EHN Community Letter April 2023
just-published pieces, team updates, & a new Tools for Change series
Welcome to EHN’s monthly community letter. If you’re reading this but aren’t subscribed, click the button below to get community updates delivered to you every month.
This month on EHN
Emma Schroeder, “Mobilizing the Energy Crisis for Racial Justice”
Lindsay Marshall, who has been part of the EHN team since September 2021, will be moving on from her position as community coordinator. She got a tenure track job and we’re so excited for her. Thank you for everything, Lindsay!
This means we are looking for someone to fill Lindsay’s shoes as community coordinator. One of the responsibilties would be to help launch the mentorship program we’ve been working on. We're hoping to be able to make the EHN community even stronger by setting up such a program for contributors to connect with each other and support each other's work. If interested in helping out in this capacity or if you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Environment Now: Emily Webster
We asked Emily Webster, a review editor for EHN and an Assistant Professor in the History and Philosophy of Health and Medicine at Durham University, about her environment this month.
I'm in my terraced house in Durham, in the North East of England. It's beautiful here right now—tulips, wild garlic, and trees are flowering, and the grass is a lovely multi-textured green again.
I've started regularly listening to This Podcast Will Kill You again, which is a long-term favorite. I love the structure of the podcast—first half biology of the disease, second half history/evolutionary history. The Erins consolidate an amazing amount of information and make really complex things both easy to understand and engaging. (Check out their recent episode on Listeria, it's nuts!)
I'm headed to the American Association for the History of Medicine conference this month, and since it's in the Midwest, I get to spend a bit of extra time with my family. I value these opportunities so much more since moving abroad, and am really looking forward to cuddling my niece and nephews!
Contribute: A New Tools for Change Series on ‘Doing Environmental History’
Circuitous paths often bring people to environmental history. Here at EHN, our contributors and editorial team reflect the diversity of academic paths that can lead into this broad field. Environmental history work can emerge from social sciences like politics and anthropology, physical and natural sciences like biology and geology, interdisciplinary fields like environmental studies and area studies, and practice-based work in the arts and museums, among others. Environmental history’s multi- and interdisciplinarity is a strength but it also has challenges. Especially for those of us entering this field from different academic backgrounds, questions like “Is what I’m doing environmental history?” or “How do you/we/I do environmental history?” abound.
Amidst ongoing calls to broaden access to—and break down the barriers of—the “hidden curriculum” of academia, as well as efforts to embrace more experimental and non-traditional historical approaches (e.g., American Historical Review’s History Unclassified), EHN is launching a new series under the Tools for Change banner that will aim to gather resources, share knowledge, and provide practical advice for engaging in the work of environmental history. This new series, “Doing Environmental History,” asks contributors to consider the act of practicing environmental history through two guiding questions:
– How do you do environmental history?
– What is environmental history doing?
Instead of focusing on theoretical frameworks or abstract concepts, this series is rooted in the practical, everyday work of environmental history. Its focus is methodology—as in, how and why we do what we do. Options for exploring the “doing” of environmental history might include detailed practice advice and/or descriptions of work (like Katrin Kleemann’s piece on planning archival research), insights from teaching (like Bathsheba Demuth’s post on incorporating historical documents to diversify a survey course syllabus), rethinking social and environmental ethics of methods (like Diana M. Valencia’s piece on research travel’s climate costs and Rohini Patel’s insights on what “sustainable” academia might look like), and much more.
We also invite a new format of contributions for EHN: interviews with people doing environmental history in various ways (note: if you’re interested in contributing a post in interview format, please ontact EHN first, rather than the interviewee, to avoid potential interview fatigue!)
Relevant subjects may include:
– Archival and non-archival methods
– Digital humanities methods
– Decolonial and anticolonial methods
– Research ethics
– Participatory and community-engaged methods
– Activism and activist research
– Responding to critiques of “presentism”
– Praxis (ie, dynamic combination of research, practice, and reflection; see Sultana, 2023 for a good overview)
– Pedagogy (ie, frameworks/ideas around practices of teaching and learning)
– Research/project planning
– Public history and environmental history outside academia
This series is housed within our existing Tools for Change series, as “doing” environmental history is part and parcel with transforming environmental history. Indeed, as the second question this series asks—what is environmental history doing?—serves as a prompt to consider not just what environmental history is doing, but also what else it might/should do.
Pieces should be 750-1250 words in length, and can cover any topic within this theme, related to both research and personal experience, across any time or geographical space. Contributors will be considered who fit within the EHN’s larger goal of elevating the voices of graduate students and early career scholars who identify as women, trans and/or nonbinary people in environmental history.
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