William Cronon

Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies

University of Wisconsin–Madison

About William Cronon

William Cronon studies American environmental history and the history of the American West. His research seeks to understand the history of human interactions with the natural world: how we depend on the ecosystems around us to sustain our material lives, how we modify the landscapes in which we live and work, and how our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world around us.

Current Highlights

The Making of the American Landscape

This course, newly offered in Fall 2016 as Geography / History / Environmental Studies 469, explores how the American landscape has evolved through both natural and human transformations.

Course website

American Environmental History

I have offered my survey course on American Environmental History for over 20 years. It is currently listed as History / Geography / Environmental Studies 460.

Course website

The Center for Culture, History, and Environment

CHE is a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and graduate students who are broadly interested in the changing relationships of humans and the natural world in the broad sweep of history.

Center website

AHA Presidential Writings and Columns

Material from Cronon's American Historical Association presidential year, including the text, video, and audio of his presidential address on "Storytelling," Richard White's bio, and Cronon's complete presidential columns on "The Public Practice of History in and for a Digital Age."

Go to page

Forest Hill Cemetery

The CHE Methods Seminar built a cool new web-based field guide to Forest Hill Cemetery, a canonical 19th-century Romantic landscape in Madison.

Project site

Conversations With History Interview

In April 2013, Cronon did an hour-long video interview with Harry Kreisler of UC-Berkeley for the "Conversations with History" series.

Watch the video