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American Holidays, American Nature

January 29, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Black and White image of man holding a live Christmas tree outdoors
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Forest History Society

Monday Seminar

Neil Prendergast

UW System Fellow (2017-2018)

History; International Studies, UW-Stevens Point


For nearly two centuries, millions of Americans have been celebrating Christmas with a tree and Thanksgiving with a turkey, yet despite that depth of experience, an enduring ambivalence remains: Which type of tree and which type of turkey should enter the home? Real or artificial? Heritage breed or factory farmed? “American Holidays, American Nature” tells the story of how these questions came to be asked in the first place. It’s a story of consumerism, but also of republican and progressive traditions in thinking about nature and society.


Neil Prendergast is Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he teaches United States environmental history. His work has appeared in the Western Historical Quarterly and Environmental History. In 2015, he was awarded the University Award for Teaching Excellence.


January 29, 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States