Harriet Ritvo

Membership:  2014

Member Bio

Harriet Ritvo's research interests lie at the intersection of environmental history, the history of human-animal relations, and the history of natural history; she has focused on the Anglophone world since the eighteenth century. Her current book project, "At the Edge of the Wild," explores shifting understandings of what constitutes wildness in animals, and the practices that these understandings have inspired and shaped. She is the Arthur J. Conner Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a past president of the American Society for Environmental History.


  • "Going Forth and Multiplying: Animal Acclimatization and Invasion," Environmental History 17 (2012): 404–14.
  • Noble Cows and Hybrid Zebras: Essays on Animals and History. Charlottesville VA: University of Virginia Press, 2010.
  • The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.
  • The Platypus and the Mermaid, and Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.
  • The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987.