The 2023 Turku Book Award—a joint award of the Rachel Carson Center and the European Society for Envrionmental History—goes to Abigail Agresta (George Washington University) for her monograph The Keys to Bread and Wine: Faith, Nature, and Infrastructure in Late Medieval Valencia (Cornell UP, 2022).
Congratulations to Abigail Agresta!
How did medieval people think about the environments in which they lived? In a world shaped by God, how did they treat environments marked by religious difference? The Keys to Bread and Wine explores the answers to these questions in Valencia in the later Middle Ages. When Christians conquered the city in 1238, it was already one of the richest agricultural areas in the Mediterranean thanks to a network of irrigation canals constructed under Muslim rule. Despite this constructed environment, drought, flooding, plagues, and other natural disasters continued to confront civic leaders in the later medieval period.
The shortlisted titles:
Alexandra Cotofana (Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, UAE): Xenophobic Mountains: Landscape Sentience Reconsidered in the Romanian Carpathians (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).
Wilko Graf von Hardenberg (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): A Monastery for the Ibex: Conservation, State, and Conflict on the Gran Paradiso, 1919-1949 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021)
Philipp Lehmann (University of California in Riverside): Desert Edens: Colonial Climate Engineering in the Age of Anxiety (Princeton University Press, 2022)
Davide Orsini (Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich): The Atomic Archipelago: US Nuclear Submarines and Technopolitics of Risk in Cold War Italy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022)
Members of the 2023 Turku Prize Committee are:
Ulrike Plath (chair), Tallinn University, Estonia
Katie Ritson, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, Germany
Marcus Hall, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Nicolai Hannig, Darmstadt Technical University, Germany
Violette Pouillard, Ghent University, Belgium