Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


WMQ  &   EMSI Workshop—Early American Environmental Histories

May 19–20, 2017 • The Huntington Library

Introduction | Program: May 19 • May 20 | Papers

The WMQ-EMSI Workshop Series is designed to identify and encourage new trends in our understanding of the history and culture of early North America. It fosters intellectual exchange among scholars working on thematically related topics that may be chronologically, geographically, or methodologically diverse. The participants, many of whom have embarked on second or third book projects, will share their work in progress with the aim of deepening and enriching their perspectives, their approaches, and ultimately the final products of their research. Subsequently, the convener may write an essay elaborating on the issues raised at the workshop for publication in the William and Mary Quarterly.

This workshop seeks to bring together scholars who are crafting the next generation of early American environmental histories. Papers that challenge conventional periodizations while remaining recognizably early American are especially encouraged, as are those centered on Caribbean, Canadian, Mesoamerican, the entire North American continent, oceanic, and transatlantic topics. We encourage contributions by scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Among the questions we anticipate exploring: How and in what ways does environmental history expand the archive? What theories of historical causation does environmental history privilege? How does environmental history challenge or support the accepted chronologies and geographic scales that frame our histories? What new light does environmental history shed on topics of abiding interest to early Americanists? What contributions can early Americanists make to the field of environmental history as a whole?

Presenters’ papers are precirculated among the workshop participants. In each hour-long session devoted to a particular paper, brief respondents’ comments will be followed by thirty minutes of discussion among the participants. Audience members will then be invited to join the conversation.

Requests for registration and access to the workshop papers should be sent to Kelly Crawford (kscraw@wm.edu).

The WMQ-EMSI Workshops are sponsored by the University of Southern California-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute (with financial support from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities) and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and are hosted by the Huntington Library and the University of Southern California.