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.

These sessions bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone.

How to Attend: Register through our Calendar of Events and you will receive the session's discussion paper the day before the seminar by email. 

Subscribe: Purchasing a $25 seminar subscription gives you special advanced access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. Subscribe here

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Questions? Email seminars@masshist.org.


Call for Proposals

Extended Deadline: April 10, 2023

The Environmental History Seminar at the MHS invites proposals for sessions in its 2023-2024 series. The Seminar involves discussion of pre-circulated works in progress, especially article or chapter-length papers (20-40 pages), focusing on any aspect of American environmental history. In the past, contributions have addressed: land and water use, fisheries, climate and weather, transportation policy, public health, epistemology, vegetation change, and natural disasters. Papers comparing the American experience with developments elsewhere in the world are also welcome.

Each session focuses on the discussion of a paper distributed to seminar registrants approximately three weeks before the program. Authors must have their papers ready for circulation at this time. The essayist and an assigned commentator will each have an opportunity for remarks before the discussion is opened to the floor. Sessions may take place virtually, in person, or in a hybrid format as conditions allow.
We invite proposals (500 words) and CVs (3 pages maximum) from interested researchers. In your proposal, please indicate when your paper can be available for distribution, as well as your preference (fall or spring) based on when the seminar’s feedback would be helpful to you. Advise us of any special scheduling conditions, such as a planned trip to Boston or an extended period when you cannot make a presentation. The steering committee will consider all proposals for the available session slots, and proposers will be notified by early summer
Please submit your proposals by 10 April 2023 to seminars@masshist.org.

Upcoming Events

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This is an online event.

El Teatro Campesino created dramatic performances engaging their fellow farmworkers in fields and orchards, on picket lines and…

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This is a hybrid event. The in-person reception will begin at 4:30 pm. 

For seventeenth-century Susquehannock and Piscataway people, small rivers, creeks…