News

Hosting the 2019 World Congress of Environmental History

A Call for Proposals After two very successful international meetings (in Copenhagen and Guimarães, Portugal) the third World Congress for Environmental History is scheduled for 2019. The Site Selection Committee of the International Council of Environmental History Organizations is now calling for proposals from parties interested in hosting the 2019 conference, preferably in July or August of that year. The deadline for proposals is 1st December 2015 We especially encourage proposals from beyond North America and Europe. Proposals should come, in the first instance from individuals or organizations affiliated with universities or scholarly societies. While the support of local convention and visitors bureaus will become important once the site is proposed and under consideration, the proposal should not come directly from the convention and visitors’ bureau or events services. If you are interested or if you would like to submit a notice of intent, please contact Graeme Wynn at wynn@geog.ubc.ca for further details and a copy of the conference guidelines, before August 2015 if possible. We aim to finalize site selection by July 2016. Please keep in mind that hosting a conference that will likely attract 600-750 delegates requires substantial effort and time as well as significant institutional support and fundraising, but it is also a terrific opportunity to showcase local/ national scholarship, to advance environmental awareness and to promote local initiatives. ICEHO Site Selection Committee: Graeme Wynn University of British Columbia (Chair) Stefania Gallini, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Lisa Mighetto, Executive Director, ASEH Bo Poulsen, Aalborg University   Feature image: Fort McMurray, Alberta – Operation Arctic Shadow by Kris...

New paper: Iconic boab trees trace journeys of ancient Aboriginal people

Haripriya Rangan and her colleagues investigate the role of human agency in the gene flow and geographical distribution of the Australian baobab, Adansonia gregorii in a new paper published in PLOS ONE. Read a companion piece in The Conversation. Haripriya Rangan is Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University Feature image: Robyn...

The Moon, the Earth and a Camera: New Dealers, Whole Earth Imagery and the Soil Menace to Civilization

Janette Bailey will be discussing the profile of soil in past and current environmental storytelling and the humanities in “The Moon, the Earth and a Camera: New Dealers, Whole Earth Imagery and the Soil Menace to Civilization,” at Sydney American Cultures Workshop, Tuesday April 8, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, at 5.30 pm. All welcome. But please contact organiser Sarah Gleeson-White for a copy of the paper, if you plan to come along to the workshop: Sarah.gleeson-white@sydney.edu.au About Janette Bailey Janette is Sydney-based historian interested in the history of ideas and the historical imagination. She is particularly curious about the way ideas have been dramatized in stories by the film, print and broadcast media, why, what makes these stories powerful or not, and where we can find material evidence of these ideas today. Janette has degrees and industry experience in Film, Theatre and Performance, and in Environmental Studies, and a PhD in History. Her research has been recognised by organisations such as the American and European Societies for Environmental History and the National Archives of Australia. Janette has recently published on soil storytelling in Chinese Social Sciences Today and became the ANZASA Paul Bourke Travel Fellow in 2012.   Feature image: The Rio San Pablo as it empties into the Golfo de Montijo in Veraguas, Panama. Source:...

New book – Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought

Deb Anderson, Monash University CSIRO Publishing Endurance presents stories of ordinary Australians grappling with extraordinary circumstances, providing insight into their lives, their experiences with drought and their perceptions of climate change. The book opens with the physical impacts, science, politics and economics of drought and climate change in rural Australia. It then highlights the cultural and historical dimensions — taking us to the Mallee wheat-belt, where researcher Deb Anderson interviewed farm families from 2004 to 2007, as climate change awareness grew. Each story is grouped into one of three themes: Survival, Uncertainty and Adaptation. Illustrated with beautiful colour photographs from Museum Victoria, Endurance will appeal to anyone with an interest in life stories, rural Australia and the environment. Reviews “Deb Anderson’s deeply thoughtful book takes us into the heart of Australian conversations about the land. Endurance is rich with voices and ideas – with earthed experience – and helps us think meaningfully about climate, culture and identity in Australia today. It’s an impressive achievement.” Tom Griffiths FAHA, W K Hancock Professor of History and Director at the Centre for Environmental History, Australian National University “In Endurance, Deb Anderson asks how people live with, understand, and struggle with drought as a core component of regional life and personal identity. Rare is the scholar who can leverage the insights of oral histories to engage issues of major contemporary significance. Her success in doing this is one of the defining strengths of her work.” Michael Frisch, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, President, Oral History Association (USA)...

History Honours Workshop @ANU

Writing an honours thesis in the field of History? Want to meet honours students from other universities and discuss how to research and write your thesis? The School of History of the Australian National University invites you to an intensive History Honours Workshop in Canberra on the weekend of 29-31 May 2015.  Historians at ANU will lead discussions on various aspects of research and thesis writing, and will also provide you with the opportunity to join smaller groups focusing on historical issues of direct relevance to your own inquiry.  Students will be expected to participate by speaking and writing about their own research-in-progress.  Special tuition will be offered in the fields of Biography, Environmental History, Indigenous History, Legal History and Political History. Financial support will be available to participants from outside Canberra. This will consist of a return discount air or bus fare plus a contribution towards accommodation expenses in Canberra. Course organisers and presenters will include Professor Tom Griffiths, Dr Carolyn Strange, Professor Nicholas Brown, Dr Karen Fox and Dr Malcolm Allbrook.   Application Process The workshop will be restricted to honours students in History and related fields, currently enrolled at universities in Australia and New Zealand. The number of participants will be strictly limited (to facilitate discussion).  There is no registration fee. The deadline for applications is 22 April 2015. Please provide the following: A brief curriculum vitae Two short statements together totalling no more than 500 words: one explaining the subject (or likely subject) of your honours thesis; and the other describing what you hope to gain from this workshop. These statements will guide selection and...

Post docs in Environmental Humanities at the University of Chicago

The Limits of the Numerical Project at the University of Chicago invites applications for two Postdoctoral Scholar positions supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, both expected to last for a total of three academic years (2015-18). Each Postdoctoral Scholar will propose and pursue an in-depth study of the role numbers do and do not play in the humanistic understanding of environmental problems related to climate change. “Numbers” is interpreted broadly to include symbolic/mathematical languages. We anticipate that one project will touch on studies of physical, biological, and policy sciences, and the other on the humanistic disciplines. This research will be performed in residence at the Franke Institute for the Humanities throughout the academic year (late September to mid-June). Our hope is for these projects to interact with and contribute to our larger, ongoing project to understand the role numbers play in areas that develop hermeneutic or interpretive approaches to the study of climate change. That project in turn belongs to a consortial effort, undertaken with Cambridge University and the University of California at Santa Barbara, who will be looking, respectively, at the cases of health care and higher education. Together, these three projects aim for some general conclusions about the powers and limitations of quantitative methods. Each Postdoctoral Scholar at Chicago will be paired with a faculty mentor relevant to the project. Investigators from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have completed their PhDs between 7/1/10 and 7/1/15, and may not hold any other appointment during the period of the Postdoctoral Scholar position. A complete application includes cover letter, C.V., three references, and a 3-5 page...

Twelve Funded Doctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities in Europe: Leeds, Munich, & Stockholm

The Environmental Humanities for a Concerned Europe research group is now seeking applicants for twelve PhD/doctoral researchers: Four PhD fellows at the Environmental Humanities Research Group at the University of Leeds (deadline: May 1, 2015) Four doctoral fellows at the Rachel Carson Center at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Deutsches Museum (deadline: May 15, 2015) Four PhD fellows at the Environmental Humanities Lab at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (deadline April 20, 2015) These are fully-funded positions beginning in October 2015 to participate in a jointly-organized European program with events and training hosted by each of the partners for all twelve researchers. Environmental Humanities for a Concerned Europe (ENHANCE) is a Marie Curie European Innovative Training Network (ITN) providing multidisciplinary doctoral training in Environmental Humanities. The four main partners are the University of Leeds (UK), the Environmental Humanities Lab at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany, and the Deutsches Museum, Munich. The main aims of the network are to provide its Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs)––12 in total across the four participating institutions––with the academic and complementary skills training needed to place them at the forefront of a new generation of Environmental Humanities research; to lay down the foundation for a structured, sustainable approach to doctoral training in Environmental Humanities at EU level; and to provide potential employment for ESRs in a wide range of careers including environmental consultancy, risk assessment, research and development, green business management, sustainable technologies media and communications, and not-for-profit work (environmental and wildlife NGOs). Research and...

New Book – Running Out? Water in Western Australia

Ruth A. Morgan UWAP, 320 pp, PB, February 2015. For nearly 200 years the visions and aspirations of the people of Australia’s west have been characterised by an unquenchable thirst. Ruth Morgan uncovers the fear of running out of water — a fear that has long gripped the region’s inhabitants and loomed large on the state’s political agenda. It has shaped how urban and rural Western Australians learned to live with the effects of a variable climate on their water supply, lifestyle, and livelihood. This is a story of hardship and persistence; of inclusion, exclusion and defiant profligacy in the face of growing scarcity, through a period of great development and social change. An engrossing environmental history that offers a new understanding of the past Running Out? questions this way of life as we approach an uncertain future in a drying climate. Praise for Running Out? Ruth Morgan has written a book that wears its scholarship easily and tells its story briskly with grace and skill … an analysis that has relevance well beyond Australia. RICHARD WHITE, STANFORD UNIVERSITY Lucid and engaging, this book tells a compelling story with vital implications for the nation’s future … This is environmental history at its best. GRACE KARSKENS, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES   Publisher’s website...

ESEH 2015 registration open, call for posters

ESEH2015 meeting registration open Registration for the ESEH meeting in Versailles, France, 30 June to 4 July 2015, is now available! Register at http://www.eseh2015.eu/register/. Discounted registration is only available through March 31st, so register now. Note that you must register by March 31st if you have been accepted to give an oral presentation or poster in order to stay on the program.   Present a poster at ESEH2015! The Programme Committee is issuing a second call for poster presentations for the 2015 annual meeting in Versailles, France. Note that 2015 marks the first time ESEH will be offering a prize for the best poster! The posters will be judged at the conference by a committee who will award €100 to the winner and €50 to runner-up. Poster proposals should include an abstract of 200‐300 words. Posters will be on display during the Congress and authors will have an opportunity to introduce their research in brief (approx. three minute) oral presentations in a special plenary session. The conference language is English. Submissions and presentations in other languages cannot be accepted. Deadline for submissions: 20 February, notifications will be sent out by 25 February (in time to take advantage of early registration). Submit your poster proposal online.   Travel grants for attending the 2015 biennial conference ESEH will make available a limited number of grants and registration fee waivers for ESEH members who will deliver papers or present posters at the 2015 ESEH Conference in Versailles. These travel grants are intended to support travel to Versailles and are targeted at those who would not be able to attend the conference without external support. ESEH will not be able to provide...