William Cronon's Current Projects

  • Currently developing a new lecture course on “The Making of the American Landscape” (the title is an homage to the classic 1955 book by W. G. Hoskins on The Making of the English Landscape), which will lay the foundation for a major book surveying landscape change in the United States since pre-colonial times. The book will likely explore Canadian landscape history as well, in which case its title will become The Making of the North American Landscape). One of its chief goals will be to teach readers the art of “reading the landscape" for evidence of past change.
  • Working on a local history of Portage, Wisconsin (Frederick Jackson Turner's home town), to explore ways of integrating environmental and social historical methods with non-traditional narrative literary forms. Throughout, it will seek to understand the ways in which human beings create places through storytelling. The Portage and The Making of the North American Landscape will serve as micro- and macro- bookends for each other, approaching the tasks of narrating landscape change and "reading the landscape" on radically different scales.
  • Revising Saving Nature in Time: The Environmental Past and the Human Future, a series of essays on the relevance of environmental history to contemporary environmental politics in the United States. The book has undergone three major revisions since it was first delivered as the Wiles Lectures at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in May 2001, and is temporarily on hold to assess what will emerge from the chaotic state of partisan politics after the 2016 election.