The Understory Newsletter and Community Board

Purple, pink, blue vibrant sunset with the dark silhoutte of a tree in the foreground, photo by Andrew Niess

Read back issues of The Understory here. Subscribe for new issues in your inbox!

Fall 2021 Events Calendar

November 24, 2021, Vol 17

October 28, 2021, Vol 16

October 5, 2021, Vol 15

Fall 2021 Newsletter

August 25, 2021, Vol 14

July 29, 2021, Vol 13

July 13, 2021, Vol 12

June 26, 2021, Vol 11

May 25, 2021, Vol 10

May 6, 2021, Vol 9

April 21, 2021, Vol 8

April 7, 2021, Vol 7

March 25, 2021, Vol 6

March 9, 2021, Vol 5

February 23, 2021, Vol 4

February 10, 2021, Vol 3

January 25, 2021, Vol 2

December 21, 2021, Vol 1


Current Community Items

Beinecke Scholarship Opportunity– applications due December 19

Current Penn juniors with a 3.70 or above who are receiving need-based financial aid who plan to apply for a Master’s or PhD in the humanities, arts, or social sciences are encouraged to consider applying for the Beinecke Scholarship, a nationally competitive award of up to $34,000 toward graduate study. CURF will be holding a virtual Beinecke information session in December, which will be posted at

New course! 
Environmental History of Central Eurasia  Artemy Kalinovsky 
W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM
REES 653-301  

This course introduces students to recent research on the environmental history of Central Eurasia, with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries. As a region, Central Eurasia has seen radical environmental interventions under quite different regimes: tsarist, socialist, and capitalist, each carrying its own priorities and visions of extraction, transformation, management, and protection. Environmental history is a relatively recent arrival among the sub-disciplines engaged by historians of the region, and yet scholarship produced over the last decade has already shown us how a focus on the environment makes it possible to approach long standing concerns about empire, colonialism, revolution, and socialist development in new and productive ways. The course will thus offer a new perspective on a region (somewhat) familiar to students in the program, while also helping them identify ways in which research on the region could inform ongoing debates in environmental history beyond Eurasia. 

Undergraduates Need Permission

University of Oregon Post Doctoral Fellow Applications

The Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon (UO) seeks to hire a Postdoctoral Fellow with a scholarly focus in the Pacific Northwest region beginning in Fall 2022. The University of Oregon has recently created the Just Futures Institute (JFI) ( with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Just Futures Institute (JFI) is a multi-campus initiative that seeks to foster deeper understanding of the connections between environmental justice, climate change, and racial justice in the Pacific Northwest. This postdoctoral position is part of the JFI and applications are due December 1.