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McNeill, John R.

Visiting Fellows


J.R. McNeill studied at Swarthmore College and Duke University (Ph.D., 1981). Since 1985 he is at Georgetown University, in the History Department and Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he held the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environmental and International Affairs before becoming University Professor in 2006. He has held two Fulbright awards, a Guggenheim fellowship, a MacArthur grant, a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and visiting appointments at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and at the universities of Canterbury, Oslo, and Otago. McNeill’s books include: The Atlantic Empires of France and Spain (1985); The Mountains of the Mediterranean World: An Environmental History (1992); Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-century World (2000), co-winner of the World History Association book prize, the Forest History Society book prize, and listed by the London Times among the best science books ever written (despite being a history book and not a science book) and translated into nine languages; The Human Web: A Bird’s -eye View of World History (2003), co-authored with his father William McNeill and translated into eight languages; and Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914 (2010), which won the Beveridge Prize from the American Historical Association, a PROSE award from the Association of American Publishers, and a Wall Street Journal best book in early American history. In 2016 he published The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene, 1945-2015 (with Peter Engelke). He has edited or co-edited eight other books, including two volumes of The Cambridge World History (2015). Since 2007 he has taken to co-authoring scientific papers with geologists, chemists, and biologists on the theme of the Anthropocene. These appear in journals such as Ambio, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society; as well as Science and Nature. In 2010 he was awarded the Toynbee Prize for ‘academic and public contributions to humanity.’ In 2014, the World History Association awarded him its annual prize for achievement in that field. In 2018 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences selected him for the Heineken Prize in History. In 2012-15 he served as a Vice-President of the American Historical Association; in 2011-13 as President of the American Society for Environmental History; and in 2019 as President of the American Historical Association.

From: May 02, 2019 To: May 30, 2019

Structure History Department and Walsh School of Foreign Service (University Professor)

Georgetown University

United States of America