Cronon to speak on landscape & environmental change Feb. 13

Environmental historian William J. Cronon, Ph.D., D.Phil., will speak on “Telling Tales on Canvas: Landscapes of Environmental Change” at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

The talk — co-sponsored by the Assembly Series and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts — comes as part of “Unsettled Ground: Nature, Landscape and Ecology Now!” a yearlong series of lectures, panel discussions, artistic interventions and workshops exploring the intersection of contemporary architecture, art, ecology and urban design.

William Cronon
William Cronon

The lecture is free and open to the public and will take place in the Sam Fox School’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in Steinberg Hall.

Cronon, the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, studies the history of human interaction with the natural world: how we depend on the ecosystems around us to sustain our material lives; how we modify the landscapes in which we live and work; and how our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world around us.

His first book, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983), examined changes in the New England landscape as control of the region shifted from Native Americans to European colonists.

His Pulitzer Prize-nominated Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (1991) focused on Chicago’s relationship with its rural hinterland during the second half of the 19th century.

In 1995, Cronon edited Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, an influential essay collection exploring the impact of cultural ideas about nature on modern environmental problems.

He has been a Rhodes Scholar, a Danforth Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow and a MacArthur Fellow.

The “Unsettled Ground” lectures are co-financed by funds given to WUSTL for collaborative, interdisciplinary programming between the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.

For more information, call 935-9347; e-mail; or go online to