CFP: World Congress of Environmental History 2009

Announcing the WCEH 2009 First World Congress of Environmental History 2009 “Local Livelihoods And Global Challenges: Understanding Human Interaction With The Environment” in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 4-8, 2009.

The conference is hosted by The International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO) and Roskilde University.

We invite panel, paper, and poster proposals for the 1st World Congress of Environmental History. The Congress aims to bring together scholars from all over the globe, providing a unique opportunity to learn from each other and to create overarching perspectives on the historical relationships between people and the environment through time.

The development of environmental history has been closely linked to local and regional histories and situations. While this is a strength of the field, it is also a potential weakness. We need to question whether big pictures can be constructed on the basis of more numerous case studies. Do we gain new insights by comparing case studies and drawing conclusions from doing so? Are we able to learn from each other with regard to sources and methods? Can environmental history become politically relevant if we put together empirically sound meta-narratives that go beyond specific times and places?

ICEHO member organizations believe that the answer to all these questions is YES! We therefore seek to devote this World Congress to sharing environmental histories worldwide. In order to broaden our comparative understanding, we seek to highlight places in which no environmental histories have been conducted, or have not yet reached an international audience. For the first time young scholars and senior academics, environmental historians from all over the world, and with different disciplinary backgrounds will meet in order to further the development of environmental history world-wide.

Proposals may address any area of environmental history but, in keeping with the goals of the Congress, the Program Committee specifically solicits submissions of new and original work that will foster the sharing of environmental history and advance productive comparisons.

Oral presentations will be 15-20 minutes long. The conference language is English. Papers must be original: they should not previously have been presented at a professional conference nor published in a scholarly journal. Individual papers are welcome, but are more difficult to accommodate than submissions of entire panels. Panel proposals must be limited either to three papers (commentator optional), or four papers without a commentator. Participants may only submit one formal paper, but they may also be chairs or commentators. Presenters may chair sessions, but not those they present in.

Successful panel submissions will have (1) a good empirical foundation and describe one or more case studies that would together enhance a comparative perspective within a session or (2) be of wider relevance for the discipline in terms of development of methods, new sources and approaches. Papers comparing the same theme in various regions as well as those that present different facets of the environmental history of one place (if this research is new and original) will be welcomed. The conference covers all periods of human history.

A set of keywords is provided on the submission form. You are asked to choose up to three to help the conference organisers to construct thematic threads.

Postgraduate researchers can submit work in progress (ongoing PhD or Master’s thesis work) for specially designed roundtable sessions (10 minute presentations, with ample time for discussion) that will be chaired by a senior mentor. These roundtables are focused on providing international input on research problems and questions that pertain to developing researchers.

We encourage contributions by scholars from any disciplinary background.

Deadline for submissions is March, 30th, 2008.

To submit a panel, single paper, roundtable contribution or poster
Please visit our website at and go to Submission for details. Abstracts should have between 2000 and 3000 characters (incl. spaces) and should contain up to 5 bibliographic references. A 1-2 page CV must be submitted for each paper and presenter. Use the forms on the website to submit your material.

The submission process for posters is the same at that for papers. Posters will be on display during the Congress and authors will have an opportunity to introduce their research in 3 minutes oral presentations in plenary sessions highlighted in the program. If you wish to submit a poster, use the “Poster” submission form. If your poster is accepted, you will be asked to provide material for the short oral presentation prior to the Congress.

Review Process
Your panel, paper, or poster will be reviewed by the Program Committee in an anonymous process so as to ensure high scholarly standards. Each paper will be reviewed independently by at least three members of the Program Committee, two of whom will assess the quality of the submission, while the third reviewer will assess its relevance to the development of environmental history and its global or international importance. The Program Committee will assess papers within panels individually, and reserves the right to regroup or reassign them into appropriate sessions.

Online submission is the primary means of sending your abstract. If you do not have access to electronic connections, your paper must be delivered by mail by March 14th, 2008 to the congress secretariat. Notification will be by e-mail. In order to be accepted for the program, you will need to reconfirm your participation and register for the conference.

ICEHO Member organizations:
American Society for Environmental History
IUFRO Research Group 6.07.00 Forest History
Association of South Asia Environmental Historians
International Water History Association
Australian Environmental History Network
Network in Canadian History & Environment
Australian Forest History Society
Otago University, History Department
European Society for Environmental History
Sheffield Hallam University
Forest History Society
German Historical Institute
Sociedad Latinoamericana y CaribeƱa de Historia Ambiental

Should you have any questions, please contact the conference secretariat at: The conference secretariat is located at Roskilde University (RUC). The address is: Roskilde University, Universitetsvej 1, Building 04.2., Att.: Lisa Rimstad Jacobsen, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.