January 19, 2018

Gallery Editor’s Note, October 2015

by Finis Dunaway

In this issue’s Gallery essay, Bob Reinhardt considers a diverse set of images produced in conjunction with the global campaign to eradicate smallpox. Focusing on three images that circulated in Nigeria during the late 1960s, Reinhardt shows how national and international health authorities promoted the vaccination program through the strategic use of magazine and poster illustrations. According to Reinhardt, these images celebrated humanity’s technological triumph over the deadly disease and effaced global power dynamics by presenting local people involved in a universal campaign to defeat smallpox. His essay complements this issue’s Forum on technology, ecology, and human health since 1850 by demonstrating how visual analysis can complicate historical interpretations of disease, technology, and health.

I have


been a fan of the Gallery section ever since Kathryn Morse and Adam Rome launched this unique feature of the journal twelve years ago. I am delighted to serve as the new Gallery editor and want to thank Lisa Brady, Neil Maher, and Cindy Ott for their enormous assistance and advice during this transition period. I hope to build on the excellent work of my predecessors by treating the Gallery section as a creative and capacious forum. I look forward to working with authors who want to probe the myriad ways that images can enrich and enliven our field.

Bob Reinhardt’s “Smallpox Denaturalized, Demonized, and Eradicable” >>

Gallery Editor’s Note on Oxford Journals >>

Gallery Editor’s Note, July 2015

By Neil M. Maher and Cindy Ott

With all the new modeling technologies and advances in the meteorological sciences, it is still hard to get a handle on the weather. We often rely on our common everyday experiences as much as our apps or the nightly news to predict what’s coming, and we turn to poets and artists for a deeper appreciation of weather’s impact on our lives. In this issue’s Gallery, historian Catherine T. Dunlop takes us back to nineteenth-century France in her analysis of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings of the Mistral, the forceful, unpredictable winds of Provence. Her analysis of paintings by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh points to the ways artistic expression, philosophy, and the natural sciences infuse each


other and together shape people’s understandings and relationships with the natural world.

This Gallery marks the end of our tenure as Gallery and Graphics editors. We are extremely grateful to Environmental History editors, the rest of the editorial staff, the Oxford University Press, and the journal’s editorial board for their insight and support of both our work and the Gallery section of the journal. It was a real privilege to serve them and the authors whose work has inspired us. We feel very fortunate to hand over the helm to the talented Finis Dunaway, one of the most influential environmental historians of visual culture.

Catherine T. Dunlop’s “Looking at the Wind: Paintings of the Mistral in Fin-de-Siècle France” >>

Gallery Editor’s Note on Oxford Journals >>

Gallery Editor´s Note: This Is Nature; This Is Un-Nature: Reading the Keeling Curve

Fig3HoweBy Neil M. Maher and Cindy Ott

In its Gallery essays, Environmental History has yet to examine the visual culture of scientific data. Joshua Howe corrects this oversight with a wonderful essay on the Keeling Curve, first made famous by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and now one of the most iconic images of scientific data worldwide. According to Howe, the Keeling


Curve, that upward sloping oscillating line that documents global warming, tells two distinct narratives—one seemingly natural, the other cultural. Just as important, Howe reminds environmental historians that scientific data, whether presented visually in graphs, charts, or tables, can be read as cultural evidence much like historical photographs, works of art, or handwritten diaries.

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