Envirotech Prize 2010 Call for Submissions

Envirotech invites submissions for the Envirotech Prize for Best Article on the Inter play between Technology and the Environment.  The Envirotech Prize recognizes the best article published in either a journal or article collection on the relationship between technology and the environment in history.  The prize committee is particularly seeking innovative publications that explore new ways of thinking about the interplay between technological systems and the natural environment.  Articles originally published in any language are welcome, but applicants must provide a translation of non-English articles.  More junior scholars are especially encouraged to submit their publications. To be eligible for the 2010 prize, the article must be published between January 1, 2008, and October 30, 2009.

The Envirotech Prize carries a cash award of $250 and will be conferred at the American Society for Environmental History conference in Portland, Oregon, March 10-14, 2010.

Send one electronic copy of your article and a brief curriculum vitae to prize@envirotechhistory.org to be considered. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2009.

Envirotech Roundtable at SHOT

The Sunday, 9-10:15 am session slot at SHOT 2009 in Pittsburgh has been dedicated to SIG-specific sessions. Envirotech will be having a session called “Taking Risks: New Directions in the History of Technology and Environment.” The session will begin by having panelists present some ideas about where they see Envirotech potentially going based on their own research or project ideas. We have two senior panelists and four graduate students doing some exciting cutting edge stuff who are slated to talk: Ed Russell (Univ of Virginia); Joy Parr (Univ of Western Ontario); Daniel Barber (Columbia Univ); Robert Gardner (Montana State); Shera Moxley (Carnegie Mellon Univ); and Nic Mink (Univ of Wisconsin-Madison). Using the short presentations as a springboard, we will have a group discussion about where Envirotech might be headed in the future.

We hope to see many of you there.

Informal meeting at the World Congress in August

Invitation to World Congress participants

Envirotech will be having an informal meeting during the World Congress of Environmental History in Copenhagen. The meeting will be Friday, 7 August, 16:00 – 17:00 at Cafe Væksthuset ( a nearby cafe constructed from an old University of Copenhagen greenhouse). The meeting will include ample time to meet and greet fellow envirotechies, share individual project & publication news, and get updated on happenings within the organization.

We will have a reserved space in the cafe for the group but no refreshments will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to buy food and/or drink at the cafe and bring it to our tables, since the cafe is not charging us to meet there. A sample of their offerings can be viewed at http://www.cafe.life.ku.dk/Udvalg.aspx (in Danish).

If you are interested in attending the meeting, please email me at dolly@jorgensenweb.net (this is not a commitment to attend but it will help the cafe know how many people will be there). I will send out a map with walking directions from the conference site to the cafe to those who email me.

Envirotech meeting at ASEH, 2/28/09

The Envirotech breakfast was attended by nearly 30 people.  It provided the opportunity hear what people are working on–projects started, books published, organizations and groups founded.

The main topic of discussion was the proposal from SHOT to give all the SIGs a slot on Sunday morning at the conference in Pittsburgh this fall.   There was general agreement that the time should not be used for either a traditional panel or a workshop specifically related to teaching. The suggestion that received the most support was to have an open-ended discussion by all participants about their research and new projects. The purpose would be to encourage “risky ideas” on the part of people considering new perspectives and possibilities. Continue reading

SHOT question on Sunday sessions

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), which meets in Pittsburgh this October for its 2009 annual meeting, is trying an experiment.  SHOT wants to devote some Sunday morning slots to sessions and activities organized by special interest groups (SIGs) such as Envirotech.

The SHOT program committee has reserved six rooms holding about fifty people each for this purpose.  SHOT has a total of twelve SIGs, so the 2009 program committee should have no problem filling the spaces.  The question is whether Envirotech wants to reserve a room during this slot.  If so, we need to let SHOT secretary Bernie Carlson know by Feb. 15.  At the ASEH meeting in Tallahassee, we can decide how to use the time.

What kind of session or activity? It could be a routine paper or roundtable session or something a little different, such as a poster session, teaching workshop, or even a book discussion.  It is up to us to decide.

Please reply in the comments section below if you have any interest in organizing something for that slot (or have thoughts on the matter).

All the best,
Hugh Gorman (hsgorman@mtu.edu) and Ann Greene, Envirotech co-chairs

p.s. If you have any additional items to get on the agenda for the Envirotech breakfast (Sat., Feb 28) at the 2009 ASEH conference in Tallahassee, let us know.

2008 Envirotech Article Prize Winner Announced

The winner of the 2008 Envirotech Prize for the best article examining the relationships between technology and the environment is Paul S. Sutter’s “Nature’s Agents or Agents of Empire? Entomological Workers and Environmental Change during the Construction of the Panama Canal.” (Isis, 2007, 98: 724-754.) Sutter offers a path breaking analysis of the interplay between the physical environment, technological manipulation of nature, and scientific understandings of both natural and human-induced change. Continue reading

SHOT Lunch Meeting

We will have a lunch meeting during SHOT in Lisbon, on Monday. The winner of the Envirotech Article Prize will be announced at this meeting (and on the web page after the conference). Dolly Jørgensen will be arranging this event. There was a sign-up for the lunch on the SHOT registration form, so those of you who registered (there are 27 people signed up!) will be hearing from Dolly.

Newsletter Call for Items

We have had very few submissions of news and other items lately. Please send me an email (or even better, register on the web site and post it yourself!) if you have anything relevant you want to share. This can be member updates, conference news and notes, new books, etc.

Call for Envirotech Syllabi

The Envirotech web site contains a section called “Envirotech Resources”, which is mostly based on old discussions from the mailing list. We plan to collaboratively overhaul this section (with envirotech-relevant essays, links, multimedia, publications, syllabi, excursions, novels, archives, etc.) over the next few years. We plan to have one of these topics as the theme for each of the two annual newsletters,. I, as the editor, will also solicit submissions from envirotechies.

For the Fall 2008 newsletter, I want to focus on Envirotech Syllabi. I know many of you have taught (or followed) courses on environment and technology. Please send me syllabi or share your experiences with teaching envirotech courses as comments below.

Currently, we only have 3 syllabi on the web page – you can see them here: http://envirotechhistory.org/envirotech-resources/syllabi/