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Monday, 25 November 2013
The power of the wild is an idea that has been an important idea in western thought as a place of refuge or separation where we can feel the power of nature. It is a place where humans are not in control and their power is limited.
Using nature as a category of power creates a dichotomy between humans and nature, which is problematic because humans are of course very much part of eco-systems in which we live. Is it then valid for historians to invoke models of power dynamics to study past interactions between humans and nature?
In this episode of the Exploring Environmental History podcast Paul Warde, reader in history at the University of East Anglia, argues that the experience of the wild is hard to find in an urban environment, even an urban park or in a nature reserve in densely populated England. The question then if rewilding of an heavily dominated human landscape like Wicken Fen is possible and can be returned to a "wild state". This desire of rewilding Wicken Fen also led to the question whether such a rewilded are would be truly wild.
This is the second episode reporting on the the Wicken Fen workshop held in April 2013. In 53 of the podcast series Dolly Jorgensen argued that rewilding is not ncessary to experience the wild because it is all around us, even in urban settings.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Episode 55 of the the Exploring Environmental History podcast features an interview with leading environmental historian Jane Carruthers, Emeritus Professor at the University of South Africa. Recently she delivered a keynote speech entitled The question of nature, or the nature of the question? to the 44th annual symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In this talk she explored the nature and purpose of environmental history in South Africa.
After her keynote Speech Jane Carruthers spoke to the Exploring Environmental History Podcast. In this episode professor Carruthers argues that the European settlers were not able to manage South Africa’s environment within its limits because they misinterpreted the nature of African nature and it created a legacy that still endures. She explores why and how environmental history has an urgent role to play in addressing this legacy and should contribute to discussions about issues such as environmental and social resilience and sustainability as well as social justice. Jane Carruthers argues that environmental historians are well equipped to raise questions related to environmental and social issues particular to emerging countries such as South Africa.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
The widespread perception of a global environmental crisis has stimulated the burgeoning interest in environmental studies. This has encouraged a wide range of scholars, including historians, to place the environment at the heart of their analytical and conceptual explorations. As a result, the understanding of the history of human interactions with all parts of the cultivated and non-cultivated surface of the earth and with living organisms and other physical phenomena is increasingly seen as an essential aspect both of historical scholarship and in adjacent fields, such as the history of science, anthropology, geography and sociology. Environmental history can be of considerable assistance in efforts to comprehend the traumatic environmental difficulties facing us today, while making us reconsider the bounds of possibility open to humans over time and space in their interaction with different environments.
A new book series by Palgrave Macmillan explores these interactions in studies that together touch on all parts of the globe and all manner of environments including the built environment. Books in the series will come from a wide range of fields of scholarship, from the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The series particularly encourages interdisciplinary projects that emphasize historical engagement with science and other fields of study.
The publisher is seeking proposals for local and regional environmental history set in a global and trans-national context.
For more information about the book series and topics download the flyer.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Venue: Centre for the Arts, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 3 & 4 July, 2014
From genetically modified foods to zombie apocalypse, concerns about the future are increasingly reflected in contemporary media, policy and culture. An "unnatural future" is being shaped by rapidly escalating anxieties about the social, cultural, environmental and technological risks that now pervade everyday life. This climate of fear and uncertainty about the future requires careful consideration around how best to respond and intervene in debates, discussion and media representations around our "unnatural future".
This conference brings together researchers from a range of academic disciplines, including those from the social sciences, humanities, and agricultural and environmental studies, to address the following questions: how do we imagine the future? What are the methodologies or theories that may help navigate these potential futures? The intention is to share and explore views of the possible natural and unnatural futures that loom large on the horizon.
We welcome papers that focus on (but are not limited to):
Professor Nigel Clark (Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University)
Professor Lesley Head (The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research; University of Wollongong)
Applications and abstracts: 31 January 2014
Notification of acceptance: 28 February 2014
Submission of abstracts or panel proposals: E-mail the conference contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Craig Norris - Journalism, Media & Communications, University of Tasmania
Michelle Phillipov - Journalism, Media & Communications, University of Tasmania
Felicity Picken - AHURI Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Tasmania
Yvette Watt - Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania
conference contact: email@example.com
Thursday, 3 October 2013
Jan Oosthoek recently guest hosted an episode of Nature's past and Interviewed Sean Kheraj, the usual presenter of the podcast, about his new book entitled Inventing Stanley Park. An Environmental History.
In 1888, the City of Vancouver officially opened its first urban park to the public, Stanley Park. The park lies adjacent to downtown Vancouver, encompassing a nearly 1,000-acre peninsula. It is one of the best-known parks in Canada and its history has shaped the city of Vancouver for more than a century.
Since the mid-nineteenth century, North American city officials have created parks for leisure and recreation within urban environments. The shape, meaning, and idea of city parks has changed over time. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with environmental historian Sean Kheraj about his new book Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History of Stanley Park.
Visit Nature's Past main page at http://niche-canada.org/naturespast
Friday, 27 September 2013
The latest Exploring Environmental history podcast returns to Wicken Fen in England and explores the concept of rewilding. In April a workshop was held at Wicken Fen reserve entitled: Desire for the Wild, Wild Desires? Re-wilding in a world of social, environmental and climate change. This workshop considered what wild and rewilding of nature means and what history can contribute to efforts to rewild and restore landscapes and ecosystems.
The guest on this podcast is is Dolly Jorgensen, a historian of Science and the Environment based at Umea University in Sweden. Dolly presented a paper at the workshop on how rewilding has been an argument meaning different things to different academic sub-groups, all with a different historical notion of when was wild. Dolly deconstructs the different meanings of rewilding, and also follows the trail to find wildness all around us.
This podcast is the first of two episodes exploring the Desire for the Wild, Wild Desires? workshop.
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