Amy Kohout (Cornell University) will be giving a talk next Monday, 23 February at 4:30 pm at the Multicultural House. She is a finalist for a 2-year visiting position in interdisciplinary environmental humanities.
Amy’s work focuses on the experiences of American soldiers during the Indian Wars and the Philippine-American War in order to explore the interconnectedness of ideas about nature and empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Soldiers stationed in the field engaged with nature in surprising and complicated ways. To them, the environment could be many things, sometimes all at once: the site of hard physical labor, a set of obstacles to be cleared, scenery to be appreciated, or the source of scientific specimens for collection and study. In this talk, she’ll draw on the natural history collecting and military work of Edgar Mearns to argue for the significance of soldiers’ work for our understanding of both notions of nature and experiences of empire in the past and present.