Cornell University: Environmental degradation focus of LaFeber-Silbey lecture March 10

Climate change has aggravated the threat that catastrophic fires pose to forests and communities from Seattle to San Diego – the fire season in the United States burned over 58,000 acres of land in 2021. But today’s growing concern with these cataclysmic events is not the first time that fire emerges as a major force in American history.

In this year’s LaFeber-Silbey Lecture, historian Daniel Immerwahr will re-establish the central importance of forests and fire to the settlement of the American West in the nineteenth century. His talk, “Axecraft: Settler Colonialism and Wood,” is hosted by Cornell’s Department of History and set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, in the Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. The lecture is also being live-streamed; passcode 8725.

“Immerwahr is an innovative and wide-ranging thinker as well as a spellbinding narrator whose ’Thinking Small’ and ‘How to Hide an Empire’ have been debate-shaping interventions,” said Nicholas Mulder, assistant professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences and organizer of this year’s talk.

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