The largest annual conference on environmental history, the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), begins Thursday, April 4, in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. This is only the second time that the conference has met in Canada.
More than 600 delegates from Canada, the United States and 19 countries representing six continents, will explore a wide range of environmental history subjects. Individual papers cover a diverse array of topics such as mountain biking culture, chemical diplomacy, climate change in 17th-century Mexico, zombies, and the impact of space debris. York University has an important role in this year’s gathering. Chair of the local organizing committee, Glendon Professor Colin Coates, Professor Anders Sandberg of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Professor Emeritus Richard Hoffmann of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and PhD student Andrew Watson in the graduate program in History, have contributed to the planning for the conference. Thirteen York University professors and graduate students are on the conference program, making York University the best represented institution overall. The ASEH conference will be a key moment to highlight York University’s renowned strength in the area of environmental history.
Chair of the ASEH local organizing committee, Glendon Professor Colin Coates, a Canada Research Chair in Canada Research Chair in Canadian Cultural Landscapes, and director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies
Distinguished scholar, Georgetown University Professor and ASEH President John McNeill will present the keynote address on the topic, “Arnold Toynbee: World Environmental Historian?” over lunch on Thursday.
The Thursday evening plenary roundtable, “The Fossil Fuel Dilemma: Vision, Values, and Technoscience in the Alberta Oil Sands,” features Métis filmmaker Warren Carriou, sociologist Sara Dorow, cultural theorist Imre Szeman and historical geographer Graeme Wynn.
A series of field trips on Friday afternoon will take delegates to areas around Southern Ontario where they will explore the environmental history of the Toronto-Hamilton region. Delegates will chose among tours including the Leslie Street Spit, the lakefill that has become a wildlife sanctuary; the Rouge River, the soon-to-be first urban national park in Canada; sites of historical indigenous occupation along the Humber River and in High Park; and Hamilton Harbour, where important ecological restorations are taking place.
For more information, visit the conference website. There is still space available and local delegates are welcome to attend.
The conference is jointly sponsored by York University, the Network in Canadian History & Environment, McMaster University, Trent University and the University of Toronto.
Chair of the local organizing committee, Professor Colin Coates of Glendon College, Professor Anders Sandberg of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Emeritus Professor Richard Hoffmann of LA&PS and PhD student Andrew Watson in the graduate program in History have contributed to the planning for the conference. Thirteen York University professors andgraduate students are on the conference programme, making the university the best represented institution overall. The ASEH conference will be a key moment to highlight York University’s renowned strength in the area of environmental history.