Northeast and Atlantic Region Environmental History Forum (NEAR-EH) Call for Papers, 2022

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Backyard Environments: Encountering Nature at Home

Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25, 2022

University of Maine Hutchinson Center, Belfast, Maine

Extended Deadline: February 25, 2022

The Northeast and Atlantic Region Environmental History Forum (NEAR-EH) brings together a group of scholars exploring the environmental history of the northeastern United States and northeastern Canada. This group first met in 2012 at the Massachusetts Historical Society with the basic premise that the environmental history of this region has its own story to tell. For several years, the group has sponsored a workshop for which participants submit pre-circulated papers that are then discussed in-depth, going well beyond the typical level of engagement authors get at a standard academic conference. Many participants have since published their papers as articles, chapters of books, or essays, or have used the feedback to advance their scholarly agenda and win competitive research grants.

While NEAR-EH has not met for two years due to the COVID pandemic, the group plans to meet in person in 2022, hosted by the University of Maine’s Canadian-American Center at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine. There may be a graduated registration fee (scaled for faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, etc.), but we hope to keep it to a minimum. However, there will be some funds for help with travel and accommodations. Once participation is confirmed, the organizers will circulate more detailed information about the workshop.

The workshop theme this year is “Backyard Environments: Encountering Nature at Home.” The organizers welcome submission of papers that reflect the reality that many of us have been spending more time at home recently and reflecting on the green spaces nearby. As such, there is growing interest in informed reflections on local places.

Previous NEAR-EH workshops resulted in the McGill-Queen’s publication The Greater Gulf: Essays on the Environmental History of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (2020), and it is hoped that this workshop could act in a similar capacity.

Please note! The organizers also welcome submissions that fall outside of the workshop theme but still focus on the environmental history of northeast North America.

We limit paper submissions to twelve so as to ensure a meaningful experience that includes close examination and discussion of the papers. Anyone, of course, is welcome to attend the discussion.

Please submit proposals of 250 words with a shortened CV (max 2 pages) to Mark McLaughlin at no later than February 25, 2022. Additional information concerning the workshop or Belfast, Maine in general can be directed to Mark McLaughlin at

Acceptance into the workshop will be announced early March 2022. Papers are due for circulation to other participants on May 27, 2022. 

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Professor of History at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where I revel in Canadiana and environmental history. Also a lover of exploring, maps, Jane of Lantern Hill, and Scandinavia.

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