2017 Lecture

"No-Man’s Land as Nature Preserve: The Strange Case of Cold War Conservation"

by Dr. Lisa Brady

Lisa Brady, History, faculty/staff, studio portrait, photo by Priscilla GroverDr. Lisa Brady will present the 2017 Lynn W. Day Distinguished Lectureship in Forest and Conservation History on October 12, 2017. In her talk "No-Man’s Land as Nature Preserve: The Strange Case of Cold War Conservation," Dr. Brady will be discussing a little-known way the Cold War contributed to nature conservation around the world. The lecture is sponsored by the Forest History Society, Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and Duke University’s Department of History.

Following World War II, conservation took a strange turn. Cold War animosities turned large swaths of land in places such as Germany and Eastern Europe, Korea, and Puerto Rico into militarized areas. Although subject to extensive damage and pollution, these sites also experienced varying degrees of "rewilding," becoming de facto nature preserves. Historian Lisa Brady will explore how and why these militarized areas became ecozones, what environmental scientists have learned studying them, and how conservation can heal even the wounds of war. The talk will be of great interest to those interested in environmental issues, wilderness areas, and military history.

Dr. Lisa Brady is a professor of environmental history at Boise State University. She is the author of War upon the Land: Military Strategy and the Transformation of Southern Landscapes during the American Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2012), and has served as editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental History since 2013.

The 2017 Lecture will be held on Thursday, October 12th, at 5:00 pm, in Field Auditorium at Environment Hall on Duke University’s West Campus (map of the area). To stream it live, click here.

The Lynn W. Day Distinguished Lectureship in Forest and Conservation History is sponsored by the Forest History Society, the Duke University Department of History, and the Nicholas School of the Environment.

For more information please email the Forest History Society or call (919) 682-9319.

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