The program committee for the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History invites panel and poster proposals for its March 2008 meeting in Boise, Idaho. Proposals may address any area of environmental history, but in keeping with the conference themes we solicit submissions examining the intersecting roles of people, climate, and place in environmental history. The conference site is one of the nation’s most rapidly growing cities. Set in the Great Basin desert on the fringe of the Rocky Mountains, Boise has long been shaped by booster dreams of a desert transformed through water works. Today, Boise, like many places, is facing profound changes as global climate and economic trends intersect with its regional demography and environment. The committee encourages panel and poster proposals that focus on the following broad themes:
Agents of Change—Contemporary science and politics have forced public recognition of the importance of natural agents in human affairs, especially climate, while forcing reconsideration of the status of these agents as “natural”. Historians, geographers, and historical ecologists can help advance and refine these perspectives. We encourage submissions from researchers that consider these agents, and whose work spans historical periods, from the modern to the medieval or ancient.
Region and Place—Environmental historians are increasingly questioning conventional views of regions and regionality, through research on places that transcend national boundaries and traditionally-defined regions, and by considering people—including immigrant, diasporic, and refugee communities—as “place makers.” We encourage proposals that rethink region and place in light of dynamic climatic, demographic, economic, or political processes.
Shifting Boundaries — Boise sits amid volatile boundaries: between mountains and desert, public land and private land, urban and rural communities. Similarly, environmental history encompasses multiple methods and disciplines. We encourage proposals that examine how spatial relationships, ecological processes, and intellectual boundaries have shaped our understanding of change, and our views of our own scholarly practices.
The committee strongly prefers complete panel proposals rather than individual papers. Limit panels to three papers (commentator optional) or four papers and no commentator. Plan the length of introductions, presentations, and comments so that your panel leaves ½ hour for discussion. Participants may only present one formal paper, but they may also engage in roundtable, chairing, or comment duties.
To submit your panel or poster proposal, go to ASEH’s website (www.aseh.net) and click on “Submit Session Proposals.”
Should you have questions, please contact any member of the program committee: Lynne Heasley, Chair, Western Michigan University ([email protected]) Stephen Bocking, Trent University ([email protected]) Kimberly Little, University of Central Arkansas ([email protected], [email protected]) Kevin Marsh, Co-chair, Local Arrangements Committee, Idaho State University ([email protected]) Kendra Smith Howard, University of Wisconsin-Madison, ([email protected])