American Studies Program

Title line


Title line

2010 Conference             2011 Conference: Creating Healthy Landscapes

Social Conflict and Environmental Change in Comparative and Historical Perspective.”

A Northeast Regional Conference

Yale University, Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Haven, Connecticut

"The quality of the discussion after the panels was really excellent-- commenting both on the individual papers and on larger issues and themes related to environmental history."

                                               2010 Conference Participant



Social conflicts over natural resources shape the abilities of communities and nations to access water, energy, food, and other critical needs. These struggles to control and manage resources – as well as ideas about these resources – have profound implications not only for ecological integrity but also for social justice and equity. Environmental history scholarship has played a leading role in exploring the origins and unfolding of such struggles, whether between governments and indigenous peoples, corporations and communities, scientists and the public, or different ethnic groups.

On April 17, 2010, Environmental History at Yale welcomed participants from twenty northeastern colleges and universities to a one-day conference featuring innovative scholarship by doctoral students from northeastern universities. 

Three moderated panel sessions explored our conference theme: "Social Conflict and Environmental Change in Comparative and Historical Perspective." Our first session explored political conflicts surrounding technology and expertise in natural resource development.  Our second session examined border landscapes and social conflict.  Our third panel considered problems and issues associated with the extraction and exploitation of biological resources.  Professor Donald Worster of the University of Kansas delivered a lunchtime address.  A faculty panel featuring Karl Jacoby (Brown), Harriet Ritvo (MIT), and Emmanuel Kreike (Princeton) concluded the day.

"I was terribly impressed by the overall, uniform quality of the Ph.D. student papers, and the poise of the presenters.  The substance, organization and clarity of their presentations exceeded that which I have become accustomed to at many faculty conferences in my discipline."

                                                  2010 Conference Participant

The conference schedule is still available.  If you would like to receive more information regarding next year's conference as it becomes available, please email

 2011 Conference: Creating Healthy Landscapes

We are grateful to our Co-Sponsors and Supporters:

Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund

Department of History, Yale University

Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders

Honest Tea

MacMillan Center at Yale

Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale

Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Faculty and Student Conference Organizers:

Kate Carman

Helen Curry

Christine DeLucia

Catherine McNeur

Barry Muchnick

Peter Perdue

Paul Sabin

"I thought this was a wonderful conference and I am very grateful to the organizers.  I most enjoyed it as an opportunity to survey the range of topics and methods being studied/used by graduate students in environmental history right now, as well as for the chance to have informal conversations with colleagues from other institutions.  I thought the atmosphere was great and the number of attendees was encouraging.  I was really impressed by the balance between junior and senior members of the field in attendance and I enjoyed the dynamic it created."

                                             2010 Conference Participant

     Download Conference Flyer