#EnvHist Worth Reading: July 2014

A few selections from the shelves in the NiCHE office

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Every month we carefully track the most popular and significant environmental history articles, videos, audio, and other items making their way through the online environmental history (#envhist) community. Here are our choices for items most worth reading from July 2014.

1. WCEH Reflections:

The Second World Congress of Environmental History was held in Guimaraes, Portugal, July 8-12, 2014. A Storify of all tweets from the event was compiled by Finn Arne Jørgensen. In addition to reflection posts by NiCHE New Scholars Grant recipients on our website, the conference spurred a number of  other reflection pieces. Here are a few noteworthy post-WCEH blog posts:

Environmental History in the Making in Portugal and the Severn Sea by Alexander Portch

Conference Report: World Congress of Environmental History by Alexander Hall

Second World Congress of Environmental History – Part 1 by Johan Gärdebo

Environmental History and Science at the World Congress by Stephen Bocking

2. Next Steps: Catherine McNeur

The Urban History Association posted an interview with environmental historian Catherine McNeur, who is currently an assistant professor of environmental and public history at Portland State University. McNeur answers questions about her past and current research, her experience on the job market, teaching, and her upcoming book, Taming Manhattan: Environmental Battles in the Antebellum City, illuminating the interconnections between environmental, urban, and public history.

3. Exploring the Po River Delta: An Experiment in Digital Multimedia Storytelling

Giacomo Parrinello writes about the importance of visiting the locations that one is researching and writing about and provides an excellent example of how historians can make more out of their field outings. In this piece, Parrinello recounts his visit to the Po River Delta and the way in which he documented his visit by way of a multimedia map. He states that “with a smartphone to take pictures, shoot videos, and geolocate my position, I documented some of the most salient aspects of the landscape I explored. I then used the Google Maps Engine to create a map of the places I visited.”

4. Oysters, farming, and parks: West vs. East?

Jackie Mirandola Mullen provides a thought-provoking post on the issue of permitting agriculture within American national park boundaries. Mullen complicates the discussion by demonstrating that Eastern parks, unlike their Western cousins, have a history of working with and incorporating agriculture. Mullen suggests that these Eastern examples are often overlooked by the Western parks due to the traditionally regionalized and segmented nature of the National Park System.

5. Contemplating Time and Tide in the Sailor’s Magazine

Isaac Land ponders the existential musings of 19th century sailors and connects spirituality to historical conceptions of the ocean by way of an evangelical essay in the Sailor’s Magazine. “When sailors looked out at the water, did they sometimes think about the grand sweep of sacred history, the world’s beginning and its end? When they watched waves crashing on the shore, did they sometimes feel the pangs of a troubled conscience? I suspect they did,” concludes Land.

Remember to follow #envhist hashtag and NiCHE (@NiCHE_Canada) on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to keep up with the latest environmental history content.

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is an environmental historian of Canada and the United States, editor, and digital communications strategist. She earned her PhD in History from the University of Saskatchewan in 2019. She is an executive member, editor-in-chief, and social media editor for the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE). She is also a working board member of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society and Girls Rock Saskatoon. A passionate social justice advocate, she focuses on developing digital techniques and communications that bridge the divide between academia and the general public in order to democratize knowledge access. You can find out more about her and her freelance services at jessicamdewitt.com.

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