Palm Oil’s Industrial Past Illuminates its Ubiquity Today

The following is a guest blog post by Jonathan E. Robins, author of Oil Palm: A Global History. By telling the story of the oil palm across multiple centuries and continents, Robins demonstrates how the fruits of an African palm tree became a key commodity in the story of global capitalism, beginning in the eras… Continue Reading Palm Oil’s Industrial Past Illuminates its Ubiquity Today

Tainted Tap: Preface

To spread awareness of National Water Quality Month, I decided to post an excerpt from one of the titles featured last week on our “Happy National Water Quality Month!” recommended reading list. This excerpt is from the Preface of Katrinell M. Davis’ Tainted Tap: Flint’s Journey from Crisis to Recovery. Assessing the challenges that community… Continue Reading Tainted Tap: Preface

An Unexpected Mechanism of Native Dispossession

The following is a guest blog post by Jonathan Todd Hancock, author of Convulsed States: Earthquakes, Prophecy, and the Remaking of Early America. Through varied peoples’ efforts to come to grips with the New Madrid earthquakes, Hancock reframes early nineteenth-century North America as a site where all of its inhabitants wrestled with fundamental human questions… Continue Reading An Unexpected Mechanism of Native Dispossession

Happy National Water Quality Month! A Recommended Reading List

Did you know “Every year, more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war”? With statistics like that, spreading the knowledge behind National Water Quality Month is a necessity. Most communities affected by unsafe water were never cared for from the beginning, so it’s important that those who have the means fight… Continue Reading Happy National Water Quality Month! A Recommended Reading List

UNC Libraries’ Off The Shelf Author Talk with Finis Dunaway

In May, Finis Dunaway, author of Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice, was featured on UNC Libraries’ Off the Shelf series. In the Author Talk below, Finis discusses how his book wasn’t exactly the book he planned to write, how one image sparked the concept for… Continue Reading UNC Libraries’ Off The Shelf Author Talk with Finis Dunaway

Gender and the Past and Future of Palm Oil

Guest blog post by Jonathan E. Robins, author of Oil Palm: A Global History The modern palm oil industry has a masculine face. Visitors to plantations can see men wielding wobbly cutting tools as they slice fruit from palm trees, and heave the spiky bunches of fruit into trucks. Men drive the bulldozers and excavators… Continue Reading Gender and the Past and Future of Palm Oil

A Volcano in Asheville

Guest blog post by Jonathan Todd Hancock, author of Convulsed States: Earthquakes, Prophecy, and the Remaking of Early America In December 1811, a volcano erupted in Asheville.  An eyewitness named John Edwards reported the disturbing details to the Raleigh newspaper The Star.  After an unusual earthquake, a mountain burned “with great violence,” and cooling lava had dammed up… Continue Reading A Volcano in Asheville

Happy (early) Juneteenth! A Reading List, Part Two

Happy early JuneTeenth again! I’m back with part two of the recommended reading list in celebration of JuneTeenth, “the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.” Part one of the recommended reading list focused on the experiences of black American slaves whose labor helped shape the fabric of America.… Continue Reading Happy (early) Juneteenth! A Reading List, Part Two

Dr. Monica White, Author of Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, on the Healthy Food Movement’s Spilt Milk: The Food Trust Podcast

In February, author of Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement Dr. Monica M. White was featured on the first episode of the Healthy Food Movement’s new podcast called Spilt Milk: The Food Trust podcast. Spilt Milk helps consumers make sense of our food system by intersecting food with our mental, physical and… Continue Reading Dr. Monica White, Author of Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, on the Healthy Food Movement’s Spilt Milk: The Food Trust Podcast

Meet the Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges Series Editors

Check out this quick Q&A with our Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges Series Editors Mart Stewart and Harriet Rivo. Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges 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… Continue Reading Meet the Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges Series Editors

Earth Day 2021 Recommended Reading List

Happy Earth Day and Earth Week from the UNC Press Staff! In celebration of the times, we’ve created a recommended reading list of some of our latest environmental justice books. DEFENDING THE ARCTIC REFUGE: A PHOTOGRAPHER, AN INDIGENOUS NATION, AND A FIGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE BY FINIS DUNAWAY Tucked away in the northeastern corner of… Continue Reading Earth Day 2021 Recommended Reading List

Florida’s Environmental Issues and the Price of Unchecked Development

Happy Earth Week and #EHW2021! Guest blog post by Jason Vuic, author of The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream (available now for preorder, and on sale June 2021) In early April 2021, to honor the U.S. Senate’s “Small Business of the Week,” Senator Marco… Continue Reading Florida’s Environmental Issues and the Price of Unchecked Development

April C. Smith: Discovering Science and Nature Through Outdoor Exploration

Today we welcome a guest post by April C. Smith and Sarah J. Carrier, editor and assistant editor of Thirty Great North Carolina Science Adventures: From Underground Wonderlands to Islands in the Sky and Everything in Between, out now from UNC Press. North Carolina possesses an astonishingly rich array of natural wonders. Building on this… Continue Reading April C. Smith: Discovering Science and Nature Through Outdoor Exploration

Matthew Morse Booker: Who Should Be Responsible for Food Safety?

Today we welcome a guest post from Matthew Morse Booker, co-editor (with Charles C. Ludington) of Food Fights: How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates, available now from UNC Press. What we eat, where it is from, and how it is produced are vital questions in today’s America. We think seriously about food because it… Continue Reading Matthew Morse Booker: Who Should Be Responsible for Food Safety?

Author Interview: Jeremy Zallen on American Lucifers: The Dark History of Artificial Light, 1750-1865

In this Q&A, UNC Press graduate student intern Eric Bontempo (@ebontemp) talks with author Jeremy Zallen about his new book American Lucifers: The Dark History of Artificial Light, 1750-1865, out this month from UNC Press. From whale oil to kerosene, from the colonial period to the end of the U.S. Civil War, modern, industrial lights brought… Continue Reading Author Interview: Jeremy Zallen on American Lucifers: The Dark History of Artificial Light, 1750-1865

Oscar de la Torre: The Towering Inferno: Fire and Globalization in Amazonia

Today we welcome a guest post from Oscar de la Torre, author of The People of the River: Nature and Identity in Black Amazonia, 1835-1945, published last fall by UNC Press. In this history of the black peasants of Amazonia, Oscar de la Torre focuses on the experience of African-descended people navigating the transition from slavery… Continue Reading Oscar de la Torre: The Towering Inferno: Fire and Globalization in Amazonia

Mushroom of the Month, September 2018: Cortinarius argentatus

Here’s the final entry in our series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Cortinarius argentatus. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still others… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, September 2018: Cortinarius argentatus

Mushroom of the Month, August 2018: Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

Here’s the next entry in our monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly,… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, August 2018: Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

Mushroom of the Month, July 2018: Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

Here’s the next entry in our monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly,… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, July 2018: Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

Mushroom of the Month, June 2018: Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

Continuing our cool new monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, June 2018: Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei