Something Big: Rooseveltian Progressivism and Settler Conservation from Argentina to Australia

When:9 Aug 2013, 5pm - 7pm
Venue:History House - 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Who:Professor Ian Tyrrell
something big seminar

Australian Studies Research Network - Semianr Series, Hosted by the University of Newcastle and UNSW

In this paper, Ian Tyrrell explores global interest in Roosevelt’s ideas on conservation through the North American Conservation Conference in Washington (1908-9) and a non-starting World Conservation Congress to be held at The Hague. This interest had roots in the transformation of the material world in European colonies, the independent states of the Americas and the British self-governing ‘settler’ colonies such as Australia. ‘Settler societies’ and conservation were particularly important to Roosevelt’s articulation of an alternative American form of imperial hegemony under Anglo-American leadership, but the concern was reciprocal. The strong interest in conservation elicited in nascent settler states suggests the need for a more complex theorization of settlercolonialism, taking account of not only settler colonialism’s exclusion and even extermination of indigenous people, but also human encounters with and struggles over land and water resources. Roosevelt’s work was popular precisely because of its critique of settler colonialism and its formulation of conservation as a key element in the construction of a more ‘settled’ form of settler society embodied in settler nation states from 1901 to World War I.

Ian Tyrrell is Emeritus Professor at UNSW and leading scholar of temperance, environmental and transnational history. Postgrads, professional historians and members of the public are particularly welcome. Wine and snacks will be served. For more information, please contact Lisa Ford ( or Nancy Cushing ( Please circulate!

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