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Environmental Histories of the North, Stockholm, October 2010

Call for Papers:

Environmental Histories of the North: Landscapes, Voices, Traditions

A meeting of the Nordic Environmental History Network (NEHN)

Sponsored by Nordforsk and NiCHE

Stockholm, Sweden

14 – 15 October 2010

This meeting will feature papers that explore the mutual shaping of people and place in the North. Rather than take the “North” for granted as an entity, this workshop challenges participants to think about how should the North be defined as an object of inquiry for environmental history. The Arctic may be the most obvious northern region, but while the Arctic is a key part of the North, we do not want to focus solely on the Arctic; rather, we are interested in trying to define how the North exists now, and how it has been negotiated historically, as a both a geographical and cultural space.

What makes places northern? Some possibilities include the dark winters, the short but light and productive summers, and the remoteness of locations from large population centres and the difficulty of traveling there. Northern countries may be on the fringe of the globe but they are in the center of global trade networks as leading exporters of some goods (like gas, timber, minerals, and fish) and importers of others (such as coffee and tropical fruits). Perhaps the ideas of center and periphery have developed differently in the North than elsewhere, and even concepts of east ad west, south and north tend to become less absolute in the vicinity of the Pole. Where does the North begin?

Are there particular relationships between people and nature that have become dominant in northern areas? Can the prevalence of outdoor recreation including hunting, berry picking, and leisure cabins be tied to the northern environments? What have been the political and social implications of the environmental challenges and opportunities found in geography, climate, and resources of the North? What has characterized southern discourses of “north,” and northern discourses of “south”? What is characteristic of the representations of the North, in literature, art, film, and other media?

The meeting will feature presentations and group discussions of pre-circulated draft articles by approximately 15 scholars. We embrace contributions from all scholarly disciplines but we will put a strong emphasis on historical scope and perspective and we insist on a solid presence of environmental aspects.

The output from the meeting will be an edited volume with the same title as the meeting published with an international academic press with a fall 2012 target date for final publication. The volume will be co-edited by Dolly Jørgensen and Sverker Sörlin. Papers revised based on the comments received during the workshop must be submitted to the editors in early 2011.

We aim to cover all or parts of travel costs for the meeting participants. NEHN will pay for the travel expenses and lodging for paper presenters from the Nordforsk network countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Baltic countries). The Network in Canadian History of the Environment (NiCHE) will cover expenses for two Canadian scholars. However, we also welcome participants from other countries and we are pursuing funding sources with the intent of covering some of their expenses.

For consideration, submit an abstract of 250 words or less to norden@miljohistorie.net by 22 March 2010. The papers will be selected by 1 April. The draft papers for pre-circulation will be due 19 September 2010.