New York Metro Seminar in Environmental History

Historical Map of NYC, 1870.

The NYMSEH is a seminar series where scholars workshop their works in progress. It is hosted by Columbia's History Department. We meet 2 or 3 times over the course of the semester to discuss new scholarship presented by a participant. See our below list of upcoming and past events. 


If you are interested in attending or presenting your work, please send me a message using the contact form on this website. 


Upcoming in 2019-2020 (co-organized with Amanda Martin-Hardin and Barrie Blatchford)

Camden Burd - October 2019

Lily Pollans - Fall 2019

Mohamed Gamal-Eldin - Middle Eastern Environmental History, late fall

Wallace Scot MacFarlane - Texas Riverine Environmental History, early spring

Aris Damadian Lindemans - Enviro-Spatial History of Boardwalks and Coastal Towns, late spring


2018-2019 (co-organized with Wallace Scot MacFarlane)

Paul Sabin, Sept. 17, 2018, "Public Citizens: Ralph Nader, the Environmental Crusade, and the Remaking of American Liberalism"

Marika Plater, Nov. 7, 2018, "Protecting the Poor People's Parks: Working Class Environmental Advocacy at the Battery and Tompkins Square, 1876-1892"

Teona Williams, Dec. 17, 2018, "For Peace, Quiet, and Respect: A Political Ecological Approach to Police Brutality on Chicago's Southside, 1950-Present"

Barrie Blatchford, Apr. 15, 2019, "Make the Desert Bloom Like a Rose: Animal Acclimatization and the Quest to Build a Better Nature in the West"


2017-2018 (co-organized with Michael Kideckel)

Raechel Lutz (me), Oct. 19, 2017, "Engineering the Environment: Science, Technology, and Public Relations at Standard Oil, 1920-1980"

Gene Cittadino, Nov. 14, 2017, "Chicago and Henry Chandler Cowles - Revisited: The Urban Roots of Ecology"

Carl Zimring, Feb. 21, 2018, "Newtown Creek Reimagined: Constructing the Narrative of New York City's Discardscape"

Pollyanna Rhee, Apr. 10, 2018, "Designing Growth, Designing Nature: Eugenics and Environmentalist Thought in the United States"


2016-2017 (co-organized with Charles Halvorson)

Michael Kideckel, Sept. 27, 2016, Chapter from Fresh from the  Factory: Breakfast Cereal, Natural Food, and the Business of Reform, 1890-1920

Chris Sellers, Oct. 27, 2016, Chapter from Backwater to Bellwether

Tony Andersson, Feb. 22, 2017, "Firebrands versus the Forest: Anticommunist Conservation and the Northern Frontier in Guatemala, 1954-1962"

Courtney Fullilove, Apr. 19, 2017, "Arid regions and the Politics of the Fertile Crescent Concept"


2015-2016 (co-organized with Charles Halvorson)

Jeff Hall, Oct. 6, 2015 "Environmental Politics, Race, and Mass Incarceration in the Adirondack Park, 1976-1999"

Eric Rutkow, Nov. 17, 2015, "The Pan-American Highway"

David Hughes, Feb. 23, 2016, "Lost Civilizations of Solar Power"

David Rosner, Apr. 13, 2016, "Toxic Docs"


Fall 2013-Spring 2016 (Organized by Neil Maher)