Conevery Valencius

Conevery Valencius

The Center of the American West Announces our new Virtual Interview series Lunch with Limerick. In these one-hour programs, Patty Limerick will interview a range of guests on current issues and a variety of topics relevant to the West and beyond.


In 2020, only a pathologically cheerful individual could say that the United States is a nation in a state of health. Between the malady of the coronavirus and the affliction of divisive polarization, the current state of affairs puts a premium on the chance to talk with an accomplished historian of American attitudes toward health and disease. A professor at Boston College, Conevery Valencius teaches courses on environmental history and the history of science and medicine. In her book, The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land, Professor Valencius uncovers a close tie between the ways that mid-nineteenth-century Americans understood the landscapes and communities where they settled, and the ways they thought about their own bodies. Her conversation with Patty Limerick will not deliver a comprehensive diagnosis of the nation’s condition, but it is certain to propose new interpretations and raise insightful questions addressing ideas about health and disease that many Americans now take for granted. And matching up to local issues, Professor Valencius is currently working on a book about the science of induced seismology (a.k.a. earthquakes!) and hydraulic fracturing.


We will work with ADA Compliance to attempt to fulfill any disability requests for ASL interpreting and/or real-time captioning for these events. Such requests should be made at least seven days in advance of the event. Requests received less than 48 hours prior to the event cannot be guaranteed.

To make a request, please email or