In this seminar environmental historian of the United States, Christof Mauch, introduces his project ‘Travels into America’s Nature and History’, which focuses on ten different places in the United States. Mauch zooms in and out of these places and explores each case over the longue durée — from deep geological time to the present. The project features sites that are diverse, representative, iconic, and ambivalent. Mauch’s research includes personal visits, oral interviews, photography and audiotaping. The project focuses on such diverse places as Malibu (California) and Wiseman (Alaska), Disney World and the Everglades (Florida), and Las Vegas (Clark County, Nevada) and nearby St. Thomas (a ghost town in the Mojave Desert). Mauch’s presentation will include images and readings of cultural and literary sources as well as readings from and about nature. The seminar offers an unconventional introduction into U.S. environmental history as it investigates the question of how relationships between nature, society, and politics have changed over time.
Christof Mauch is Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Chair in American Cultural History at LMU Munich, and an Honorary Professor at Renmin University, China. Mauch holds a Dr. Phil. in literature from Tübingen University (1990) and a Dr. Phil. Habil. in history from the University of Cologne (1998). A past President of the European Society for Environment, he has held visiting professorships in Edmonton, Kolkata, Seattle, Vienna, Washington D.C., and Warsaw. Mauch is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Leadership in History Award of the Society for State and Local History and the 2015 Planetary Award of the Institut für Zukunftskompetenzen