Position title: UW System Fellow (2017-2018)
History, UW-Stevens Point
American Holidays, American Nature
At the IRH, I will be working on the book manuscript American Holidays, American Nature, which will be the first book to place the Thanksgiving turkey and the Christmas tree into both an environmental and historical context. The book shows that just as holidays have been invented, so too has the nature that serves them. For the Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas tree, the story has been one of uncertainty and anxiety over the place of nature in modern American life.
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.