Envirotech Prize 2010 Call for Submissions

Envirotech invites submissions for the Envirotech Prize for Best Article on the Inter play between Technology and the Environment.  The Envirotech Prize recognizes the best article published in either a journal or article collection on the relationship between technology and the environment in history.  The prize committee is particularly seeking innovative publications that explore new ways of thinking about the interplay between technological systems and the natural environment.  Articles originally published in any language are welcome, but applicants must provide a translation of non-English articles.  More junior scholars are especially encouraged to submit their publications. To be eligible for the 2010 prize, the article must be published between January 1, 2008, and October 30, 2009.

The Envirotech Prize carries a cash award of $250 and will be conferred at the American Society for Environmental History conference in Portland, Oregon, March 10-14, 2010.

Send one electronic copy of your article and a brief curriculum vitae to prize@envirotechhistory.org to be considered. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2009.

Hal Rothman Research Fellowship from ASEH

The Hal Rothman Research Fellowship was created to recognize graduate student achievements in environmental history research in honor of Hal Rothman, recipient of ASEH’s Distinguished Service award in 2006 and editor of Environmental History for many years. The fellowship provides a single payment of $1,000 for PhD graduate student research and travel in the field of environmental history, without geographical restriction. The funds must be used to support archival or other relevant project research and travel during 2009.

Students enrolled in any PhD program worldwide are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted June 1 – September 30, 2008, and the recipient will be selected and notified in December 2008, for funding in January 2009. To apply, please submit the following three items:

1. A two-page statement (500 words) explaining your project and how you intend to use the research funds.
2. A c.v.
3. A letter of recommendation from your graduate advisor.

All items must be submitted electronically to Dolly Jorgensen, chair of the committee, by September 30, 2008 at dolly@jorgensenweb.net

Two new books edited by Tom Zeller

Thomas Zeller has co-edited with Christof Mauch two new books of interest for envirotechies:

  • The World beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe (Ohio University Press, 2007). Click here for more details about the book from the publisher.
  • Rivers of History: Designing and Conceiving Waterways in Europe and North America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming 2008). Click here for more details about the book from the publisher.

Tom has previously edited two volumes on German environmental history:

How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich (Ecology & History) How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich (Ecology & History)

Germany's Nature: Cultural Landscapes And Environmental History Germany’s Nature: Cultural Landscapes And Environmental History

In addition, Tom published his dissertation in a revised English translation in early 2007:

Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970 (Studies in German History) Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970 (Studies in German History)

ICOHTEC 2008 Call for Papers

The International Committee for the History of Technology has now published its call for papers for the 2008 meeting in Victoria, British Colombia. The call for papers is included below. Because the meeting is in North America, this is a good opportunity for envirotechnies who do not normally attend ICOHTEC in Europe to participate.

Crossing Borders in the History of Technology


The International Committee for the History of Technology’s

35th Symposium in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,

5-10 August 2008

Deadline for Early Decision for Proposals is 14 January 2008

Final Deadline for Proposals is 3 March 2008

This conference’s primary theme is the examination of how technology influences and is influenced by the interaction over various types of boundaries. These boundaries include the interaction between disciplines, theory and practice, scholarly schools, trades and professions, geographical areas, periods of time, cultures, technological and political systems, ethnic groups, and nations.

While open to all proposals dealing with the history of technology, the program committee suggests the following sub-themes for the consideration of session organizers and contributors:

The exchange of ideas and transfer of technology in history

The spread of technological theories over national borders

The impact of international trade on technological development

Globalization of technology

Osmosis between science and technology

Interaction between culture and technology

Technologies of social mobility and gender

Migration and social mobility in the history of technology

Loyalty to traditions and the frenzy of novelties

Technology and the zeitgeist

Unrealized, utopian and science fiction technology

Crossing the border between nature and technology

These sub-themes can easily be seen in a variety of topics, including technological systems, social construction of technology, cultural interface in the engineering profession, environmental awareness, design and aesthetic values in technology.

We urge contributors to consider organizing a full session of three or more papers. Individual paper submissions will, of course, be considered. It is also possible to propose papers unrelated to the general theme. They can be presented in a “Special Topics” sessions.

Note: Membership in ICOHTEC is not required to participate in the symposium.

Special features of the Symposium include the annual Mel Kranzberg Lecture by a distinguished historian of technology, the annual Jazz Night, banquet, receptions, a special plenary “Victoria Session on Technology and Colonialism” with leading international scholars, and several excursions from the British Columbia Forestry Discovery Centre to whale watching. For further information please, visit the conference website at: http://icohtec.uvic.ca/



INDIVIDUAL PAPER proposals must include: (1) a 250-word (maximum) abstract in English; and (2) a one-page CV. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. Please indicate if you intend your paper for one of the specified subthemes. In preparing your paper, remember that presentations are not full-length articles. You will have no more than 20 minutes to speak, which is roughly equivalent to 8 double-spaced typed pages. Contributors are encouraged to submit full-length versions of their papers after the conference for consideration by ICOHTEC’s journal ICON. If you are submitting a paper proposal dealing with a particular subtheme, please indicate this in your proposal. For more suggestions about preparing your symposium presentation, please consult the guidelines at the symposium web site: http://icohtec.uvic.ca/

SESSION proposals must include: (1) an abstract of the session (250 words maximum), listing the proposed papers and a session chairperson; (2) abstracts for each paper (250 words maximum); (3) a one-page CV for each contributor and chairperson. Sessions should consist of at least three speakers, and may include several sections of three speakers each, which might extend over more than one day.

Proposal submissions

Those who desire a quick response are requested to submit their paper / session proposals as soon as possible, but no later than Monday 14 January 2008. This option is meant especially for young scholars who need an early decision in order to apply for travel grants.

The final deadline for all submissions is Monday 3 March 2008.

Please, submit proposals for papers and sessions via the website of the Victoria symposium at http://icohtec.uvic.ca/proposals.php

If web access is unavailable, proposals may be sent by fax to ICOHTEC 2008 at: (1] 250-721-8772. Otherwise they may be sent via regular mail or courier, postmarked not later than 4 January 2008 for the first deadline or 22 February 2008 for the final deadline.

The mail address is:



Department of History

University of Victoria

P.O. Box 3045 STN CSC

Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P4

Courier packages should be addressed:

Department of History

University of Victoria

3800 Finnerty Rd.

Clearihue Building Room B245

Victoria, B.C V8W 3P4

All questions about the programme proposals should be submitted to the chair of the programme committee, Mats Fridlund at maf@dtv.dk  . Queries about the conference venue should be made to icohtec@uvic.ca

 Graduate students members of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) are eligible for travel support.  Go to: http://www.historyoftechnology.org/awards/icohtec_tg.html


Envirotech Meeting at ESEH a Big Success

We convened a special lunchtime meeting of Envirotech at the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) conference in Amsterdam, June 5-9, 2007. The meeting was a big success! With 23 attendees, we pulled in almost 10 percent of the registered participants of the meeting, which demonstrates the huge interest in envirotech issues worldwide. The participants came from many countries, including Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, UK, and US. For many of the attendees, it was their first time at an Envirotech meeting, so it was an excellent opportunity for older Envirotech members to make connections with European scholars and for the European researchers to meet each other.

The meeting was chaired by Dolly Jørgensen. We had reports on the current status of the book project (Ed Russell), the 2007 article prize (Frank Uekötter), SHOT sessions and new website (Finn Arne Jørgensen). Richard Wilk (Anthropology Department, Indiana University) announced that he is looking for manuscripts for publication as the editor of a book series “Globalization and the Environment” with Altamira Press (see http://www.altamirapress.com/series/).

The ESEH 2007 conference had the theme “Environmental Connections.” Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, opened the conference with a paper titled “Environmental history: Revitalising connection, context and coherence in historical studies.” She argued that connections lie at the core of environmental history, giving it both its direction and its strength. Using the example of Dutch colonization of South Africa, she explored some of the ways environmental expectations led to challenges for both the Europeans and Africans in the early modern period. Carruthers emphasized that environmental history has the opportunity to tell histories across national and cultural boundaries. As a discipline, it has the opportunity to connect new sources – oral, visual, spatial, scientific – and connect new ideas and concepts – similarities, patterns, interactions, continuities, evolution, and differences.

A number of papers at the conference picked up on the theme by focusing on scientific, environmental and knowledge exchanges during colonization efforts, such as the transfer of irrigation technology, importation of botanical specimens and development of national park ideas. Other papers focused on later exchanges, such as the influence of European livestock science on Brazilian cattle ranching in the 19th and 20th centuries and connections between German and American wastewater treatment design.

The “connections” theme is particularly fitting for envirotech researchers as we work to show the connections between technology and the environment. Much of what Carruthers said about environmental history applies to the history of technology as well. The intersection of history of environment and technology has the opportunity to tell histories that cut across traditional boundaries of nation states, periodization, and historical disciplines.

ESEH normally meets every other year and we plan to continue meeting as a group there. But in lieu of a separate meeting in 2009, ESEH will meet collectively with a number of other environmental history organizations at the World Environmental History Congress August 4-9, 2009 in Copenhagen. Envirotech plans to meet at the 2009 Congress.

By Dolly Jørgensen

Originally published in the Envirotech Newsletter 2007/1

Volunteers needed for graduate student breakfast initiative

At our breakfast at ASEH this spring, we discussed subsidizing graduate students for our breakfast at SHOT.
We need one or two people who will take this project on – it means setting a figure on how much money we can spend, getting approval from SHOT and getting the subsidy included on conference registration forms.
This is a great way to get involved in Envirotech!
Contact Ann if you are volunteering at angreene@sas.upenn.edu.