[URBANTH-L] CFP: Common Ground, Converging Gazes: Integrating the Social and Environmental in History (Paris)

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Tue May 15 13:06:58 EDT 2007

[forwarded from H-URBAN at H-NET.MSU.EDU]

From: "Mosley, Stephen" <s.mosley at leedsmet.ac.uk>

Common Ground, Converging Gazes: Integrating the Social and Environmental in 

International Conference

École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Paris, 11-12-13 September 2008

Recently, several scholarly articles have focused on the nature of 
environmental history, its purposes, and its relationships with other close 
fields of research - particularly social history. The conference aims to 
open up this discussion further, to demonstrate that it is both possible and 
necessary to cast an 'environmental gaze' on social history's growing 
agenda, and to make clear that social history has much to offer to 
environmental history.

In short, given that climate change, biodiversity loss and other ecological 
problems pose an enormous challenge to humanity now, and for the future, we 
do not think it desirable to write social and economic history which does 
not incorporate an environmental dimension. At a time when societies are 
confronted with the often dramatic consequences of past choices made in the 
fields of energy, technology, industry, agriculture, urbanization, 
consumption and other areas, we need a history that casts more light on the 
ways in which unsustainable human-nature relationships came into being. This 
means reconsidering many of the older emphases of social and economic 
history, and encouraging stronger connections with environmental history.

Conversely, we cannot content ourselves with an environmental history which 
focuses mainly on nature's agency, the evolution of human attitudes to and 
understandings of 'nature', or even on humankind's role in global warming or 
in the disappearance of species. Whatever the legitimacy of these topics may 
be, we also need research that takes into greater account the social and 
economic dimensions of environmental problems. Environmental change or 
pollution, for instance, does not affect people equally: men and women, 
young and old, white and black, low and high-income communities - all have 
different experiences. But how environmental issues play out along the lines 
of class, gender, race, and ethnicity is rarely just a matter of chance, and 
more often the result of long-term social, cultural, and economic forces. We 
still have a good deal to learn about how power, resources and risks have 
been distributed across both rural and urban landscapes, which calls for 
history know-how.

It is clearly time for environmental history to engage more fully with the 
tools, methods and concepts of social and economic history - and vice versa. 
This is not to say that there has been no progress in establishing common 
ground, but we still need to bring these fields into closer communication, 
for their mutual benefit.

Proposals may deal with any research area in social or environmental 
history, so long as they address the issue of interconnections between the 
two sub-disciplines. The following list gives a number of suggested topic 
areas, but it is not comprehensive. Themes of sessions will be defined 
according to received proposals.

-                  Gender, class, race and ethnicity issues

-                  Population and migration

-                  Sites of resistance; struggles against environmental 

-                  Landscape and memory; environment and identity

-                  Housing, planning, sanitation and public health

-                  Industry, consumption and business

-                  Natural resources, energy, and transportation

-                  Risks, catastrophes, air, water and land pollution

-                  Labour, the workplace, and occupational illnesses

-                  Agricultural practices, land-tenures, and enclosure of 

-                  Recreation and tourism

-                  Sources and methods

New researchers and doctoral students are particularly welcome. A limited 
number of grants will be available to encourage their participation.

One page proposals and a brief CV should be sent by 30 September 2007 to 
both the conference organizers:

Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud: massard at ehess.fr

Stephen Mosley: s.mosley at leedsmet.ac.uk

Proposals will be examined by a scientific committee composed of:

Patrice Bourdelais, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Michèle Dagenais, Université de Montréal

Chloé Deligne, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Patrick Fridenson, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Marjolein 't Hart, University of Amsterdam

Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Stephen Mosley, Leeds Metropolitan University

Simone Neri Serneri, University of Siena

Richard Rodger, University of Edinburgh

Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Verena Winiwarter, University of Klagenfurt at Vienna

The conference is organised by the Centre de Recherches Historiques (unité 
mixte de recherche CNRS/EHESS), in partnership with the journals Les Annales 
des Mines and the Annales de Démographie Historique (to be confirmed), and 
the Association Le Mouvement Social (to be confirmed), and supported by the 
European Society for Environmental History and Leeds Metropolitan 

Participants will be notified by 15th January 2008. The conference will 
focus on the discussion of pre-circulated papers (6,500 words or 30,000 
characters) to be sent to the conference organizers in the form of email 
attachments by 15th June 2008. The languages of the conference will be 
French and English. Proposals will be accepted in either language. 
Pre-circulated papers in French must include a summary in English.

A preliminary programme will be produced, further practical information 
given and registration opened in February 2008. For any other information, 
please write to massard at ehess.fr or s.mosley at leedsmet.ac.uk

Stephen Mosley
Leeds Metropolitan University

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