March Boston Environmental History Seminars

Kate Viens's picture

Massachusetts Historical Society

We have TWO seminars scheduled for this coming month; the March 17 program is the seminar postponed from February 10.

Tuesday, March 10, at 5:15 PM

Andrew W. Kahrl, University of Virginia

 “Fear of an Open Beach: The Privatization of the Connecticut Shore and the Fate of Coastal America”

Comment: Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

This essay traces the rise of private beaches along the Connecticut shore and the efforts of municipalities to protect exclusionary laws from the effects of civil rights movements. It argues that racial and class segregation resulted in overdeveloped coastlines; thus, the battle over public access to the nation’s shoreline during the 1970s sheds light on the roots of the environmental crisis facing America’s coast.


NEW DATE: Tuesday, March 17, at 5:15 PM

Katherine Johnston, Columbia University

An Enervating Environment: Altered Bodies in the Lowcountry and the British West Indies

Comment: Conevery Bolton Valencius, University of Massachusetts — Boston

This paper examines the interactions between humans and the environment in the eighteenth century. Both Britons and creoles believed in a close connection between bodies and place, and colonists tried to change the environment based on their perceptions. That interaction created concern for Caribbean inhabitants who attempted to manage their surroundings to promote their health while noting the environmental effects their actions caused.

RSVP and please indicate which seminar you wish to attend. To respond, email or call 617-646-0568. In case of inclement weather please check the website or phone 617-646-0568 for information.