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ASEH 2020 Conference - Ottawa

ASEH Call for Proposals
2020 Annual Conference in Ottawa, Ontario
March 25-29, 2020
Reparative Environmental History

ASEH invites proposals for its conference March 25-29, 2020, in Ottawa, Ontario. Oral histories and archaeological artifacts from this area attest to Ottawa’s long and fraught history. The great falls on Kiji Sibi were an important confluence of trade, exchange, and ceremony as well as an important resting place for the Algonquin First Nations people throughout the north-east. With the arrival of Europeans, Kiji Sibi continued to serve as a highway, giving traders and explorers a canoe route to the Great Lakes and the northwest beyond. At the end of the eighteenth century, the British renamed Kiji Sibi the Ottawa River and used it to mark the boundary between Upper and Lower Canada (present day Ontario and Quebec). Thus divided, the Algonquin people’s traditional territory was opened for European settlers. Many of these histories continue to reverberate today. Ottawa currently lies within the Algonquin Land Claim, one of the largest and most complex in Ontario. Acknowledging this and other First Nation sovereignties, the ASEH meeting in Ottawa recognizes the need for reparative work against historic and ongoing colonialism and its consequences for water, land, animals, forests, and people.

The program committee invites panel and paper proposals that consider environmental history in all periods and places, especially those concerning the theme of Reparative Environmental History. Analyses of the influence of material, economic, and political power on historical ecologies and the people who live in them are already familiar in environmental history. The theme of Reparative Environmental History builds on these analyses by addressing the possibility of making amends to those whose legal rights, health, livelihoods, and access to nature were denied through others’ exercise of power, as well as to the profoundly altered ecosystems themselves. Reparations require close examination of past processes, how they have been narrated, and how these narratives have been deployed and by whom. We especially welcome proposals that consider environmental history as a force for material, political, or discursive reparation to those disadvantaged by many conditions, including class, race, gender, faith, colonial subjecthood, and rural or urban location. We also welcome consideration of histories of ecological restoration. What forms of harm and strategies for justice have resonated in the field of environmental history? What sort of work within the field itself could enhance the inclusiveness of environmental history and advance its scholarship? How might environmental historians contribute their methods and knowledge about the past to aid ecological and social restorative efforts?

Submission Guidelines
While programming in Ottawa 2020 will emphasize the theme, this conference, like all ASEH meetings, will feature research on all facets of environmental history.  The Program Committee welcomes traditional panels, individual papers, teaching and pedagogy sessions, innovative formats, and sessions that encourage active audience participation. Panels and papers that explore the intersections of environmental history with the fields of public history and the digital humanities are also welcome. The Program Committee encourages panels that include historians at different career stages and different types of institutions (academic and public), and that are diverse in gender, race, and nationality. Conference sessions are set at 90 minutes in length, including the requisite 30 minutes for discussion. We strongly prefer to receive complete session proposals, although we will endeavor to construct sessions from proposals for individual presentations. Submission proposal types include:

  • Complete Panels (including four presenters and a session chair or three presenters, a commentator, and a session chair)
  • Roundtables (presentations should be limited to 10 minutes per person to maximize audience participation)
  • Experimental Sessions (this category is open, but such sessions should involve at least four participants. Sessions must still allow 30 minutes for discussion)
  • Individual Papers (accepted papers will be placed in panels; presentations are limited to 15 minutes)
  • Individual Lightning Presentations (each presenter gets 5 minutes and up to 10 slides)
  • Posters (those presenting posters will be expected to participate in the poster session at the conference)

Please note that individuals can be a primary presenter in only one panel, roundtable, or other session proposal, but can also serve as chair or commentator in a second session proposal.  ASEH remains committed to inclusivity with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, and physical abilities both in terms of participation and topics discussed at our conferences.

Proposals may be submitted electronically beginning February 1, 2019. For more information and the link to the submission site, visit the ASEH website at and click on “conference and workshops.” Deadline for Submissions: July 26, 2019.



THIS IS THE ONLINE PROPOSAL SUBMISSION SYSTEM FOR PAPERS, POSTERS, PANELS, AND ROUNDTABLES. Every participant must create an account before a proposal can be submitted.

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