Distributed March 14, 2003
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis
March 26-30, 2003
Brown to host ASEH conference, Pulitzer winner Jared Diamond
Brown University will host the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History, titled Frontiers in Environmental History: Mainstreaming the “Marginal,” March 26-30, 2003, at the Providence Biltmore Hotel. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond will open the conference when he speaks Wednesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University will host the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History March 26 to 30, 2003, at the Providence Biltmore Hotel. Some 240 environmental scholars and activists will participate in this year’s conference, titled Frontiers in Environmental History: Mainstreaming the “Marginal.”
The four-day event will open Wednesday, March 26, with a keynote lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond at 7:30 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green at Brown. Diamond, the author of Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and a professor of geography at UCLA, will speak on “What Environmental and Cultural Factors Make Some Societies Especially Fragile?”
Diamond’s lecture is free and open to the public; registration is required for all other conference events, which include 60 panel sessions March 27-29 at the Biltmore Hotel, a half-dozen local field trips March 28, and an international teleconference on “Environmentalism in the Developing World” March 30 at Brown’s Watson Institute for International Studies.
Panel topics range from political, historical and regional environmental issues to alternative fuels and environmental health wars. Among the many conference highlights will be “A Conversation about Love Canal,” featuring environmental activist Lois Gibbs and other panelists, March 29 at 12:30 p.m. in the grand ballroom of the Biltmore. Outgoing ASEH President Carolyn Merchant of the University of California–Berkley will speak on “Race and Environmental History” during a luncheon meeting March 27. During an evening banquet Saturday, March 29, U.N. Ambassador Mwelwa Musambachime of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia will speak on “The Status of the African Lion: Towards Extinction or Possible Survival.”
“This conference has been designed to emphasize the issues of class and race that haven’t been in the mainstream of environmental history,” said Nancy Jacobs, an assistant professor of history and Africana studies at Brown and a conference coordinator.
“The conference demonstrates the maturing of environmental history as a discipline, especially its increasing emphasis on issues of environmental justice and on adopting a transnational perspective,” added fellow coordinator Karl Jacoby, the Robert J. Carney Assistant Professor of History at Brown.
In conjunction with the ASEH conference, the John Carter Brown Library is hosting a special exhibit, Plants and Publications from the New World, 1492-1825: A Potpourri of Ethnobotany, Taxonomy and Ecological Concerns, curated by Anita Been of Madison, Wis. The library, located on The College Green at Brown, is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
For more information on the conference, call (401) 863-1865. For a full schedule of conference events, visit www.aseh.net. For further information on the John Carter Brown Library exhibit, call (401) 863-1262.