Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Presenters

alejandrinoDr. Clark Alejandrino teaches at Trinity College. Dr. Clark earned his Ph.D. in East Asian Environmental History at Georgetown University. He specializes in the environmental history of China, especially its climate and animal history, covering the fifth to the twentieth century in his research. He is currently preparing a book manuscript on typhoons in the history of the South China coast and preparing to embark on a new project exploring the history of migratory birds in East Asia. At Trinity, he teaches courses on Chinese history, environmental history, world history, and Pacific history.

berryDr. Daina Ramey Berry is Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a scholar of slavery and Black Women’s History and the award-winning author/editor of six books including most recently A Black Women’s History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2020), and The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to the Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press, 2017). She contributed a chapter entitled "Savannah, Georgia 1779-1784" to Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (One World Press, February 2021), co-edited by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Dr. Keisha N. Blain.

bodianDr. Miriam Bodian is a historian of early modern Jewish cultural history. Her research interests include Iberian Jewry, Inquisition studies, and European Jewry in the Reformation period. She joined the faculty of the UT History Department in 2009, and is an affiliate of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies there. Her book Hebrew of the Portuguese Nation: Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam (1997) won two major book awards. It deals with identity issues in a Jewish community whose members had fled from Iberian lands where they were forced to live as Christians. Her book Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in Iberian Lands (2007) studies the careers of a set of celebrated “judaizing” martyrs who drew inspiration from Reformation currents.

bsumekDr. Erika M. Bsumek has written on Native American history, environmental history/studies, the history of the built environment, and the history of the U.S. West. She is author of the award winning, Indian-made: Navajo Culture in the Marketplace, 1848-1860 (University Press of Kansas, 2008) and the coeditor a collection of essays on global environmental history titled Nation States and the Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History (Oxford University Press, 2013). Her current research explores the social and environmental history of the area surrounding Glen Canyon on the Utah/Arizona border from the 1840s to the present. She is currently working on two book projects, entitled "Infrastructures of Dispossession: Latter-Day Saints, American Indians, and Water Technologies on the Colorado Plateau, 1800 to the Present" and "The Concrete West: Engineering Society and Culture in the Arid West, 1900-1970." She is also the creator of digital timeline software, called Cliovis, that enables students and researchers to create time aligned network maps of their class/research projects. 

Cañizares-EsguerraDr. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra is the Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent publications include Entangled Empires: The Anglo-Iberian Atlantic, 1500-1830 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), Encounters between Jesuits and Protestants in Asia and the Americas (Brill, 2018), and “On Ignored Global Scientific Revolutions” (Journal of Early Modern History, 2017). He is a Fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies in 2019-20. He is currently completing two books: "Categories as Prisons" (University Pennsylvania Press) and "The Radical Spanish Empire" (Harvard University Press).

Carcamo-HuechanteDr. Luis Cárcamo-Huechante (Mapuche) is currently the Director of the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and an Associate Professor of Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Cárcamo-Huechante is a founding member of the Comunidad de Historia Mapuche, which is a collective of Mapuche researchers based in southern Chile. He also serves on the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), for the 2019-2022 term. Professor Cárcamo-Huechante's current research focuses on indigeneity, sound and colonialism, and more specifically on indigenous, Mapuche responses to what he calls "acoustic colonialism." 

chandlerDr. Tom Chandler is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of IT at Monash University and coordinates the faculty's Interactive Media Major. Dr. Chandler's research has focused upon the design and development of immersive simulations of the past, particularly the medieval Cambodian capital of Angkor.



charenkoDr. Melissa Charenko is an Assistant Professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of History at Michigan State University and a 2020-2021 Resident Fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work explores scientists’ diverse understandings of climate, which, she argues, arise from the various ways that scientists encounter, measure, and see climate. She is particularly interested in the ways that scientists use climate proxies, such as fossil pollen, tree rings, or air bubbles in ice, to understand earth’s climate over the past 12,000 years, as well as the ways these proxies are used to foresee future climates. This work will come together in Science as Prophecy: Measuring Past and Future Climates (under advance contract with University of Chicago Press).

clulowDr. Adam Clulow is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan (Columbia University Press, 2014), which won multiple awards including the Jerry Bentley Prize in World History from the American Historical Association, and Amboina, 1623: Conspiracy and Fear on the Edge of Empire (Columbia University Press, 2019). He is creator of The Amboyna Conspiracy Trial, an online interactive trial engine that received the New South Wales Premiers History Award in 2017, and Virtual Angkor with Tom Chandler, which received the Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History and the and the 2021 Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Prize from the Medieval Academy of America.

coenDr. Deborah Coen is professor of History and Chair of the Program in History of Science & Medicine at Yale University, where she is also a member of the steering committee of the Environmental Humanities Program. Her research focuses on the history of the modern physical and earth sciences and the intellectual and cultural history of central Europe. She is the author, most recently, of Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale, and The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to Richter.

curleyDr. Andrew Curley (Diné) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography, Development & Environment (SGDE) at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the everyday incorporation of Indigenous nations into colonial economies. Building on ethnographic research, Curley’s publications speak to how Indigenous communities understand coal, energy, land, water, infrastructure, and development in an era of energy transition and climate change. Curley is currently completing a book on the political legacy of coal mining for the Navajo Nation.

demuthDr. Bathsheba Demuth is an Assistant Professor of History and Environment and Society at Brown University, where she specializes in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her multiple-prize winning first book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait (W.W. Norton) was named a Nature Top Ten Book of 2019 and Best Book of 2019 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal among others. Demuth holds a BA and MA from Brown University, and an MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing has appeared in publications from The American Historical Review to The New Yorker.

edwardsDr. Paul N. Edwards is Director of the Program on Science, Technology & Society at Stanford University and Professor of Information and History (Emeritus) at the University of Michigan. He writes and teaches about the history, politics, and culture of information infrastructures. Edwards is the author of A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010) and The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (MIT Press, 1996), and co-editor of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2001), as well as numerous articles. He co-edits a book series, Infrastructures, for MIT Press.  Edwards is currently serving as one of over 900 lead authors for the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to be released in late 2021.

gaynorDr. Andrea Gaynor is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Australia. As an environmental historian and activist, she seeks to use the contextualising and narrative power of history to assist transitions to more just and sustainable societies. Her most recent book, coauthored with Richard Broome, Charles Fahey and Katie Holmes, is Mallee Country: Land, People, History (Monash University Publishing 2019). She has held fellowships with the Rachel Carson Center, University of Bristol and National Library of Australia, and is convenor of the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network and Vice-President of the European Society for Environmental History. Her current research includes histories of community-led land management in Western Australia, water in Australian urbanisation and nature in Australian urban modernity.

herediaDiana Heredia-López is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a historian of the early modern Atlantic world with a focus on science, material culture, and commerce. Her dissertation examines dye production in Central Mexico and its transformative role in material life across the Spanish Empire and beyond. In doing so she seeks to integrate indigenous communities and petty go-betweens into the wider commercial and intellectual currents of the first era of globalization. 

hosebyDr. Justin Hosbey a cultural anthropologist and Black studies scholar. His research explores Black social and cultural life in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mississippi Delta regions. His current ethnographic project utilizes research methods from the digital and spatial humanities to explore and visualize how the privatization of neighborhood schools in low income and working class Black communities has fractured, but not broken, Black space and place making in post-Katrina New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. 

JørgensenDr. Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History, University of Stavanger, Norway specializing in histories of environment and technology. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction, and she recently published Recovering Lost Species in the Modern Age: Histories of Longing and Belonging (MIT Press, 2019). She is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Humanities and co-directs The Greenhouse environmental humanities program area at UiS.

malmDr. Andreas Malm is senior lecture in human ecology at Lund University. He is the author, together with the Zetkin Collective, of White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism, out from Verso in May. Photo credit at left: Rainer Christian Kurzeder.

 


matysikDr. Tracie Matysik works in the field of modern European intellectual history, focusing on histories of Spinozism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, secularism, subjectivity, international activism, and sexuality. She is the author of Reforming the Moral Subject: Ethics and Sexuality in Central Europe, 1890-1930 (Cornell University Press), and is co-editor of German Modernities from Wilhelm to Weimar: A Contest of Futures (Bloomsbury Press). At present she is completing a book manuscript entitled When Spinoza Met Marx: Experiments in Non-humanist Activity, 1830-Present (under contract with University of Chicago Press), which is an exploration of alternative ways thinkers have approached the idea of meaningful action in the material, sensuous world. She is currently an Associate Professor of History and a Fellow of the Brian F. Bolton Distinguished Professorship in Secular Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as co-editor of the journal Modern Intellectual History.

McCulloughDr. D. O. (David Oliver) McCullough is currently Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the American Philosophical Society Library and Museum, where he is curating an exhibit on the history of climate science that will open in 2022. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Science Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, an M.A. in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University. His research explores the history of educators and educational programs in American science museums, focusing on their respective influence on the development of science museums as institutions. His dissertation is a historical case study of teacher support programs offered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, 1880-1962, which illuminated the central role that school administrators and educators played in building the museum’s status as an authority on classroom instructional methods. He is also actively researching the history of educational programs at the Franklin Institute’s science museum. He worked as an informal science educator in museums and nature centers. 

MendozaDr. Mary E. Mendoza is an assistant professor of history and Latino/a Studies at Penn State University. Her scholarly work focuses on the intersections between the natural and the built environments along the U.S.-Mexico border from a transnational perspective. She has published in academic journals such as Environmental History, The Journal of the West, and The Pacific Historical Review and has contributed book chapters to a number of anthologies in the field of the environmental humanities. She has also contributed to a wide range of public facing publications and podcasts, including work in The Washington Post and other news outlets. She is currently working on two books, one is an anthology in the field of environmental history called "Not Just Green, Not Just White: Race, Justice, and Environmental History" and the other is a monograph called "Unnatural Border: Race and Environment Across the U.S.-Mexico Divide." Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, The Smithsonian, The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, The Clements Center for Southwest Studies, and the Huntington Library.

mohrigDr. David Mohrig is a professor of geosciences and Associate Dean for Research, Jackson School of Geosciences at UT-Austin. His research focusses on understanding how fluid flow and transport of sediment act to evolve Earth’s surface and the environment. Recent work focusses on the responses of coastal rivers and deltas, barrier islands, and coastal plains to naturally occurring and anthropogenic change. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

neubergerthebesteverDr. Joan Neuberger is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies modern Russian culture in social and political context, with a focus on the politics of the arts. Her most recent book is This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein's "Ivan the Terrible" in Stalin's Russia (Cornell University Press, 2019), which won the AHA’s George L. Mosse book prize. Her current works-in-progress include Global Eisenstein: Immersion in Nature and Cinema, which is supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Humanities Center, and Picturing Russian Empire, which includes essays by more than 50 international scholars on topics ranging from ancient imperial coinage to Putin and the annexation of Crimea. 

oreskesDr. Naomi Oreskes is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She is an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and author of both scholarly and popular books and articles on the history of earth and environmental science. Her authored or co-authored books include The Rejection of Continental Drift (1999), Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (2001), Merchants of Doubt (2010), The Collapse of Western Civilization (2014), Discerning Experts (2019), Why Trust Science? (2019), and Science on a Mission: How Military Funding Shaped What We Do and Don’t Know about the Ocean (2021). For many years, Dr. Oreskes has been a leading voice on the science and politics of anthropogenic climate change. Her 2004 essay “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” (Science 306: 1686)--the first peer-reviewed paper to document the scientific consensus on this crucial issue--has been cited more than 2500 times. It was featured in the landmark Royal Society publication, “A Guide to Facts and Fictions about Climate Change," and in the Academy-award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, (co-authored with Erik M. Conway) has been translated into nine languages and made into a documentary film produced by Participant Media and distributed by SONY Pictures Classics. In 2018 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow for a new book project with Erik M. Conway, The Magic of the Marketplace: The True History of a False Idea, which will be published by Bloomsbury Press as soon as it is finished.

parthasarathiDr. Prasannan Parthasarathi is Professor of Modern South Asian History at Boston College. He is the author of The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India, 1720-1800 (Cambridge, 2001), The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles (Oxford, 2009), and Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence 1600-1850 (Cambridge, 2011), which received the Jerry Bentley Book Prize of the World History Association. In 2020, he co-curated “Indian Ocean Current: Six Artistic Narratives” at the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College.

rabyDr. Megan Raby is a historian of science and environment whose work emphasizes the transnational connections of science in the US and Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her book American Tropics: The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) explores the relationship between the history of field ecology, the expansion of U.S. hegemony in the circum-Caribbean during the 20th century, and the emergence of the modern concept of biodiversity. American Tropics was awarded the 2019 Philip J. Pauly Prize by the History of Science Society. Megan Raby is also the author of articles appearing in journals including Environmental History and Isis; the latter was awarded the History of Science Society's 2016 Price/Webster Award for best article. 

ritnerJesse Ritner is a PhD candidate in U.S. Environmental History at the University of Texas. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Solving for Snow: Weather, Technology, Science, and the Rise of the American Ski Industry, 1900-present” examines how scientists, engineers, resort owners, and skiers came together to maintain reliable snowpack on ski slopes, in places with unreliable snowfall. It then analyzes the social, cultural, and economic repercussions of industry growth. Among a variety of other grants, Jesse is the 2020 recipient of the American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowship in the History of Science. Before graduate school Jesse worked for the National Park Service, doing historical preservation work in a variety of parks throughout the country. During his winters he worked as a ski instructor at Snowmass in Aspen, Colorado.

roaneDr. J.T. Roane is assistant professor of African American Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University and 2020-2021 National Endowment for the Humanities/Ford Foundation Fellow at the Schomburg Center for the Study of Black Culture--New York Public Library. He currently serves as the lead of the Black Ecologies Initiative at the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU.

seefeldtJonathan Seefeldt is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the construction and long afterlife of a series of megadams built in seventeenth-century western India. He is more broadly interested in the intersection of climate, engineering, and social histories in early modern contexts. Alongside his dissertation research, Jonathan works on Texas water and coastal issues for the National Wildlife Federation.


sellersDr. Christopher Sellers is a professor of history at Stony Brook University.  His research concentrates on the history of environment and health, of cities and industries, and of inequality and democracy, with a focus on the United States and Mexico.  His last books are Crabgrass Crucible: Suburban Nature and Environmentalism in Twentieth-Century America (UNC Press, 2012), and the forthcoming Race and the Greening of Atlanta: Inequality, Democracy, and Environmental Politics in a 20th Century Southern Metropolis, with the University of Georgia Press. As an IHS Research Fellow, he is currently at work on Gathering Clouds over Petropolis, a comparative and transnational history of oil, toxics, and climate in Mexico and the United States.

seowDr. Victor Seow is a historian of technology, science, and industry, specializing in China and Japan and in histories of energy and work. His first book, Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in fall 2021. He recently started a new book project, The Human Factor: Industrial Psychology in Modern China, which explores how work became and functioned as an object of scientific inquiry and how the sciences of work shaped and were shaped by larger societal understandings about the nature and value of labor. Victor teaches in the history of science department at Harvard University.

valadezMicaela Valadez is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research analyzes the history of environmental racism and community organizing in San Antonio, Texas, in the second half of the 20th century. She examines two organizations, Communities Organized for Public Service and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s out of the Chicano/a movement with two different ideologies and strategies. Both take on the various effects of environmental racism over time that are produced by capitalism and the racialization of spaces in San Antonio. However, this project shows how the struggles and successes of these organizations are sometimes subsumed, or not, over time by neoliberal logic that continues to inflict environmental damage upon vulnerable spaces and communities in the city. 

wigginsDr. Bethany Wiggin is the Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, an Associate Professor of German, and the Co-President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Her scholarship explores histories of migration, language and cultural translation since the Columbian exchange across the north Atlantic world. Recent publications include Timescales: Thinking across Ecological Temporalities (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). Collaborative digital and physical projects aim beyond the academy and have been supported by the National Geographic, Whiting, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations; they include: An Ecotopian Toolkit for the Anthropocene, Data Refuge, Futures Beyond Refining, and My Climate Story. She has offered testimony about project findings to the City Council of Philadelphia and the U.S. Congress.

winfreeBrooks Winfree is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas in Austin. He is a scholar of African American slavery, Native Americans, and environmental history. In February 2021, he completed his dissertation, "Black in Native Texas: Slavery, Settler Colonialism, and Indigenous People in Antebellum Texas,” the first full-length study to examine how enslaved African Americans interacted with Indigenous people in Texas. In August 2021, he will join the Department of History at Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor.