Category Archives: Conferences

NHC Panels at the AHA Annual Meeting

During the 2020 AHA annual meeting, the NHC will be hosting eleven panels and a reception. All events are open to AHA members and more information can be found online here. The information for the NHC specific events are below.


Panel Information
Friday, January 3, 2020

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Monday, January 6, 2020

National History Center Reception
National History Center of the American Historical Association Reception Sunday, January 5, 2020: 7:00-8:00 pm
Sutton North Room (New York Hilton, Second Floor)

National History Center at AHA in New Orleans

The National History Center is sponsoring ten sessions and co-sponsoring an eleventh at the American Historical Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting in New Orleans January 3-6. Have a look at page 23 of the print version of the program for a listing. The two Thursday sessions are designed to produce volumes in the NHC’s partnership with Oxford University Press, Reinterpreting History. The 1 p.m. session will offer “New Perspectives on the ‘Progressive Era,'” while the 3:30 p.m. topic is “Theorizing the History of War and the Environment.” On Friday are two sessions sparked by the Center’s International Seminar on Decolonization, “Decolonizing Rhetorics: War, Empire, and Internationalism” at 8:30 a.m. and “Creating, Understanding, and Enacting Discourses of Decolonization” at 10:30 a.m. In the afternoon, the Center will present “The World of Oral History: An International Roundtable” at 2:30 p.m., followed by its annual reception from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. A third decolonization session, co-sponsored with the AHA, is set for Saturday at 9:00 a.m.: “The Late Colonial State and the End of Colonial Empires in Comparative Perspective.” At the same time, the Center will host the first of its four “Historians, Journalists, and the Challenges of Getting It Right” sessions: “The Jews of Europe before World War II.” At 11:30, it will field the second, “The West and Islam in Historical Perspective,” and at 2:30 the third, “The Special Challenges of Biography.” On Sunday, the Center will present “Roots of the Eurozone Crisis” at 8:30 a.m. and the final “Getting It Right” session, “The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers,” at 11 a.m.

Environmental History As A Way Forward

Is environmental history our best hope for the future?

This question, posed by Patricia Nelson Limerick (Center for the American West) in a conversation with Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center), ignited plans for a more in-depth discussion about the future of the field. The resulting invitation-only workshop, which co-sponsored by the National History Center, the Rachel Carson Center at the University of Munich, and the Center for the American West, drew environmental historians from four continents to Washington D.C. last June to discuss “opportunities and needs in environmental history.”  The emerging field of environmental history is ready to contribute historical knowledge, perspective, and understanding to the diverse issues the planet faces. While environmental history field grew out of the environmentalism movement, its future subjects, collaborators, and impacts within the discipline of history, as well as within the public arena, are up for debate.

Those participants in the conference included James M. Banner, Jr. (National History Center); David Blackbourn (Harvard University); Carolyn Thompson Brown (John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress); Peter Coates (University of Bristol); Kimberly Coulter (Rachel Carson Center); Miriam Hauss Cunningham (National History Center); John Gillis (Rutgers University); Arnita Jones (American Historical Association); Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center); John McNeill (Georgetown); Martin V. Melosi (University of Houston); Marta Niepytalska (Rachel Carson Center); Stephen Pyne (Arizona State University); Mahesh Rangarajan (University of Delhi); Harriet Ritvo (MIT); Libby Robin (Australian National University); Frank Uekoetter (Rachel Carson Center); Richard Walker (University of California, Berkeley); Douglas R. Weiner (University of Arizona); Richard White (Stanford University); Frank Zelko (University of Vermont).  They set about trying to answer the  question of the future of the field, starting with taking stock of the current landscape and moving into how environmental history and research can have real-world effect.

They have gathered their thoughts and reflections on the conference for a special issue of the Rachel Carson Center’s Perspectives that is now available online.   As Kimberly Coulter writes in the introduction, “Together, the sixteen contributions offer diverse insights and concerns about the future of the field from those working in environmental history and related disciplines.”

A short film based on the conference is also available online.

(Full disclosure: Patricia Nelson Limerick and Christof Mauch are members of the board of trustees of the National History Center.)