Inaugural Lecture by the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies

Main Building, University of Helsinki & Online

The Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies Mark D. Hersey will give his Inaugural Lecture on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 16:15.

The topic of Professor Hersey’s lecture will be "Black Belt Sketches: Ecology and Identity in the American South".

Although it is hardly one of North America’s most celebrated landscapes, the physiographic Black Belt of the American South offers an uncommonly productive place to explore the historical intersections of nature and culture. Drawing on examples from the region’s environmental history over the longue durée, this talk explores the often-surprising junctures of land use, race, and poverty in the Black Belt. In doing so, it calls attention to the ways in which cultural identities have been cobbled onto and read out of the material world and aims to spur an appreciation for the landscapes of ostensibly ordinary places.
Mark D. Hersey is the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair of American Studies for the 2021-22 academic year. He is associate professor of history at Mississippi State University where he directs the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment of the South. He is the author of My Work Is That of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George Washington Carver (2011) and the co-editor of A Field on Fire: The Future of Environmental History (2019). He currently edits the journal Environmental History


If you are unable to attend in person you can follow the lecture in Zoom (link appears in Lyyti). The lecture will be followed by refreshments in the Christina Hall.

Please R.S.V.P. by November 2, 2021 at

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