William Cronon to deliver 2014 Walter Harding Lecture

This year’s Walter Harding Lecture will be delivered by William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

william_cronon_hiresThe lecture, titled “Wildness and the Preservation of the World: From Walden Pond to the 1964 Wilderness Act and Beyond,” will take place in SUNY Geneseo’s new Doty Recital Hall on Monday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m. As always, the Harding Lecture is free and open to the public.

The recipient of a 1985 MacArthur Fellowship, Professor Cronon is the author or editor of numerous publications, including Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (Hill & Wang, 1983), Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (W. W. Norton, 1995), Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America’s Western Past (W. W. Norton, 1992), and Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (W. W. Norton, 1991). Changes in the Land won the 1984 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians. Nature’s Metropolis won the 1992 Bancroft Prize, the George Perkins Marsh Prize of the American Society for Environmental History, and the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Award of the Forest History Society. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

Professor Cronon’s area of study is American environmental history and the history of the American West. According to his website, his research “seeks to understand the history of human interactions with the natural world: how we depend on the ecosystems around us to sustain our material lives, how we modify the landscapes in which we live and work, and how our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world around us.”

In 2012-13, Professor Cronon served as president of the American Historical Association. He has published essays on the practice of history and on the goals of a liberal education.

With Professor Paul Robbins, director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Cronon was interviewed on National Public Radio’s Science Friday for a September 2013 story on “Saving Wild Places in the ‘Anthropocene.'”.

An active citizen as well as scholar, Dr. Cronon serves on the governing council of the Wilderness Society and holds leadership positions in numerous other organizations dedicated to land conservation and to the history and protection of the environment.

Dr. Cronon’s lecture will be followed by a reception in Doty Hall.


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