CHESS Photo Contest: The Suburbs Around You

Late afternoon facing towards the Vegas suburbs. Source: Daniel Ramirez.

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With the school year over and spring (pollen) in the air, it’s time to pick up your camera, head outside, and take some pictures! The theme of this year’s Canadian History and Environment Summer School (CHESS) is suburban environmental history, so we are having a photo contest on that same theme.

We invite all NiCHE members to participate in the contest. If you are not a member, you can sign up for free. You don’t need a fancy camera and Photoshop skills. All you need is some kind of image-making device plus an interest in suburbia, the environment, and history. The winning entry will receive a fabulous prize package that consists of some great books in suburban environmental history.

Send us images of suburban environments around you. Send us your macros and wildlife shots; send us landscape and street photos. Send us photos of people and of places. Send photos directly related to your research, perhaps from exotic faraway suburbs that you’ve visited and that have an unusual historical story attached to them. Send photos of your everyday surroundings that have inspired you to think about the intertwined histories of suburbia and the environment. Got aerial photos? Send them. Got a rephotography project underway? You know what to do.

Contest entry is simple, and you are welcome to submit as many entries as you like. Please send the photograph (as a jpg smaller than 10mb) and an accompanying text of no more than 500 words in English or French (as a Word document) in a single email to by June 15, 2014. We will post the submissions on NiCHE’s Flickr page and will also tweet some of the entries in the lead-up to and aftermath of CHESS 2014. The organizers of CHESS will serve as the contest judges. Please make sure that you own the rights to the photo and its communication. Have fun!

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Sean Kheraj

Associate Professor and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University
Sean Kheraj is a member of the executive committee of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at


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