Call for papers: International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015

“Towards policy-driven research in historical climatology”

London, 5-10 July 2015
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 by email:

Further details of the International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015 are available at: