HEAR Update, June 2009

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It looks to be shaping up to be a busy year – or three! – ahead. Here’s a list of things going on with environmental history in the Atlantic region.

Plans include a special issue of Acadiensis devoted to environmental history; a discussion about teaching in the region; a regional history text; and a couple of major events.

At the Atlantic Canada Studies conference held at the University of Prince Edward Island from April 30 to May 3, Alan MacEachern of UWO, Rob Summerby-Murray of Mount Allison, Sharon Weaver of UGuelph, and Claire Campbell of Dalhousie sat on a panel about the state of environmental history in the region, and suggested opportunities for future work. There was a lot of interest in the audience, many of whom were new to NiCHE & HEAR.


  • Form a HEAR executive, to consist of John Sandlos (MUN), Arn Keeling (MUN), Claire, Rob, Ed Macdonald (UPEI), and possibly Meaghan Beaton, a PhD student in Canadian Studies at Trent.
  • Undertake a quick survey of who is working on environmental history in the region (starting with the NiCHE directory).

2009-2011: Fixed Dates

  • Summer/fall 2009: issue a call for papers for a special Acadiensis, about environmental history, aiming for a spring 2010 publication.
  • Graeme Wynn of UBC will be giving a MacKay Lecture at Dalhousie on September 17 – open to the public!
  • Fall 2009: proposed follow-up of the Atlantic Canada Study Unit, with Parks Canada.
    Initial meetings held at Acadia, May 2009; Claire attended on behalf of NiCHE. Note: While the emphasis in “action on the ground” projects underway in the parks is strongly about ecological science, and any mention of social science references “visitor experience,” there may be opportunities for proposing some historical research projects.
  • The Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada will have its 2010 conference at Lunenburg and one of the organizers, Steven Mannell (director of Dal’s College of Sustainability), would like an environmental history/landscape presence.

Longer Term (ie. 2010-11)

  • Should start a discussion (online?) about teaching environmental history, sharing curriculum using BLS/etc.; a series of e-lectures?
  • A regional EH text (a “theoretically and regionally informed EH of Atlantic Canada,” to quote Rob) – probably the biggest undertaking.
  • Fredericton, 2011: CHESS.
  • Rob spoke with Andrew Nurse (Canadian Studies) about hosting a Ganong Lecture as part of the next ACS conference (Mt. A, 2011?) or overlap?

Featured image: PEI Coastline, 2021. Photo by AH Morgan on Unsplash.

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