Call for Participants: New Scholars Reading Club

Image credit: Justin Fisher

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As summer approaches, many new scholars – particularly graduate students – are likely unsure how to feel. Summer often brings the opportunity for research trips, conferences, and well-deserved holidays. But we are entering a summer like none we have seen, with continued restrictions on travel, archival closures, and public health measures that implore us to stick close to home. While this does mean that many of us will miss out on seeing our colleagues in person for the time being, it does not have to mean that we cannot get together virtually.

Beginning this month, NiCHE New Scholars will be hosting the NiCHE New Scholars Reading Club. The reading club will bring those interested in environmental history together to discuss new and exciting works in the field. This will be a great way to not only connect with other scholars, but also to stay up to date with the literature and to engage with others in a “seminar-like” setting. Each club meeting will centre on one (1) book or two to three (2-3) articles based around a central theme.  Meeting frequency will be based on availability and interest. When possible, we also hope to invite interested authors to join the conversation to share more about their work and to answer questions.

In our first meeting (which we aim to schedule between June 15-19) we will explore the theme of hope and its place in environmental history/historiography. For this meeting we plan to discuss Graeme Wynn’s 2019 ASEH Presidential Address “Framing an Ecology of Hope” (available via Environmental History), Christoff Mauch’s 2019 article “Slow Hope: Rethinking Ecologies of Crisis and Fear” (available via the Rachel Carson Centre), and posts from the “Hope and Environmental History” mini-series curated by Tina Adcock and published by NiCHE in 2017.

Are you interested in joining in? While the New Scholars community is centred upon graduate students, recent graduates, and postdocs, this reading group will welcome everyone – all you need is a keen interest in environmental history! If you would like to register, please do so by filling out this form. This will help us get in contact with you, schedule our first meeting, and give us ideas about possible topics to discuss at future reading club meetings. Have you recently read a book or article that demands discussion? Is there something you’ve had on your to-read list/comps list and you’re looking for some motivation to check it off? Let us know!

We hope this initiative will help to provide a continued sense of community and the opportunity to stay connected with each other, as well as a way of catching up on new work of interest. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: Justin Fisher ( or M. Blake Butler (

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Justin Fisher and M. Blake Butler

Justin Fisher is a PhD candidate in Environmental History at the University of Saskatchewan and the NiCHE New Scholars representative. You can follow him on Twitter @_JustinFisher_. M. Blake Butler is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Western University. You can follow him on Twitter @M_BlakeButler.

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