GESA 2011 participants were attendees and active participants at four weekly Rachel Carson Center lunchtime colloquia held during August, 2011. These talks featured invited scholars and fellows in residence at the Center.
Prof. Dr. Timothy LeCain is a fellow at the Rachel Carson Center. Professor LeCain’s research and publications focus on the environmental and technological history of twentieth century mining and related topics. His 2009 book, Mass Destruction: The Men and Giant Mines that Wired America and Scarred the Planet (Rutgers University Press, 2009), won the 2010 George Perkins Marsh Prize, conferred by the American Society for Environmental History for the best book in environmental history published each year. In 2007, he was awarded a $306,000 three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to do a comparative environmental history of American and Japanese copper mining in cooperation with his colleague, Professor Brett Walker. LeCain is an Associate Professor of History at Montana State University in the United States, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in American history, environmental history, and the history of technology. He received his PhD from the University of Delaware in 1998, and he wrote his dissertation under the direction of David A. Hounshell, now of Carnegie Mellon University. His RCC colloquium talk was titled “Cattle, Silkworms, and Modernity: An Environmental History of Japanese and American Copper Mining.”
Prof. Dr. Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga is a fellow at the Rachel Carson Center. He is an assistant professor of science, technology, and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a historian of science, technology, and society in Africa. His articles appear in Social Text, Journal of Southern African Studies, Conservation & Society,Oryx, Journal of International Affairs, Comparative Technology Transfer and Society, and other journals and books. He is co-editing (with Gijs Mom) Inside Mobility: A Kaleidoscopic Introduction (MIT Press). Currently, he is splitting his dissertation manuscript into two books: the first, Incoming Technology and African Innovation: Guns as State-Crafting Tools in Zimbabwe since 1500, will focus on African use of guns to engineer nation states, with the environment as a venue. The second, Guns as Environmental Engineering Tools: The Role of African Hunters and Indigenous Knowledge of Wildlife in Zimbabwe, is an ethnography of magocha(men who barbeque), the men the colonial state deployed to ‘vaccinate’ the countryside. His RCC colloquium talk was titled “Firearms as Prophylactics against Vermin: African Hunters in the Engineering of a Tsetse-Free Environment in Colonial Zimbabwe.”
Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida. He has done anthropological research and consultation on issues relating to disasters and involuntary resettlement in Peru, Honduras, India, Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, Japan, and the United States since the 1970s. He has served on the executive boards of the National Association of Practicing Anthropologists (NAPA) and the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) and on the Social Sciences Committee of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. He is a member of the editorial boards of Environmental Disasters and Desastres y Sociedad. His work on disasters has focused on issues of post-disaster social organization, including class/race/ethnicity/gender based patterns of differential aid distribution, social consensus and conflict, grief and mourning issues and social mobilization of community-based reconstruction efforts. His RCC colloquium talk was titled “Defying Displacement: Grassroots Resistance and the Critque of Development.”
Dr. Simon Werrett is an historian of science with an interest in the long-term historical relationships of the arts and sciences, in particular the ways domestic, artisanal, and industrial skills, techniques, and performances have shaped the development of the sciences. His current project examines exchanges of skills and techniques of repair, re-use, and recycling between urban, domestic, and industrial sites and early modern scientific laboratories. The project will contribute to the history of recycling and material stewardship, and offer new insights into the history and nature of scientific practice. His RCC colloquium talk was titled “Recycling and the History of Science.”