Seeing the Woods

A blog by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

Call for Papers: The Environmental History of the Pacific World

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Conference – Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China

24 May – 26 May 2018

Location: Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China

Sponsors: The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich; Department of History and The Center for Oceania Studies, Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou; The Center for Ecological History, Renmin University of China, Beijing.

pacific world

The Pacific Ocean is the ancient outcome of plate tectonic movement, creating one of the largest eco-regions on earth. Although navigators explored those waters early on, and peoples spread to all the ocean’s shores and penetrated as far into the center as the Hawaiian archipelago, it was not until the 16th century that the great body of water was discovered as a whole and mapped at a global scale. Since then, the Pacific has become a place of increasing human-nature interaction—through international trade, warfare, cultural interchange, and extraction of resources. Our conference aims to bring this ocean more fully into the discourse of environmental historians.

We invite anyone interested to submit a proposal for a paper relevant to this theme (no panels please). Topics may include the changing effects of the ocean and its currents on weather and climate patterns, the rising ecological impact by human activity on the ocean’s ecosystems, the role of its marine and island resources on international development, the competition among cultures and nations for “ownership” of the sea, and the networks of trade and knowledge exchange, including mapping and scientific exploration. We are also interested in papers that deal with Pacific Rim countries and the connection of their agriculture and industry to the Pacific.

Our keynote speaker will be Prof. John McNeill, President-Elect of the American Historical Association and University Professor at Georgetown University.

This workshop is open to all ranks of scholars, from graduate students to senior professors. Applications should include a one-page long (or about 300 words) paper proposal with a presentation title and a one- or two-page CV.

Send duplicate copies of your proposal to conference secretary Fei Sheng, Associate Professor, Sun Yat Sen University (feish@mail.sysu.edu.cn) and Annka Liepold (events@rcc.lmu.de).

The deadline for submissions is 15 January 2018.

Successful proposals will be announced around 15 February, and complete drafts of papers (5–6.000 words in English or the equivalent in Chinese characters) will be required by 1 May 2018. All papers will be circulated to the participants in advance and will not be orally presented during the conference.

The members of the selection committee include Christof Mauch, Director of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich, Germany; Mingfang Xia, Director of the Center for Ecological History and Senior Professor in the School of History, Renmin University of China; Donald Worster, Distinguished Foreign Expert, Renmin University; Associate Professor Hou Shen, Renmin University, and Associate Professor Fei Sheng, Sun Yat Sen University.

Travel expenses for scholars living outside of China will be reimbursed by the Rachel Carson Center. Scholars living within China should depend on their own universities for covering travel expenses. For all participants, hotel accommodations for three nights and all meals will be covered by Sun Yat Sen University.

You can download the pdf of the call here.

 

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