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‘Nature’s Historians’ to honor Hall Distinguished Professor of American History Emeritus

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

LAWRENCE — “Nature’s Historians,” a conference focusing on the work of former students of Donald Worster, Hall Distinguished Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of Kansas, will take place Sept. 22 in the Hall Center for the Humanities Conference Hall. The event is open to the public, but an RSVP is required by Saturday, Sept. 15, to hallcenter@ku.edu.

Worster came to KU in 1989 from Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He has also taught at Yale University and the University of Hawaii and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Australian National University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. His most recent book, “A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir,” was published by Oxford in 2008 and was named the best work of nonfiction by the Scottish Arts Council and won the Ambassador Award for Biography from the English Speaking Union.

Worster is primarily interested in the field of environmental history — the changing perception of nature, the rise of conservation and environmentalism, and the impact of the natural world on human society.

The papers to be presented at the conference focus on what Worster's former students are working on now, offering an introduction to some of the most exciting questions in the field of environmental history.

Worster’s former students have gone on to produce many influential and prize-winning books and articles. One is a past editor of the journal Environmental History, and one is the journal's editor-elect. Another heads the Kansas City regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency. The presenters at this conference now teach at Black Hills State, Boise State, Brandeis, Case Western, Colorado, Delaware, Johnson County Community College, Miami of Ohio, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania State and Vermont, as well as Renmin University in China and the University of Helsinki.

For a full schedule of panels, please refer to the calendar in the Hall Center website.