Call for Papers: Emotional Geographies

We seek proposals for sessions that will explore the multiplicity of spaces and places that produce and are produced by emotional and affective life. We welcome an inclusive range of theoretical and methodological engagements with emotion as a social, cultural and spatial phenomenon. Themes may include, but are not limited to:
migration, landscapes, development, nature/cultures, governance, arts, aging, embodiment, children and youth, cities, animal studies, wellbeing, memory, non-human actors, and methods. Call for session proposals will close on 14 November.

Climate History Network Opportunities

Call For Papers – Ruling Climate: The Theory and Practice of Environmental Governmentality, 1500-1800

‘Ruling Climate’ aims to explore the relationship between cultural perceptions of the environment and practical attempts at environmental regulation and change between 1500 and 1800. The conference will be held at the University of Warwick on 16 May 2015. Submit proposals by 10 December 2014.

In the early modern period, the environment became a privileged locus of scientific debate and governmental action. Discussions spread across Europe and its colonies as to how to improve the land, and possibly even the climate of a given place; practical efforts were made to enhance the healthiness, productivity, and overall pleasantness of the environment (both natural and built) in the belief that environmental ‘improvement’, as it was then called, would immediately bring about human improvement—a larger, healthier, happier population that would make the country more powerful. Such debates and practices were driven by a persistent belief in the influence that landscape, weather and climate would exert on human beings, both at a physical and a spiritual level. ‘Climate theories’—first advanced by ancient authors such as Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle and Ptolemy—remained a popular explanatory paradigm throughout the early modern period, actively dictating trends in environmental management, social governance, and the administration of both private and public health, as well as shaping colonial attitudes to foreign climates and peoples. Yet the period between 1500 and 1800 was also one of substantial intellectual, scientific, and technological change in which new conceptions of nature, climate, and weather were developed. The human footprint on Earth grew heavier, whilst the first moves towards conservation and sustainable resource management were made. Finally, it was in this period that changing climatic patterns were observed for the first time, partly because of a cooling trend that reached its peak around 1650 (the so-called Little Ice Age).
‘Ruling Climate’ aims to investigate this complex of problems in an interdisciplinary fashion, focusing particularly on three central research questions:

  1. continuities and discrepancies between ancient and early modern climate theories: how were classical theories of climatic influence received and adjusted to new contexts in the early modern period? How did the understanding of climate itself change over time?
  2. climate theories and ‘eco-governmentality’: how did climatological ideas inspire and sustain governmental efforts of various kinds, at both a domestic and a colonial level? e.g. the displacement of populations, environmental planning in connection to public health issues, engineering works, choice of specific sites for new colonies, etc.
  3. governed with climate / governing climate: what is the relationship between theories of climatic influence and the development of strategies to cope with / modify climate and the environment? e.g. through agricultural improvement, increased human settlement, draining of bogs and marshes, deforestation, etc.

We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers from PhD students and scholars at any stage in their career. Papers from all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome, including environmental history, colonial history, intellectual history, historical geography, history of philosophy, history of medicine, history of science, history of political thought, history of technology. Please send a 200-word abstract (including your name, institutional affiliation and a provisional title) and a one-page CV to Successful speakers will be notified in January 2015.

Climate History Network Conference

Call for Papers: Climate in Culture Conference

As climate change becomes arguably the most pressing issue of our time, with evolving implications for societies in every cultural context, we seek to enhance our understanding of the ways in which culture and climate intersect with and animate one another.  Cultural responses to and representations of climate are particularly compelling at a time when catastrophic weather events are becoming more commonly manifest and are inspiring a wide array of cultural and interpretive responses.  Paying particular attention to the cultural implications of climate and to cultural, political, and societal responses to climate change, this conference explores how humanities-based scholarship can be brought to bear upon the evolving reality of climate change. Conference events include keynote talks given by internationally renowned climate and culture scholars, traditional academic papers and presentations, and a variety of interdisciplinary and multimedia performances.  We thus invite submissions from scholars from across the humanities, broadly defined, who are dealing with any aspect of climate and climate change in a cultural context. The conference is hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island, home of the Atlantic Climate Lab and the Institute of Island Studies. Prince Edward Island is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and charm, thus making it an especially apt location for a conference on climate change and its human implications.  Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to by January 5, 2015. For more on the conference, visit its website or its Facebook page.


1,000 year climate history for Australia

SEARCH Project, University of Melbourne (Australia), won the 2014 University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research for their 1,000 year climate history



International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015

London, 5-10 July 2015
“Towards policy-driven research in historical climatology”
Convened by George Adamson (King’s College London)
The interrelationship climate and society during the past 500-1000 years is a fast-growing area of research within historical climatology. Substantial work has been undertaken to uncover climatic agency in the Little Ice Age, on the role of climate in the collapse of major societies such as the Classic Maya, and on adaptation strategies within pre-industrial communities. Yet historical approaches have thus-far largely failed to engage with the policy agenda. This is partly due to an epistemological divide that exists between practitioners of historical climatology and the development research community that largely dictate adaptation paradigms.
This session addresses studies that have attempted to cross this divide and develop historical climate-society research with an explicit contemporary relevance and/or policy focus. Papers may address (but are not limited to) the following areas:
·         Empirical data on historical major climate events for the preparation of disaster management plans (floods, droughts, cyclones, etc.),
·         The use of historical data to challenge dominant narratives regarding climate change (e.g. the severity or regularity of extreme events) or to facilitate alternative policy responses,
·         New or novel approaches to the study of historical climate-society interactions that move beyond analogy methodologies,
·         Studies that seek to reveal a deeper understanding of adaptive practices through historical analysis and the study of cultural memory.
Interested participants should send an abstract of no more than 200 words to Dr George Adamson (King’s College London) before 1st September 2014.
Further details of the International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015 are available at:



Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference

This fall, the University of Oregon is hosting the 3rd Annual Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference, scheduled for December 2-3, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon. The University will welcome two distinguished keynote speakers to the conference: Dr. Myrna Cunningham Kain and Patricia Cochran. Dr. Cunningham Kain is Miskitu from Nicaragua, and is an internationally renowned advocate for Indigenous peoples’ rights and women’s rights who has served Indigenous peoples in countless fashions, most recently as chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2013). Patricia Cochran is currently Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC), an organization that works to create links and collaborations among scientists, researchers and Alaska Native communities.  The 2nd day of the conference will feature a series of student panels exploring climate change and indigenous peoples. We have funding to bring three students from U.S. tribal colleges (or indigenous undergraduate students at other universities in the U.S.) who are researching issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples. The students invited to join us at this event will present during one of the panel sessions and participate in the conference. Please submit nominations for undergraduate students, or students can apply themselves, if conducting research on climate change and indigenous peoples. Nominations or applications should include a brief bio of the student, as well as an abstract of their research on climate change and indigenous peoples that they would plan to present during the conference. Nominations should be sent to Mark Carey at carey ‘at’ by September 1st. If a student is accepted to attend the conference, the UO will provide funding for travel and lodging.  More information about the conference is included below, and you can also visit:

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Research Funding: International Research Institute on Humanity and Nature

The International Research Institute on Humanity and Nature (??????????), a leading science and environmental policy research institute, is engaged in a series of explorations of long-term human-nature interactions associated with climatalogical and environmental change in Japan, the “Societal Adaptation to Climate Change: Integrating Palaeoclimatological Data with Historical and Archaeological Evidences” program (project web sites noted below).

Part of the institute’s research funding is thus available to support a broad array of disciplinary studies related to this theme. This includes consideration of comparative perspectives, theory and method.

Competition for awards for the next Japanese fiscal year (April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016) is now open. Information on research funding, application procedures and deadlines can be found at:


Project descriptions can be found at:





History and Climate Change: What have we learnt?

We are currently inviting 20-25 minute contributions from scholars, activists, policy-makers and members of the public to explore two related questions. Firstly, to think about how climate concern is forcing us to rethink our understandings of history, often in quite radical ways. Second, how history and historians should inform our understandings of climate change and actively contribute to changing society to ensure an ecologically wholesome future. We are particularly keen to explore how our historical understanding and rhetoric around climate change have changed in the last five years and how they might need to change in the future.

Questions we hope that papers will address include:

  • How might history become ‘activist history’ in an era of ecological emergency?
  • Whether historical rhetorics of ‘crisis’ and ‘apocalypse’ are productive or counter-productive?
  • History and scale: the roles of local and global narratives in an era ecological emergency
  • What might be learnt about social transformation from radical social movements such as Occupy?
  • Can activist historians learn from the Transition Town movement?
  • Is there an unexamined gender aspect to climate change? Why do climate debates so often seem to be dominated by men?
  • Are religious understandings a necessary and neglected aspect of environmental discourse?
  • How can local history and local historians contribute to local sustainability? (e.g. how can oral histories contribute to local energy descent models?)

The organisers are committed to the Active History tradition of scholarship that listens and is responsive; that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of scholarship that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active scholars and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of scholarship.



Call for papers: Famines during the ‘Little Ice Age’

Famines during the ‘Little Ice Age’ (1300-1800) Socio-natural entanglements in premodern societies Workshop of the Heidelberg Center for the Environment, 19th/20th February 2015, ZiF, Bielefeld


Global climate change has put famines back on the agenda. The predicted rise of extreme weather raises the question, how similar events were met in historical societies. However, such studies are challenged by disciplinary constraints. Famines occur at the interface of nature and culture. They involve both the bio-physical as well as the social sphere. Their entanglement highlights the co-evolvement of natural environment and social actions. This broad socio-ecological character extends beyond the reach of individual disciplines. As a result, popular references to the dramatic impact of famines during the premodern era are often based on conjectures.

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Call for abstracts: Cultural histories and memories of extreme weather events

Abstracts are invited for inclusion in a proposed session at the International Conference of Historical Geographers, London, 5-10 July 2015
Extreme weather events are as much social texts as material occurrences. Geographical context, particular physical conditions, an area’s social and economic activities and embedded cultural knowledges, norms, values, practices and infrastructures all affect community experiences, reactions and responses to extreme weather. The way in which an extreme event is perceived in turn determines whether it becomes inscribed into social memory in the form of oral history, ideology, custom, behaviour, narrative, artefact, technological and physical adaptation, including adaptations to the working landscape and built environment. These different forms of remembering and recording weather in the past act to curate, recycle and transmit extreme events across generations and into the future. Cultural memories, experiences and knowledge of past weather events and personalised weather narratives and autobiographical memories of past events may thus serve an important orientating function and could play significant role in popular understanding and articulation of current debates about weather and climate. This session will draw together scholars whose research uses archival/ documentary based investigations and oral history approaches to i.) construct climate histories, including histories of extreme weather and associated impacts in a range of case study regions and ii.) to explore whether and how extreme weather events affected the individuals lives of local people and became inscribed into the cultural and infrastructural fabric and social memory of local communities. We welcome abstracts from people working on climate (re)construction as well as those interested in weather observers and their historical geographies.
We welcome submissions across a broad range of sub themes and from early career scholars as well as those in established posts. Please contact  or for further information.
Abstracts should not exceed 200 words.
Deadline for abstract submission (to August 25th