 3 December 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin is compiling a database of manuscript ...

With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin is compiling a database of manuscript notes about weather in early American almanacs, 1647-1820. Her talk focuses on how people recorded weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption.

More
More events
Environmental History Seminar Brighton Fair: The Animal Suburb and the Making of Modern Boston 8 October 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Zachary Nowak, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg

In the nineteenth century, Brighton, Massachusetts became an iconic center of livestock and animal industries in North America. Andrew Robichaud explores the political and environmental dimensions of the rise and fall of this “animal suburb,” and explains its significance, both then and now.

close

Environmental History Seminar Engineering, Politics, and Dams: John R. Freeman and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Water Supply 12 November 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Donald C. Jackson, Lafayette College Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg

San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Dam sparked one of America’s first great environmental controversies. This paper explores John R. Freeman’s work as a consulting engineer and his essential role in championing the city’s Sierra Nevada water supply. Freeman was among the most influential engineers of the Progressive Era and his technocratic vision underlay hydraulic projects throughout North America. For good or ill, Freeman’s vision has had a long and enduring legacy, not just for San Francisco but for dams and watersheds nationwide.

close

Environmental History Seminar Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs Register registration required at no cost 3 December 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg

With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin is compiling a database of manuscript notes about weather in early American almanacs, 1647-1820. Her talk focuses on how people recorded weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption.

close