“Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago”

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Thursday, February 10, 2022
7:00 pm
Admission: $10. EHC Members Free.

Join us for a virtual presentation by Brian McCammack, author of the award-winning Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago. Between 1915 and 1940, hundreds of thousands of African Americans left the rural South to begin new lives in the urban North. In Chicago, the Black population quintupled to more than 275,000. Most historians map the integration of southern and northern black culture by looking at labor, politics, and popular culture. An award-winning environmental historian, Brian McCammack charts a different course, considering instead how black Chicagoans forged material and imaginative connections to nature.

The first major history to frame the Great Migration as an environmental experience, Landscapes of Hope takes us to Chicago’s parks and beaches as well as to the youth camps, vacation resorts, farms, and forests of the rural Midwest. Situated at the intersection of race and place in American history, it traces the contours of a black environmental consciousness that runs throughout the African American experience.

Brian McCammack is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. He previously taught in Environmental Studies at Williams College, History at Tufts University, and History & Literature at Harvard University. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in the History of American Civilization and his Master’s from the American Studies department at Purdue University.

Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago:

“A major work of history that brings together African-American history and environmental studies in exciting ways.”
―Davarian L. Baldwin, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Award
Winner of the George Perkins Marsh Prize
Winner of the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize