Foreign Bodies, Intimate Ecologies: Transformations in Environmental History

11-13 February, 2016

Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia



Dr Emily O’Gorman (Macquarie University), Dr Ruth Morgan (Monash University), Prof. Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center), Dr Cameron Muir (Australian National University), Dr Alessandro Antonello (University of Oregon)



Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU, Munich, Germany

Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney, Australia

Centre for Environmental History, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia


Call for papers

Environmental history has experienced significant transformations in recent years, driven by a new sense of urgency created by contemporary environmental crises and greater degrees of interdisciplinary engagement. This international symposium engages with these recent trends and transformations that all point towards the need for environmental historians (and those in related fields) to cross established boundaries: temporal, geographical, cultural and disciplinary. It seeks to bring together new research from all periods and regions that address three related themes: borders, space and scale; conflict and contestation; and methods and interdisciplinarity. We particularly welcome proposals that address the following questions:

  • How do more-than-human histories reframe questions of boundaries and scale? And how do they connect the bodily, local and regional with the global or planetary?
  • Can intimate histories of people and environments bring new perspectives to landscapes and waterscapes with contested values? How have particular places and their non-human inhabitants shaped these contestations?
  • In answering these questions, what perspectives can environmental history usefully draw from other humanities disciplines as well as the social and natural sciences?


Keynote speakers

Dr Vinita Damodaran (University of Sussex, UK)

Prof. Tom Griffiths (The Australian National University)

Dr Dolly Jørgensen (Luleå Technical University, Sweden)


Presentations and abstract submission

We invite proposals for 10 minute and 20 minute presentations. Participants may propose panels of three papers as well as creative, non-traditional formats (for example, a film screening). Please submit a 250 word abstract and 50 word biographical statement to [email protected] by 1 September 2015. Participants will be notified of the outcome by 1 October 2015.

We encourage environmental historians (and those in related fields) at any stage of their career to submit a proposal. There is funding available to support up to two postgraduate students to travel to the symposium (AUD$500 each), sponsored by the Centre for Environmental History, The Australian National University. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for this funding when you submit your proposal.

Selected papers will be invited to contribute to a special volume of RCC Perspectives as well as an edited book collection.

Enquiries: [email protected]

The symposium will be held over three days, from 11 to 13 February 2016. There will be no registration fee.