ASEH 2019

At this year’s American Society for Environmental History in Columbus, I am happy to present on my work on the intersection of medical and environmental history. My paper “Sites of Care and Control: Healthy Environments and Royal Navy Hospital Ships 1790-1815” considers three aspects of hospital ships to showcase the role of hospital ships within the network of naval medical care, with a focus on the medical and environmental underpinnings of hospital ships as sites of care and control. This is done through an examination of the ships themselves (the role of environment in the provision of medical care and the importance of ventilation) and as entities in a spatial medical network through the interactions of hospital ships with ships of the line and on-shore hospitals.

Panel Information

Anchored and Bound: Reading the Fixed and Movable Landscapes of Medical Isolation in the Nineteenth Century

Sat, April 13, 10:30am to 12:00pm, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Morrow

Chair: Melanie Kiechle, Virginia Tech

Taming the Falcon: Controlled and Vulnerable Environments in New York’s Floating Quarantine System, 1859-1873, Katie Schroeder, Case Western Reserve University

Sites of Care and Control: Healthy Environments and Royal Navy Hospital Ships 1790-11815 Dr. Erin Spinney, University of Oxford

Sullivan’s Island Pest Houses and the Corporeal Entanglements of the Slave Ship, Lindsay Garcia, College of William & Mary

For more information on Canadians and Canadianists presenting at this years ASEH, check out this guide from the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE).

American Society for Environmental History 2016

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Space Needle from International Fountain

The ASEH was held in Seattle, Washington from March 30-April 3rd.  The full program may be found here.  Check out the the conference hashtag #ASEH2016 on Storify. Find out more about my University of Saskatchewan colleagues who attended ASEH here.  I would like to thank the ASEH for generously providing me with travel funding.

Conference Highlights:

This conference was such a delight that it is hard to pick out the highlights.  It was great to meet so many other scholars with similar interests and such fascinating work.  I particularly enjoyed the plenary session on teaching environmental history to undergraduates, especially how to integrate environmental history into both the classroom space and the tremendous potential of the field for outdoor field trips.

Several panels and a roundtable considered the intersections of the history of medicine and environmental history.  Highlights for me include:

Climate, Politics, and the Body in the U.S. South

Chair: Conevery Bolton Valencies, University of Massachusetts-Boston

“Yellow Fever, Ecology, and American State Power, 1803-1820” by Kathryn Olivarius, University of Oxford

“‘Hot, Hotter, and Hottest’: Climate, Debility, and the Search for Therapeutics in the Antebellum Gulf South” by Elaine LaFay, University of Pennsylvania

“The ‘Italian Experiment’: Race and Labor in the Post-emancipation South, 1880-1920” by Jason Hauser, Mississippi State University

The connections between ideas of debility, radicalised conceptions of disease, and changing ideas of climatic harshness and my own work on enslaved African and Creole nurses in the West Indies provoked many questions about late-eighteenth and nineteenth century British/American medicine.

Rethinking the Nature of Health: Intersections between Environmental History and the History of Medicine

Moderator: Matthew Kingle, Bowdoin College

Presenters:

Dawn Bieler, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Elena Conis, Emory University

Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Christopher Sellers, Stony Brook University

Ellen Griffith Spears, University of Alabama

Sarah Whitney Tracy, University of Oklahoma

In this roundtable environmental historians, historical geographers, historians of medicine, and scientists, considered the intersections between environmental history and the history of medicine.  Paying particular attention to preconceptions of disciplinary boundaries and suggesting ideas to move past these boundaries to promote a fruitful discussion of health, disease, the body, and environment.  It gave me a lot to think about, especially the connections I see in my own work on nurses and preventative medicine in the eighteenth century and how this environmental work can be situated at the intersections of these two historical fields of study.

My Panel:

Public Health and Environmental History

Chair: Josh MacFadyen, Arizona State University

“Regulators of an Internal Environment: British Naval Nursing in Late-Eighteenth Century Hospitals” Erin Spinney, University of Saskatchewan

“Starving Children, Scientific Nutrition, and the American Relief Administration’s Missing in Central Europe, 1918-1923” Paul Niebrzydowski, The Ohio State University

“The Janus-Head of Public Hygiene: Episodes from China’s Kiaochow as German Protectorate, 1897-1914” Agnes Kneitz, Renmin University of China

Thank you to Josh for chairing our panel and to my co-presentors for their thoughtful comments on my work!

Lovely Seattle:

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Heading to the ASEH

Bright and early tomorrow morning I am off to the American Society for Environmental History conference in Seattle!

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Word cloud of my paper “Regulators of an Internal Environment: British Naval Nursing in Late-Eighteenth Century Hospitals” 

Our panel:

Saturday April 2nd 3-4:30pm Public Health and Environmental History

Chair: Josh MacFadyen, Arizona State University

“Regulators of an Internal Environment: British Naval Nursing in Late-Eighteenth Century Hospitals” Erin Spinney, University of Saskatchewan

“Starving Children, Scientific Nutrition, and the American Relief Administration’s Mission in Central Europe, 1918-1923” Paul Niebrzydowski, Ohio State University

“The Janus-Head of Public Hygiene. Episodes from China’s Kiaochow as German Protectorate, 1897-1914” Agnes Kneitz, Renmin University of China