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Environmental Histories of Ancient America

Thu, April 11, 10:30am to 12:00pm, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Clark

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Abstract

It's still a little unusual for history-trained scholars of the American past to punch through the "prehistory"/history divide. Those few who do, however, lean heavily towards environmental history. This panel brings together several scholars who were trained primarily in history but who have nevertheless found ways to produce original scholarship about ancient America. Each panelist will speak very, very briefly about their own research: James Rice about his book-in-progress synthesizing Native American environmental history in the Americas from first human habitation to the present, Carolyn Podruchny about her pedagogical initiatives at York University, and Robert Morrissey about his deep-time history of the region surrounding today’s St. Louis, MO. The bulk of the session, however, will be devoted to a broader discussion of several pre-circulated questions focusing on the interpretive possibilities and considerable challenges that writing about ancient America presents to history-trained scholars, and to reflections on the fit between the sources and central concerns of environmental historians and historians of pre-contact America. John L. Brooke, author of Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey, will chair the session.

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