Faculty & Staff
Conevery Bolton Valencius, PhD
- Assistant Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts
- 617.287.6806 Telephone:
- firstname.lastname@example.org Email:
100 Morrissey Blvd. Office Location: McCormack Hall 4-627
Areas of Expertise
Professor Valencius writes and teaches about U.S. environmental history, the history of science and medicine, and the American Civil War. Her recent projects have focused on the history of earthquakes and seismology, the history of the environmental sciences, and journeys of trade and exploration in the American West.
PhD (History of Science) Harvard University (1998)
BA (U.S. History) Stanford University (1989)
Professional Publications & Contributions
Spring 2013 Office Hours: MW (11 a.m.-12 noon) or by appointment
Conevery Bolton Valencius (CON-a-very va-LEN-chus): I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, graduated from Little Rock Central High, took classes at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, then trekked out West to earn a BA in history at Stanford University in 1989. I worked in San Francisco for several years in freelance writing and editing and in social service agencies, then decided I missed academic work and took a Greyhound bus cross country to attend Harvard. In 1998, I earned a PhD in the History of Science. Shortly after, I drove halfway back across the country to Washington University in St. Louis, to take a position as Assistant Professor in the departments of History, American Culture Studies, and Environmental Studies. While at Wash U I published The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land (Basic Books, 2002), which won several prizes in writing and environmental history. Wash U was wonderful but I decided to take a hiatus to raise a few children and finish my next book. In 2004, I moved back East, where I worked as a free-range historian under grants from the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and the Dibner Institute for the History of Science. I taught several terms at Harvard University and with the NEH Teaching American History program. In 2011, with children and book manuscript both considerably larger, I very happily accepted a teaching position at UMass Boston, where I teach the history of the American Civil War and Reconstruction, U.S. environmental history, and the history of science, technology, and medicine.
Currently, I am finishing a book manuscript entitled The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes, which asks how we know what we know – or what we think we know – about long-forgotten but large earthquakes that rocked the United States in 1811-12. Other current research includes a co-authored reassessment of science in early America, a forthcoming article on the history of seismology, an environmental history of the Blue Hills and Fore River Shipyard (both on the nearby South Shore), and a possible next book project, Seismic America.
- HIST 266: American History Since 1877
- HIST 375: U.S. Civil War & Reconstruction
- This Land is Your Land: A Survey of U.S. Environmental History
- Sites of Calamity: Environments of Disaster in U.S. History
Professor Valencius's CV