2024 American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting

UNC Press is thrilled to be back in the exhibit hall at the American Society for Environmental History annual meeting this week in Denver, CO. We hope you’ll stop by our table to say hello to editor María Isela García and to browse our titles on display. If you can’t join us in-person, you can always visit our virtual booth!

Environmental history has long been a core commitment of our publishing program, and we continue to be impressed with the rich quality, expansive scope, and ingenuity of the work by the ASEH community. This much is to be expected from a field and community that has since its inception valued multidisciplinary and flexibility in its approach to history; and, today it can be admired in research seeking to comprehend the agency of unruly nature, provide breadth to our more-than-human world, and interrogate environmental and sociopolitical entanglements the world over.

Our Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges series publishes works of environmental history 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.

Enjoy this Q&A with series editors Mart Stewart & Harriet Ritvo:

What excites you in the field of environmental history?

In our Flows, Migrations, Exchanges series, we have admired work that has focused on the concrete features of environmental history, on organisms of all sizes and shapes, on soils, environmental geographies, and climate. We’re excited by the expansion of the scope of environmental history as the field continues to thrive—for example, recent attention to insects and mushrooms. This vibrant and creative field, now practiced by historians around the globe, still surprises—and we always welcome new and fresh work in environmental history that engages with the flows, migrations and exchanges theme of our series.

What can we expect to see from the series in the next year or two?

We have occasionally paused to admire the series’ laurels and to thank the UNC Press and the authors of the books already published for the impressive list, recognized by numerous awards and prizes.  We’ve also been pleased that the series includes books that explore geographically diverse subjects, written by historians working in many different places. We hope for more work of the same character and quality as we go forward. 

Book cover for Creatures of Fashion by John soluri

We currently have several exciting projects in various stages of development on boundary-crossing organisms, including sharks and jaguars. The sharks will be here soon! These not-so-friendly organisms and forces are already balanced, it perhaps needs to be said, by publications already in the series on much friendlier ones—cattlesheepcaribou, and turtles, for example.  And prominently by the most recent addition to the series, John Soluri’s Creatures of Fashion: Animals, Global Markets, and the Transformation of Patagonia—just out, and on display and available for order at the American Society for Environmental History’s annual meeting in Denver this week. We’re also happy to announce the next book that will be published in our series, on environmental politics and boundary-enforcing conservation strategies: Joshua Nygren’s The State of Conservation: Rural America and the State-Industrial Complex Since 1920, scheduled to be published later this year. 

Is there anything on your wish list for the series to publish in the future?

We would like to see more place-based studies, where organisms and ideas about them converge and change or are changed in particular environments—Timothy Lorek’s Making the Green Revolutionabout the Green Revolution in Columbia and published in our series last year, is a good example. In general, we would especially welcome work in agricultural history, and work that studies international or global environmental justice initiatives, especially as they are entangled in particular locales and environments.  We would like to see more scholarship in which environmental history and the history of science overlap: for example, Megan Raby’s award-winning study, published in our series in 2017, of the roots of biodiversity science in American field stations in the Caribbean, and Kathleen Murphy’s excellent study, published last fall, of the tortured relationship of natural history collecting and the trade in enslaved humans, Captivity’s Collections: Science, Natural History, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. What we would most like to see, in general, is what we’ve seen so far and that we mentioned earlier: work that is fresh, consonant with the series theme, and that expands our historical understanding of environmental change and interactions. We’ve published some great books in the series; more of the same is just fine with us.

Mart Stewart teaches courses in environmental and cultural history at Western Washington University, and is also an affiliate professor in Huxley College of the Environment.

Harriet Ritvo is Arthur J. Conner Professor of History Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on British history, environmental history, the history of human-animal relations, and the history of natural history.

graphic with selection of Environmental History books on a red and white gradiant background

Stop by either our in-person booth or our virtual booth to browse our titles on display! Be sure to use promo code 01DAH40 at checkout to receive our 40% conference discount. And if your order totals over $75, domestic US shipping is FREE.