Environmental History on the Rails

“With summer drawing to a close, I took the opportunity to ride the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Albany, Oregon to Union Station in Los Angeles. I’d never taken the train for such a long trip, 28 hours each way. On such a long trip landscapes pass by, fixed in their space but transient in the rider’s experience. Each moment on the train creates a snapshot of the land. Being a rider is significantly different than being a driver on the interstate – not having to worry about truck traffic frees the mind to wander. As my mind wandered, four snapshots of human interaction with the passing terrain leapt out at me.”

Join History of Science graduate student Joshua McGuffie on a west coast trainride through Environmental History

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The broad VU’

“Today I caught the tail end of a likewise provocative and beautiful exhibit of two women photographers, one capturing (like Williams) images of emptiness that remind us that people were there, in the landscape, and the other showing two sets of photos: one of boxed heads (people cramming heads and arms into wooden cubes) and the other, to me more evocative, of weird, formal, aesthetically beautiful photographs of children with mostly dead animals — or in one case, animals that look on the bottom half dead and on the top half alive.”

Read more of Prof. Mina Carson’s ‘VU’ of Paris from behind ‘The Historian’s Lens.

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Kati Horna — did you know Gisele Freund?

Kafrom_the_series_by_horna_and_bergerti Horna (nee Deutsch Blau) is featured in an exhibit at le Jeu de Paume in Paris right now. Like many women artists and intellectuals, her light has been obscured by the famous company she kept.

They were both women pioneers of the field.

Read more about the history of these to fantastic female photographers on Mina Carson’s Blog ‘Through the Historians Lens

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A Sonnet for Anatomist Barthélémy Cabrol

Montpellier surgeon Barthélémy Cabrol (1529-1603) first published his Alphabet cabrol-tp1anatomic in 1594. A series of tables that graphically represented the parts of the body, it was immensely popular, with eleven editions in the seventeenth century as well as translations into Latin and Dutch; the Dutch translation in 1633 was by Descartes’s friend and correspondent Vopiscus Fortunatus Plemp.

The front matter to Alphabet anatomic included a dedication to the king, several prefaces, and a number of odes and sonnets, in French and Latin, to Cabrol and his skill in dissection. One of them praised his skill in uncovering the skeleton.  (Thanks to Marc Schachter for help with the translation.)

Read more, including the the fully translated sonnet, at
Anita Guerrini’s blog ‘Anatomia Anamalia.’

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Roundtable on ‘Arming Mother Nature’

Arming Mother Nature
After editing a couple of dozen H-Environment roundtables himself, it is great to have one of Jake Hamblin’s own books, Arming Mother Nature, as the subject of one – this time guest-edited by Michael Egan of McMaster University.

You can read the full panel discussion @



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“Guns in America” – a Constitution Day event

The School of History, Philosophy, and Religion will be hosting Oregon State Universities annual Constitution Day (9/17) event at 3pm the Memorial Union, La Raza Room.  This year, the topic will be “Guns in America.”

Details to follow!

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Listen in on “The New Surveillance Society” – July 27th on NPR

Philosophy TalkAssistant professor of history Christopher McKnight Nichols can be heard on Philosophy Talk’s program on the “The New Surveillance Society” which will air nationally on NPR on Sunday July 27, 2014 and throughout that week. (The show was  taped in front of a large live audience in Corvallis in May 2014.)

Ways to listen on air: http://www.philosophytalk.org/stations

Streaming live online (Sundays at 10am PST): http://kalw.org/listen-live

Nichols will also be doing a live online “chat” with listeners after the show airs, on Friday August 8 from noon to 1 p.m. at: http://philosophytalk.org/community/live-chat.

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