Category Archives: Podcasts

Videos and Audiocasts from National History Center events.

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.)

 

 

 

Paul Landau Discusses the End of Apartheid in South Africa

In the last Washington History Seminar for the semester, Paul S. Landau, historian at the University of Maryland, will discuss “South Africa and the End of Apartheid” on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm at the Wilson Center.

Upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela led the crowd in a rousing chant of the old resistance phrase, “Come Back Africa.” Now, twenty years later, we may begin to ask what kind of Africa is coming back. The question can be addressed by looking beyond the struggle of the African National Congress to focus on ordinary people’s mobilizations in the past. A history of generational conflict, chiefship, and trans-ethnic solidarity continues to be felt in the present.

Paul S. Landau teaches history at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Popular Politics in the History of South Africa, 1400–1948 (2010), and The Realm of the Word (1995). His current research focuses on the turn to violence in the 1960s in the history of the struggle against Apartheid.

To watch a video presentation of this seminar, please click here.

 

Reservations are requested because of limited seating.  To reserve a seat at the seminar, contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422 ext 103.  The seminar takes place at the Wilson Center, located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Federal Triangle Metro stop).

This is the last seminar for the semester.  The series will begin again Monday, September 12, 2011. Please check back with the Center to see the schedule.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Wilson Center and facilitates the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places, and from multiple perspectives Click for the Spring 2011 schedule and topics, as well as links to videos of past presentations. The seminar is grateful for the support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Don H. Doyle Explores the American International Civil War

At the next Washington History Seminar, Don H. Doyle of the University of South Carolina will explore “America’s International Civil War” on Monday, April 25 at 4:00 pm at the Wilson Center.

While the military contest between North and South dragged on inconclusively over four years, an equally crucial contest of diplomacy, ideology, and propaganda was waged abroad. Powerful economic interests and anti-democratic sympathies favored the South. On the other hand there was a reservoir of popular good will toward the “Great Republic” and widespread antipathy toward human slavery. Each side sought to shape foreign debate over the “American Question.” The Union won only when it learned to align its cause with what foreigners understood to be an ongoing international struggle for liberty, equality, and self-government.

Don H. Doyle is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. Among his publications are Secession as an International Phenomenon (2010); Nationalism in the New World, edited with Marco Pamplona (2006); Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question (2002). Currently a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, he will be a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina in the coming year.

To watch a video presentation of this seminar, please click here.

Reservations are requested because of limited seating.  To reserve a seat at the seminar, contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422 ext 103.  The seminar takes place at the Wilson Center, located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Federal Triangle Metro stop).

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Wilson Center and facilitates the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places, and from multiple perspectives Click for the Spring 2011 schedule and topics, as well as links to videos of past presentations. The seminar is grateful for the support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.