Engaging Metropolitan Environments Visiting Scholar Series


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As the boundaries between urban and natural, nature and society blur, the evolving cultural and physical ecologies of metropolitan regions need to be considered from an interdisciplinary and historical perspective. A graduate student group of the History Department at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey invites the Rutgers community to participate in a seminar series that engages questions about the evolution of life and culture in cities and their surroundings. The speaker series "Engaging Metropolitan Environments" was fortunate to be included in Rutgers' 2010-2011 Global Initiatives Theme - Ecologies in the Balance? The Way Forward (http://ecologies.rutgers.edu/). Our goal this year is to foster a dialogue on urban and environmental change, planning, and health.

"Engaging Metropolitan Environments" will host four visiting scholars in the 2010-2011 academic year. Visiting scholars will give public lectures and lead small graduate workshops that engage historical and current responses to changing urban ecologies such as human relationships with and consumption of the environment, urban decline and sprawl, environment and place identity, sustainable cities, and social and environmental justice.

The workshops will bring together an interdisciplinary group of graduate students with interests in urban and environmental studies to engage each other on methodologies, theories, and source materials.  The public lectures will involve the wider Rutgers community and allow the scholars to speak on their own research as connected to the socio-cultural, ecological, and economic challenges of changing metropolitan environments.

Thank you to our co-sponsors: American Studies Department; Bloustein School Speaker Series; Center for Race and Ethnicity; Ecologies in the Balance?: The Way Forward; History Department; Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

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23 September 2010

4:30PM (Reception to follow)

From Garden to Suburb: African American Experiences in Rural New Jersey

Walter Greason Assistant Professor | Ursinus College


28 October 2010

4:30PM (Reception to follow)

Spaceship Earth: The Urban Crisis and NASA's War on Poverty

Neil Maher Assistant Professor | New Jersey Institute of Technology


3 March 2011

4:30PM (Reception to follow)

“Japs Pollute Water”: Manzanar and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power during World War II

Connie Chiang Assistant Professor | Bowdoin College


20 April 2011

4:30PM (Reception to follow)

"Environmental Ideas and the Sustainable City"

Michael Rawson Assistant Professor | Brooklyn College-CUNY

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All events will be held in the History Department, 301 Van Dyck Hall, College Ave Campus, Rutgers-New Brunswick


Engaging Metropolitan Environments is the inaugural year of Interpreting American History: A Graduate Workshop and Lecture Series, a program developed by Rutgers University graduate students in the Department of History. The program is dedicated to establishing a tradition of fostering dialogue between graduate students, Rutgers History faculty, and the larger American History community.






Contact Interpreting American History: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(IMAGE CREDITS: Top: New York City skyline, c1902; Middle: Tony Link, Sign Declaring the Area as Levittown Outside Newly Constructed Homes, 1947 or 1948; Bottom: Ansel Adams, Freeway Interchange, 1967)