Announcing a new book series: Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges

Under the editorship of Mart A. Stewart and Harriet Ritvo, Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges seeks book projects that explore the cross-border movements of organisms and materials that have shaped the modern world, as well as the varied human attempts to understand, regulate, and manage these movements. Although the series will emphasize scholarship whose analysis is transnational in scope, it will also include scholarship that explores movement across intranational boundaries. The core discipline of the series will be environmental history, but authors might also engage with scholarship in such allied fields as agricultural and rural development history, urban history, political ecology, the history of science and technology, historical geography, and natural resource policy.

Kathryn Shively Meier: Civil War Soldier Trauma in Unexpected Places

Soldiers on both sides pegged environmental circumstances as some of the most serious stressors of the war. Privates through non-commissioned officers, common soldiers rarely had traveled far from home before deploying. That meant the vast majority of them were transported to foreign environments that appeared extremely threatening based on popular notions of disease causation. Lacking conceptions of germ theory or insect-borne illness (theories developed in the 1870s and 80s respectively), mid-century Americans widely believed that a sudden change of location or weather and the air, water, and terrain of certain locales (particularly those of the South) caused life-threatening diseases, such as dysentery, malaria, and typhoid. It was clear to soldiers that disease claimed far more mortalities than combat; indeed, two-thirds of soldier deaths by war’s end would be from sickness rather than wounds. Nature appeared to be the soldiers’ fiercest enemy.

North Carolina Icons: Barrier Islands and Wild Horses

Our State strongly recommends a trip out to the beloved Outer Banks where you can visit the barrier islands and, “In Corolla and Shackleford Banks, you can see North Carolina’s most famous horses.”

Interview: T. DeLene Beeland, author of The Secret World of Red Wolves

Red wolves are shy, elusive, and misunderstood predators. Until the 1800s, they were common in the longleaf pine savannas and deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. However, habitat degradation, persecution, and interbreeding with the coyote nearly annihilated them. Today, reintroduced red wolves are found only in peninsular northeastern North Carolina within less than 1 percent of their former range. In The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf, nature writer T. DeLene Beeland shadows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s pioneering recovery program over the course of a year to craft an intimate portrait of the red wolf, its history, and its restoration.

Interview: Tom Earnhardt on Crossroads of the Natural World

The first essay, “Three Elephants in the Basement,” allowed me to transport the reader back to a time not very long ago—just a comma and three zeroes ago—when the land that would become North Carolina was populated by three species of elephant and a menagerie of strange animals as large as any in Africa today.

Award-winning books from UNC Press (updated)

We are honored and delighted to share the news of some of our most recent award-winning books. Hope you’ll join us in congratulating these fine authors. And you may want to consider using some of these books in your classroom or kitchen. Click the cover images or book titles to go to the book page …

Continue reading ‘Award-winning books from UNC Press (updated)’ »

North Carolina Icons: Appalachian Trail, Part 2: Nature

Our featured North Carolina icon this week is the Appalachian Trail. There are thousands of different species of plants and animals along the Appalachian Trail, varying as the trail goes through different climates. There are 2,000 rare, threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species.

Gordon M. Sayre: The Founding of New Orleans: A City of Floods

A large portion of New Orleans lies below sea level, although the historic and touristic French Quarter, the part of the city that dates to the French period in the mid-eighteenth century, is just barely above sea level and suffered the least from Katrina. The reasons for New Orleans’ vulnerability, and the reasons why the city was established where it is, are revealed in the narrative of Jean-François Benjamin Dumont de Montigny.

North Carolina Icons: Longleaf Pine

This week in our North Carolina Icons series, we jump to #94 on Our State Magazine’s list of 100 North Carolina Icons: the Longleaf Pine. Our book recommendations are to be enjoyed with your favorite beverage, a glass of which you should raise high as you recite the North Carolina State Toast (yes, we have one!).

North Carolina Icons: Loggerhead Sea Turtles

This week we continue our NC Icons series with loggerhead sea turtles, number nine on Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list. Loggerhead sea turtles are an endangered species that nest along North Carolina’s coast (and as far south as Florida and north to Virginia).

Interview: Christopher C. Sellers on the origins of American environmentalism

During the post-WWII period in the United States, a new generation of pollutants proved especially mobile and persistent. Overriding a widespread segregation of neighborhoods by class as well as race, these pollutants proved capable of pervading entire suburban metropolises. Americans, especially around our largest cities, were forced to confront just how shared the burden of pollution had become.

Excerpt: Crabgrass Crucible, by Christopher C. Sellers

In the United States, even from Bunner’s time, what nourished the nature love of the more and less scientifically qualified alike was a shared suburban experience. It was one not so much of home buying as home owning. Nor was it reducible to suburban dwellers’ relationship with “the land,” however fraught. What finally secured the breadth of environmentalism’s appeal was how nature love itself had become ever more suffused with anxieties about human health.

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