Seeing the Woods

A blog by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society


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Call for Papers: The Environmental History of the Pacific World

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.

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CfP: “Transformations of the Earth”—International Graduate Student Workshop in Environmental History

Location: Renmin University, China

Conveners: Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center), Mingfang Xia (Renmin University), Donald Worster (Renmin University)

This conference is open to advanced graduate students and early postdocs, regardless of department, discipline, or country. The purpose of the conference is to provide promising, but inexperienced scholars an opportunity to present their work in progress (e.g., a chapter from a dissertation) before an international group of peers and a panel of senior mentors in the field.

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Beijing. Photograph: Flickr, Nikolaj Potanin.

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CfP: The Anthropocene in Museums: Reflections, Projections and Imaginings

Date and Location: 3-4 December 2015, Deutsches Museum, Munich

Convenors: Kirsten Wehner (National Museum of Australia), Libby Robin (Australian National University) Jenny Newell (American Museum of Natural History), Helmuth Trischler, Rachel Carson Center/Deutsches Museum

Sponsors: Deutsches Museum, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Museums and Climate Change Network.

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CfP: Foreign Bodies, Intimate Ecologies: Transformations in Environmental History

Conveners: Dr Emily O’Gorman (Macquarie University), Dr Ruth Morgan (Monash University), Prof. Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center), Dr Cameron Muir (The Australian National University), Dr Alessandro Antonello (University of Oregon)

Sponsors: Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU, Munich, Germany; Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney, Australia; Centre for Environmental History, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; and Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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CfP: Men and Nature: Gender, Power, and Environmental Change

Date: 26–28 February 2016

Location: Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, Germany

Conveners: Sherilyn MacGregor (Keele University, UK) and Nicole Seymour (California State University, Fullerton, USA)

“Gender,” in the environmental humanities and social sciences, has long been synonymous with “women.” Feminist and ecofeminist scholars have produced a great deal of work on the links between femininities and environments and on women’s involvement in environmental politics and practices. More recently, the emerging field of queer ecology has troubled the binary construction of gender that traditionally has informed (eco)feminist research. What remains under-addressed are the myriad ways in which masculinities and masculinized roles, identities, and practices shape human relationships with the more-than-human world. Indeed, the few available scholarly articles that do interrogate masculinity and environment begin with the recognition (and a lament) that there is so little research available.

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CfA: Doctoral Program “Environment and Society” at LMU Munich, Germany

The doctoral program “Environment and Society” invites applications from graduates in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences who wish to research the complex relationships between environment and society on an interdisciplinary basis. The program is based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum. Within the scope of the program, doctoral students acquire the ability to understand the emergence and interactions of natural and social processes. The stimulating research environment, intensive supervision, and opportunity to form international networks offer excellent conditions for doctoral students. Continue reading


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CfP: Consuming the World: Eating and Drinking in Culture, History, and Environment

Location: Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich

Conveners: Michelle Mart (Penn State University, Berks Campus), Daniel Philippon (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), Hanna Schösler (University of Bayreuth)

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum in Munich, invites paper proposals for a conference on eating and drinking in culture, history, and environment to take place 11–12 March 2016.

The food that people produce and eat is perhaps the most basic expression of their culture and their relationship to the environment. What individuals consume is determined by the culture of which they are a part, and what groups of people consume is determined by the environment in which they live. But food is also a matter of choice: individuals and groups also consume food as expressions of cultural narratives and desires. Moreover, culture, environment, and consumption are in a dynamic relationship, shifting and evolving at different points in time and place.

This workshop aims to explore the connections between culture, history, and environment from an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective. In particular, we wish to address the following questions:
• How have cultures modified their food traditions in response to changes in their local environmental conditions?
• How have food cultures, traditions, and imaginaries been shaped by a range of biosocial factors (not only race, class, gender, and religion, but also place, geography, and biology)?
• How have cultural concerns about local/organic/slow/fair/sustainable food driven, and been driven by, specific historical, ecological, and economic changes?
• How have cultural concerns about healthy food connected bodily health with environmental health?

Paper proposals of 1–2 pages should be sent by 15 July 2015 to conferences@rcc.lmu.de.

All participants are expected to provide a draft of their paper approximately eight weeks before the conference. We will circulate papers in advance and expect that participants will have read them before the event.

The call for papers can be found here.