CfP for Workshop “Managing the Land: Agricultural and Rural Actors in Twentieth Century Europe”

esehadmin : October 9, 2018 07:54

Conveners: Corinna Unger (European University Institute, Florence), Dietmar Müller (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, Leipzig), Liesbeth van de Grift (Utrecht University)

Dates: April 11-12, 2019

Venue: European University Institute, Florence, Italy

Agriculture and rural life, topics long dismissed by many historians as irrelevant or old-fashioned, are currently receiving renewed attention in the field of contemporary history. The revival of rural and agricultural history is closely connected to concerns about environmental degradation, food shortages, land grabbing, and migration in the context of climate change, and to academic debates about the so-called Anthropocene, natural resources, and the notion of sustainability. In Europe, many historians are studying issues like land rights, property relations, access to natural resources, and rural infrastructure projects in different parts of Europe and in European colonies abroad. Others focus on social relations and practices in rural spaces, on rural political structures, on ethnopolitically motivated settlements, on efforts toward the ‘modernization’ of agriculture, and on the connections between local, regional, national, and international production, marketing, and governance structures. Together, the various research projects promise to provide a counterweight to existing understandings of contemporary European history as predominantly urban and industrial in character.

As part of larger publication project, we are organizing a workshop to bring together scholars interested in exploring new perspectives and approaches in these fields. The aim of the workshop is twofold: First, to compose a list of topics which, together, constitute a contemporary European history from a rural perspective; and, second, to explore potential contributions and contributors to such a publication.

Rather than looking at twentieth-century European rural and agricultural history through the lens of nation states or specific events, we aim to investigate it by focusing on activities related to the management of land in a broad sense. This includes measuring, (re)claiming, and administering land; establishing or challenging property rights to land; cultivating and farming land; producing, processing, and selling agricultural products; experimenting with agricultural practices; developing and applying agronomic knowledge; settling the land; administering and controlling rural populations, and resisting such efforts; organizing rural social and political life; remodeling or demolishing villages; and turning rural life into the object of artistic interest.

In looking at these phenomena, many of which were local, regional, or transnational in character, we aim to provide a history of contemporary Europe that gives priority to the different historical actors, their interests and strategies, their similarities and differences across geographical and cultural difference. In trying to provide a complex account of rural and agricultural history, we want to cover a wide variety of actors, ranging from peasants to bureaucrats, from landowners to the advocates of land reform and collectivization, from the members of conservative women’s associations to business representatives advertising the use of new agricultural technologies. Furthermore, rather than focusing on the level of discourse, we emphasize the interdependence between everyday and grassroots activities related to land and top-down efforts at managing rural life and economies.

Our goal is to cover the topic based on the different regions and cultures of Europe over the course of the twentieth century. Therefore we are looking for contributions that are geographically diverse, ranging from Eastern to Western Europe, from Southern to Northern Europe (and all the spaces and regions in between these categories) and that pay critical attention to the question what makes the individual cases ‘European’. Along these lines, we also welcome contributions that investigate relations between European experiences and policies and other parts of the world, especially in the context of colonialism, trade, and migration.

We invite proposals for papers from scholars of rural and agricultural history as much as from scholars of other fields of historical research such as gender history, political history, social and economic history, history of science and technology, international history, and social and legal anthropology. We ask that each proposal makes clear how it relates to the activity-centered approach described above, and how it positions itself in a contemporary European history.

Proposals should be 500 words in length and should be sent to the conveners together with a one-page CV. The deadline is November 7, 2018. We will aim to inform you about our decision by December 15, 2018.

The workshop will start on Thursday morning and end on Friday afternoon in time for participants to depart from Florence in the evening. We will be able to cover travel costs (economy class/second class rail), accommodation for two nights (April 10-12), and meals during the workshop.

For questions, feel free to contact the conveners:

Corinna Unger (

Dietmar Müller (

Liesbeth van de Grift (

The 2017 Environment and History Poster Prize

esehadmin : October 7, 2018 19:29

At the Ninth ESEH Conference held in Zagreb the Poster Prize was sponsored for the first time by Environment and History. The Poster Prize Committee awarded the prize to Lukas Heinzmann of Bern University for his poster entitled “Climate reconstruction in north-east Switzerland during the Late Maunder Minimum – An analysis of the weather observations in the Einsiedeln monastery’s diary between 1670 and 1704.”

Please find here an introduction to the winning poster written by Lukas for the White Horse Press blog:


ESEH Research Grant 2018: Call for proposals

esehadmin : October 7, 2018 08:53

The ESEH Research Grant is aimed at offering doctoral students and recent post-docs funding useful to complete their research in environmental history.

ESEH Research Grant 2018

The ESEH Research Grant was created to assist outstanding PhD graduate students and recent PhD graduates in completing their research in environmental history. The grant provides a single payment of €500 for research and travel in the field of environmental history, without geographical or chronological restriction. TWO such grants are expected to be awarded in 2018. The funds must be used to support archival or other field-based research and travel during 2019.

Students enrolled in any PhD program are eligible to apply, as are those who earned a PhD in 2016 or 2017. Given candidates with comparative skills and preparation, preference will be given to European-based scholars.

To apply, you should submit the following two documents as a SINGLE file, labeled with your last name first (please place “ESEH research grant” in subject line):

  • A 1-2 pages proposal (double-spaced, 12 pt font) explaining your overall project and what specific research activities you will undertake with the funds if granted. You are encouraged to include a budget overview for the specific research activity; where applicable indicate other sources of funding for amounts over EUR 500.
  • A brief curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)

Files in pdf-format are preferred, but Word-compatible formats are also acceptable. Applications will be accepted until 1 December 2018. Notifications will be sent out shortly after the end of this year.

Please submit all files to: Marcus Hall, Chair of the ESEH Research Fellowship Committee, researchgrant [at]

Call for Papers to ICOHTEC’s annual symposium in July 2019

esehadmin : October 7, 2018 08:25

The International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) will held its 45th symposium in Saint-Étienne, South-East France.  The venue will be the Jean Monnet University. In this annual meeting, presenters representing various disciplines will examine the relations and tensions between the past and future. Interactions between the environment and technology are also included in the subthemes.  The symposium is open to presentations dealing with any epoch of history and any region of the world.  In this meeting, ICOHTEC will also celebrate its 50th anniversary. The organization was established in Paris in 1968 to promote international dialogues over borders during the Cold War. ICOHTEC is the global organization in the field.

The deadline for session, paper and poster submissions is Monday 5 February 2018.
Dates of the symposium are 17 – 21 July 2018.

Travel grants are available for young career scholars.

Please find the complete Call for Papers here:


2019 St Andrews Article Prize: Call Open

ESEH : October 5, 2018 19:16

The European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) welcomes submissions for the 2019 St Andrews Article Prize in European Environmental History.

The prize rewards innovative and well-written article-length research in the field of European environmental history. Articles (or book chapters that are to be read as a stand-alone work) published in 2017 or 2018 on any subject in European environmental history, including Europe’s (post)colonial impact on the global environment, and in any European language, are eligible. We welcome applications from senior and junior scholars from all over the world, though some preference may be given to junior scholars.

The winner will receive a monetary award of EUR 500 as well as a travel grant (if needed) to attend the 10th ESEH Conference from August 21-25, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia. In case you need financial travel assistance to come to Tallinn, please inform us in your submission.

Additionally, and for the first time, environmental historian and cartoonist Tomasz Samojilik has offered to sketch a ‘scientific cartoon’, a witty graphic summary of the winning article, given the authors’ consent.

In line with the diversity of interdisciplinary environmental history, we accept both single- and multi-authored manuscripts. In case of the latter, submitters must notify all co-authors of the submission. Nominations are limited to one article per main author. However, you can appear as a second or third author on other submissions. You can nominate articles by other authors but only if the authors agree to the nomination. Please note that the financial award is a fixed amount, independently of the number of authors.

Deadline for submissions is January, 15, 2019. Applicants are asked to submit their published articles by email as a PDF to martin.schmid[at] If the language of publication is not English, applicants should include a one-page summary in English. The winner will be notified by the end of April 2019.

Members of the 2019 St Andrews Article Prize in European Environmental History committee:

  • Martin Schmid (chair; Center for Environmental History, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)
  • Yaron J. Balslev (Department of Geography and Human Environment, Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel)
  • Maïka De Keyzer (Research group of medieval history, KU Leuven, Belgium)

The final BALTEHUMS program

BalticRR : September 21, 2018 13:27

First Baltic Conference on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences (BALTEHUMS)

October 8-9, 2018

Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Academic Center for Natural Sciences, Latvian University

Jelgavas Street 1, Riga, Latvia


October 8

10.00-12.00   Session 1.

1-1. Forum discussion: What is the contribution of environmental humanities to the sustainability and climate change debate

Convenor and moderator: Viktor Pál, University of Helsinki

Discussants: Dorothee Cambou, University of Helsinki; Parker C. Krieg, University of Helsinki; Julia Lajus, Higher School of Economics; St. Petersburg; Ulrike Plath, Tallinn University; Mikko Saikku, University of Helsinki; Inna Sukhenko, University of Helsinki.


1-2. Posthuman environments

Chair: Lauren Elizabeth LaFauci

Cecilia Åsberg, Christina Fredengren

Storying exposure: Chemical waste, toxic embodiment, and feminist environmental humanities in the Baltic Sea

Sarah Bezan

Skin/Screen: The Enfleshed Fossils of Julius Csotonyi’s Interactive Murals

Christina Fredengren

Checking in with Deep Time: intragenerational justice and care around the Baltic Sea

Igor Rodin

Tactility as subjectivization / material resistance as event


1-3. From undernourishment to calamities: Problems in feeding population in the Baltic Sea rim in the 18th and 19th century

Panel convenor: Timo Myllyntaus

Chair: Priit Raudkivi

Timo Myllyntaus

Categories of nutrition shortages and population crises:  Failures of food supply in 19th century Finland

Piotr Miodunka

Famines in 18th century Poland: Social or environmental causes?

Kersti Lust

Responding to crop failures in a manorial society: The case of post-emancipation Livland

Antti Häkkinen

The Great Famine of the 1860’s in Finland: A man-made disaster?

Aappo Kähönen

Political aspects of the Finnish famine 1867–1868 in comparative perspective


12.00-13.00   Lunch


13.00-14.30    Session 2.


2-1. Mediated Green: modern environmentalism, politics and media

Chair: Tarmo Pikner

Jenni Karimäki

Children of the silent revolution – Finnish green road from protest to pragmatism

Lona Päll

The (hyper-)mediatization of an environmental conflict: Case study of Haabersti white willow

Līna Orste

Disposability of plastics through the perspective of Zero Waste lifestyle


2-2. Baltic region in the long-term

Chair: Christina Fredengren

Vladas Žulkus, Algirdas Girininkas, Linas Daugnora, Miglė Stančikaitė, Jolita Petkuvienė, Mindaugas Žilius, Tomas Rimkus, Nikita Dobrotin

People of Mesolithic-Neolithic and the Baltic Sea: relict coasts and settlements underwater and on the coast

Junzo Uchiyama

Neolithisation allergy? Comparative perspectives on hunter-gatherer archaeology of the Baltic and Northeast Asian regions

Elena Salmina, Sergey Salmin

Archaeological research as a method of obtaining historical and environmental information (on the example of medieval Pskov study)


2-3. Engineering water at the Baltic Sea

Chair: Loreta Zydeliene

Izabela Spielvogel, Jaroslaw Pilarek

Civilization of nature – architectural development of selected Baltic Spas at the turn of the 19th and 20th century

Alexey Kraykovskiy, Julia Lajus

The Baltic Sea in the environmental, technological and cultural history of St. Petersburg.

Michael Ziser

Water falls: Hydropower and the modern idea of history


14.30-15.00     Coffee break


15.00-16.30     Session 3.


3-1. Workshop. Engaging with digital research infrastructures: Opening doors for Geohumanities

Convenors: Vicky Garnett, Piraye Hacigüzeller, Eliza Papaki

Discussants: Vicky Garnett, Piraye Hacigüzeller, Eliza Papaki, Linda Kaljundi, Anda Baklane


3-2. Ecocriticism and the imagined worlds

Chair: Ene-Reet Soovik

Madeleine Ida Harke

Romanticizing the Untamed: Medievalism and the Relationship Between Humans and Wild Environments in the Child Ballads

Elle-Mari Talivee, Marianne Lind

Birds and plants in the poetry of Marie Under

Kadri Tüür

Ecocriticism in Estonia: a short introduction


3-3. Post-nuclear lives and narratives

Chair: Per Högselius

Siarhei Liubimau

‘Nuclear’ urbanism re-scaled: A knowledge infrastructure lens

Aleksandra Brylska

What can we call nature? The role of humanities in new approaches toward environment

Inna Sukhenko

What is new in new nuclear criticism? Post-Chernobyl perspective


16.30-17.00    Coffee break


17.00-18.30  Session 4


4-1. Ecological awareness in teaching and research

Chair: Kristine Abolina

Philipp P. Thapa

Ecotopianism as a connecting idea: embedding ethics in the environmental humanities

Alin Olteanu

An ecological theory of learning: The semiotic contribution to ecology

Artis Svece

Paradox of ecological awareness


4-2. Plants and People

Chair: Ulrike Plath

Riin Magnus, Heldur Sander

Urban trees as social disruptors: the case of the Ginkgo biloba specimen in Estonia

Lauren Elizabeth LaFauci

Herbaria 3.0: A Citizen Humanities Project at the Plant-Human Interface

Liisa Puusepp

Urban landscapes – an oasis for bees


4-3. Transnational and global formation of landscapes (until 19.00)

Chair: Dan Tamir

Simo Laakkonen

Landscapes of war: Global environmental impacts of the Second World War

Per Högselius, Kati Lindström

Cold War coasts: The transnational co-production of militarized landscapes

Martin Schröder

“Sowing the oil” – Rural space, (human) resources and national wealth in Venezuela

Kristīne Krumberga

Birds in trenches: the greening of militarization and militarizing habitats for landscape conservation





9.30-11.00   Session 5


5-1. Roundtable. From drops to a sea:  Individuals, communities, protection policies and environmental crises.

Convenor and moderator: Kati Lindström

Discussants: Aet Annist, Elgars Felcis, Sara Jones, Katie Ritson


5-2. Advancing Baltic climate history: Creating a new module in Euro-Climhist

Panel convenor: Ulrike Plath

Panel chair: Julia Lajus

Ulrike Plath, Heli Huhtamaa

Euro-Climhist and how to create a Baltic Module

Priit Raudkivi

Was the weather important? The perception of the environment of the 18th century in Livonia.

Kaarel Vanamölder, Krister Kruusmaa

Storms around Riga in the mid of the 19th century


5-3. Represented environments

Chair: Linda Kaljundi

Tõnno Jonuks, Atko Remmel

Forest in Estonian national narrative and identity politics

Ene-Reet Soovik

Multispecies city in Soviet Estonian poetry

Janis Matvejs

Visual representation of cities: Riga and Bangkok in movies under the military regime


5-4. Shaping and enlightening the landscapes before 20th century

Chair: Riin Magnus

Pauls Daija

Popular enlightenment and environmental history in Livonia and Courland

Heldur Sander

Nothing happens on its own: Gardener Adam August Heinrich Dietrich – an environment designer and nature explorer

Vykintas Vaitkevicius

Studies into the past and modern culture of Lithuania: the case of sacred springs


11.00-11.30  Coffee break

E-1. Posters and provocations


Anatole Danto

For an eco-anthropological approach to changes affecting fishing communities in the eastern Baltic

Baiba Prūse, Andra Simanova, Raivo Kalle, Ieva Mežaka, Agris Brauns, Dainis Jakovels, Jevgenijs Filipovs, Inga Holsta, Signe Krūzkopa, Renata Sõukand

Habitat alteration as one of the drivers of the change in wild plant uses



Jesse Peterson

Short provocation with an exhibition: eutrophication, algae blooms, and dead zones in the Baltic Sea

Jason Mario Dydynski

Stand up. Too ugly for the ark: The Role of Aesthetic Perception in Animal Conservation


E-2. Flash and Academic Speed Dating

Chair: Ulrike Plath

Flash presentations:

Hannes Palang

Péter Vigh

Academic Speed Dating: Find a person and talk to them! Each pair gets five minutes to quickly introduce themselves. Then all pairs are reshuffled. With some luck, you will get to know 10 new scholars who work on or in the environmental humanities and social sciences of the Baltic region. You can continue your conversations during the lunch break!


12.30-13.30   Lunch


13.30-15.30    Session 6


6-1. Roundtable. The Value of Interdisciplinary in Environmental Research

Convenor: Aistė Balžekienė

Discussants: Aistė Balžekienė, Alin Olteanu, Florian Rabitz, Audrone Telesiene, Mihkel Kangur


6-2. Animal encounters

Chair: Junzo Uchiyama

Dan Tamir

Human vs. Mosquito: An environmental periodization of the 20th century

Anita Zariņa, Dārta Treija & Ivo Vinogradovs

Beastly encounters: bison’s return to the Latvian ethnoscape

Daiva Vaitkevičienė

Sacred Relationship: Interaction between Humans and Wild Animals in a Traditional Lithuanian Farmstead


6-3. Transforming, identifying of and identifying with landscapes

Chair: Guntra Aistara

Sławomir Łotysz

Progress or nature? Dilemmas around the planned amelioration of Polesie marshes in Poland’s Second Republic

Kristine Abolina


Anu Printsmann

Prichudye – how identity is expressed in landscape

Dace Bula

Living Next to the Port: Eco-narratives, Local Histories and Environmental Activism in the Daugava Delta


6-4. Roundtable. Potato and the Environment: Agrarian societies searching for survival strategies. 

Organiser: Timo Myllyntaus

Chair: Timo Myllyntaus

Discussants: Piotr Miodunka, Pauls Daija, Antti Häkkinen, Jan Kunnas, Timo Myllyntaus


15.30-16.00     Coffee break


16.00-18.00    Session 7.


7-1. Ethics of care and commemoration

Chair: Philipp Thapa

Aiste Bartkiene, Renata Bikauskaitė, Diana Mincytė

Environment, emotions and embodied care: Twisting the concept of environmental citizenship

Andrius Kulikauskas

Environment as spiritual capital. An argument for restoring Vilnius’s oldest Jewish cemetery.

Allan Kährik

Pastor as a social entrepreneur – entering the bridge building process between pastors behavioral and geographical environment

Aleksandra Ubertowska

Ecological art in post-genocidal spaces. Seeking a new form of commemoration


7-2. Entanglements, sustainability and degrowth

Chair: Anita Zariņa

Tarmo Pikner

Encountering of degrowth and associated publics

Elgars Felcis

Bridging traditional knowledge and novelties for sustainability transformations through permaculture

Guntra Aistara

Networking diversities: Making mosaic landscapes and organic sovereignties in post- socialist Latvia

Florian Rabitz, Alin Olteanu

The epistemology of environmental studies. The reflexive turn in environmental research


7-3.  Historical perspectives on sustainability and environmentalism

Chair: Ivo Vinogradovs

Loreta Zydeliene

‘Useful, harmful and neutral’: the perception of wildlife and the rise of the conservation movement in interwar Lithuania

Linda Kaljundi

Environmentalist in form, nationalist in content? Nature and nationalism in late Soviet Estonian culture

Kati Lindström

Econationalism, environmental justice or orientalism: Challenges in contextualising late Soviet environmentalism in Estonia




Dr. Kati Lindström, ESEH Regional Representative for the Baltic States, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Dr. Anita Zariņa & Dr. Kristīne Abolina, University of Latvia

Dr. Kadri Tüür, Prof. Ulrike Plath & Linda Kaljundi, Tallinn University

Dr. Anda Baklāne, Latvian Library


We are thankful for support:


University of Latvia

Estonian Centre for Environmental History (KAJAK), Tallinn University

European Society for Environmental History (ESEH)

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

National Library of Latvia

Rachel Carson Centre (RCC)

Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences


Downloadable program:  BALTEHUMS Program FINAL

Deadline for WCEH extended to October 1st

ESEH : September 10, 2018 10:06

After the tragic loss of Brazil’s National History Museum in a devastating fire earlier this month, the planning committee for the World Congress of Environmental History in Florianopolis has decided to extend the deadline for proposal submissions to October 1.

More details on this decision here:

Proposals can be submitted via this portal :


Funded 3-year PhD position in the Environmental Humanities (Norway)

ESEH : September 7, 2018 11:10
The University of Stavanger, Norway, is recruiting PhD student to work with Prof. Dolly Jørgensen on a funded research project “Beyond Dodos and Dinosaurs: Displaying Extinction and Recovery in Museums”. The PhD position is a well-paid 3-year research position, with an optional 4th year if teaching obligations are added. The position is available from January 2019.
 The application deadline is September 30, 2018
More detail on this position can be found at this address:

Workshop – Common Territories: Tools vs. The Capitalocene

esehadmin : August 23, 2018 14:14

The  Spanish University Network for Environmental History (RUEDHA – Red Universitaria Española de Historia Ambiental) will held its biennial meeting, entitled Common Territories: Tools vs the Capitalocene, on November 8-9, 2018 in Granada, Spain. The English version of the programme is below, for Spanish please see here.


Turku Book Prize 2019

ESEH : July 11, 2018 21:54

The European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC), are pleased to announce the call for entries for the 2019 Turku Book Prize in European Environmental History that they jointly sponsor every two years.

With the purpose of identifying and encouraging excellent, innovative, and well-written scholarship in the field of European environmental history, the prize is worth €3,000 and will be awarded at the Tenth Biennial ESEH Conference to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, in August 2019. This prize rewards authors and books that are European and therefore does not compete with other environmental history prizes that recognize work relating to other parts of the world.

Criteria: Entries must be

  • single-authored monographs
  • original work recognizable as European environmental history
  • published in 2017 or 2018;
  • received by 31 January 2019.

Applicants must submit three copies* of the book by mail to the Rachel Carson Center at the address below, as well as a digital copy (preferably a PDF file) to If the book is published in a language other than English, please include a one-page English summary.

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Turku Book Prize
Leopoldstrasse 11a
80802 München

*For some publication models (e.g., print on demand, open access), it may be difficult to supply three hard copies of the book. In this event, please contact for advice.

The committee consists of:

Jane Carruthers (chair), University of South Africa, South Africa
Eva Jakobsson, University of Stavanger, Norway
Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, Germany
Stefan Dorondel (Board representative), Institute of Anthropology, Bucharest, Romania
Marianna Dudley, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

A downloadable version of this announcement is available here.

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