Gregory Rosenthal (SoE faculty ’14) Wins National Dissertation Prize

Gregory RosenthalGregory Rosenthal, who was a member of the inaugural faculty of the Middlebury School of the Environment in 2014 and who earned his PhD in History from Stony Brook University in 2015, has been awarded the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH).

As noted by the Rachel Carson Prize committee, Rosenthal’s dissertation, “Hawaiians who Left Hawai’i: Work, Body, and Environment in the Pacific World, 1786-1876,” is a “very compelling narrative, which brings a new insight into the meanings of circulation and the making of economies and environments. It excels across the categories used in our evaluation: writing, research and documentation, analysis, and contribution to the field.”

In 2014, Gregory taught “Environmentalism and the Poor,” a seminar that explored the diverse “environmentalisms” that are practiced by both “first worlders” and “third worlders,” by both rich and poor, both workers and capitalists, between the global north and the global south as well as within small-town communities, villages, and cities across the world.”  In addition, he co-taught “Understanding Place: Lake Champlain” with Steve Trombulak, and together they guided the students through the interplay between cultural and natural narratives of place.  Gregory returned to the MSoE in 2015 to present a workshop on environmentalism and the poor, emphasizing the key themes in his previous summer’s elective course.

Gregory is now an assistant professor of public history at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. His winning dissertation is a history of Native Hawaiian migrant labor in the 19th-century trans-Pacific economy. He has published in Environmental History, World History Bulletin, and Perspectives on History, and is the recipient of awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Historical Association, the Huntington Library, the Bancroft Library, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

He is also the co-author of “Many Environmentalisms, From New York to Kabul, From the Past to the Present,” published in Solutions (May-June 2015: 72-76), written with Marjeela Basij-Rasik (MSoE ’14) and based on work that emerged from the MSoE elective.

(Reference: Portions of this text were adapted from a press release published in Stony Brook Matters: news for alumni and friends.)

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