2019 St Andrews Article Prize in European Environmental History is awarded

2019 St Andrews Article Prize in European Environmental History is awarded


A HONORARY MENTION goes to TIM SOENS for his article “Resilient societies, vulnerable people: Coping with North Sea floods before 1800”, published in Past and Present 241, November 2018. Tim’s work is particularly strong in its critical use and combination of different sources. It is a model for the kind of environmental histories much needed in a heating world. “Societal resilience [on a systemic level] and vulnerability of people are different things”, Tim writes. Vulnerability was created, people were put at risk by a peculiarpolitical and economic system that came with a loss of accountability for the land and for the people.

The ARTICLE PRIZE goes to Steven Hartman from Mälardalen University in Sweden and 5 co-authors – Astrid Ogilvie, Jon Haukur Ingimundarson, Andrew Dugmore, George Hambrecht, and Thomas McGovern – for “Medieval Iceland, Greenland, and the New Human Condition: A case study in integrated environmental humanities” published in Global and Planetary Change 156, September 2017. Their article analyses how societies cope with environmental hazards and changes. It takes medieval Iceland and Greenland as test cases, to compare different societal reactions to very similar environmental pressures. It is highly interdisciplinary work, bringing together scholars from the exact sciences, social sciences as well as humanities. As a result, the authors move beyond a climate deterministic approach, but still pay attention to the agency of climate and environmental factors.The article is highly relevant in using the past as a kind of laboratory to learn lessons for the present and future.

The Committee members were Martin Schmid (chair), Institute of Social Ecology/Vienna, Austria, Yaron Baslev (Board representative), Tel Aviv University, Israel, and Maïka de Keyzer, University of Antwerp, Belgium

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