Conevery Valencius, Professor of History, April 2015
Conevery Valencius is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she writes and teaches about U.S. environmental history, the history of science and medicine, and the American Civil War. Her recent projects have focused on the history of earthquakes and seismology, the history of the environmental sciences, and journeys of trade and exploration in the American West. In the fall of 2013, The University of Chicago Press published The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes, which asks how we know what we know — or what we think we know — about the New Madrid earthquakes that rocked the middle Mississippi Valley in 1811 and 1812. Going forward across two centuries, the book demonstrates the impact of the quakes on early American society, from Indian settlement to frontier revivals to scientific theorizing, and explores the environmental, social, and scientific forces that submerged knowledge of the quakes for a century — and only very recently called those events back into scientific and public visibility.
Prof. Valencius visited the University of Minnesota in April 2015 for the John E. Sawyer Seminar Symposium on “The Once and Future River: Imagining the Mississippi in an Era of Climate Change“.