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2011 Maine Heritage Lecture Topic New England Environmental Movement

The 2011 Maine Heritage Lecture at the University of Maine Monday, Oct. 24, from 7-8:30 p.m., will feature UMaine McBride Professor of History Richard Judd discussing “Saving Second Nature: The Environmental Movement in New England” at the Wells Conference Center.

This fourth annual Maine Heritage Lecture will focus on the pastoral landscapes of New England — the valley farms, familiar woods and past-enshrouded fishing out ports that became iconic symbols of New England beauty, according to sponsors, the University of Maine Humanities Initiative and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The lecture will explore how farm, village and woods were idealized and romanticized in the tourist literature and regionalist writing of the late 19th century, and how these idealized images shaped New England environmental politics. New England environmentalists avoided the common premise that nature and culture were separate and antagonistic worlds, and instead embraced as their rallying points a blended landscape rich in cultural symbol and ecological harmonies, what Thoreau called “a partially cultivated country,” and what environmental historians today call “second nature.”

This environmental goal generated a vast array of policy innovations, from farmland preservation to protecting the northern “working wilderness.” Those innovations mark New England environmentalism as unique and distinctive from the movement in general.

Professor Judd’s primary field of interest is U.S. environmental history, particularly in New England. He originally came to UMaine in 1980 as a postdoctoral fellow, returned to California in 1981 to work the next three years as assistant-associate editor for the Journal of Forest History (now merged with Environmental History). Since rejoining the History Department in 1984, he has taught a series of courses concentrated in nineteenth and twentieth century America, including urban history, economic and industrial history, environmental history, and Maine history. He has led graduate level seminars in U.S. history since 1865 and in U.S. environmental history. He has published, edited or co-edited numerous books and journal articles in his field, and currently edits the Maine Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Maine History.

Contact: Tonya Corriveau, (207) 581-1954

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