J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Seminar on Climate Change—the Previous One

The Massachusetts Historical Society will host a seminar on Anya Zilberstein’s paper in progress “Cold Comfort: The Benefits of Climate Change in Early North America,” on Tuesday, 13 April, at 5:15 P.M. The summary reads:

The perceived suitability of a region for cultivation and commerce influenced settlement patterns in the colonial era and into the 19th century. Join us to learn how early scientific climate studies and natural histories influenced the development of New England and Nova Scotia throughout this period.
Zilberstein comes from Concordia University, and her website bio offers a little more detail about what she’s exploring:
Dr. Zilberstein’s dissertation, “Planting Improvement: The Rhetoric and Practice of Scientific Agriculture in Northern British America, 1670-1820,” explored the relationship between land-use practices the construction of scientific expertise, and the ideology of settler colonization in early New England and Nova Scotia and the Atlantic world. She is currently revising “Planting Improvement” and further researching such issues as the connection between landscape improvement and moral uplift, the relationship between chorographic surveys and regionalism, and early modern ideas about cold climates and the global North. Her broad research and teaching interests include the British empire, early North America, environmental and agrarian history, the history of natural history, historical geography, and food cultures.
Prof. Brian Donahue of Brandeis University will comment on the paper, and then the discussion should become general. Attendees can pick up a copy of the paper at the M.H.S. that afternoon. There is no charge for attending.

After the discussion, the society will provide a light buffet supper and space for further chat; it asks attendees to RSVP by email or phone at 617-646-0568.

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