Call for ICOHTEC Summer School of 2019 (University of Silesia, Poland, 18-22 July 2019)

Technology and Power
University of Silesia, Poland
18-22 July 2019
For PhD students and recent post-doc researchers
Deadline: 4 March 2019
The Third ICOHTEC Summer School in Katowice will combine the 46th ICOHTEC Symposium with a three-day intensive seminar course geared to PhD students and young post-doctoral scholars. The Summer School brings together conventional seminars and the participation in the ICOHTEC Symposium. The topic of the ICOHTEC Summer School is “Technology and Power”.  In line with the main thematic objectives of the ICOHTEC Symposium, the Summer School aims to approach its theme open-mindedly and multidisciplinarily. The School enhances students’ skill to comprehend and study versatile relationships between society and technology.
In particular, the Summer School aims to deal with these questions:
• What are the main thematic implications of the theme technology and power? 
• Which theoretical concepts and methodological approaches are most suitable dealing with it?
• What could a new and original approach to the theme look like?
Intuitively, the phrase “Technology and Power” refers to political and military power, surveillance, large-scale energy systems and colossal infrastructure projects, i.e. intentional power that public or private institutions exercise in society by means of technology while trying to achieve their goals.  On the other hand, technology has also concealed or even unintentional power with respect to people, media, education, language, life style and the body. In addition, there are attempts to gain an upper hand of technology and related standard values. Maintaining, repairing and appropriating technologies or designing them on a human scale are applied to tame technology running wild due to fierce competition of business interests.
Shortly, the Summer School aims to study relationships between technology and power from broad and many-sided viewpoints. It is open to versatile approaches and traditions.
The ICOHTEC Summer School consists of two parts:
Part 1. Interactive discussion seminars
Objectives of the School include inspiration and discussion.  Daily lectures and students’ research papers (generally on their PhD or post-doc projects distributed in advance) are to inspire participants. The aim is to appropriate discussion on research topics to methodo¬¬logical and theoretical approaches. Expert tutors will moderate these dis-cussions in small groups. A joint feedback colloquium will end the School.
Part 2. Active attendance in the ICOHTEC Symposium
Students of the Summer School are expected to participate in the ICOHTEC Symposium and its scientific sessions according to their personal tailor-made schedules.
Participants pay for the Summer School the registration fee of 60 € or the combined fee of 130 € for both the School and the following Symposium. These fees include participation services and lunches. Accommodation at student dormitories and a limited number of ICOHTEC travel grants will be available. All students who complete the programme will receive an attendance certificate.
Target Participants
- PhD students with a subject-appropriate academic background.
- Post-doctoral researchers with a subject-appropriate academic background
Participants are expected to
- be able to speak, read and write in English.
- undertake preparatory reading in advance of the programme.
- attend all lectures and seminar sessions.
- be actively engaged in the topics of the sessions.
- attend the ICOHTEC 2019 Symposium and present a paper there as a single or co-author.
- submit a final assignment of 2,000-2,500 words on one of the topics discussed in the Summer School within six weeks after the summer school.
- Deadline for applications: Monday 4 March 2019
- Applicants must send the following data by email file attachments to Hans-Joachim Braun, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. :
      1) A brief one-page cv, which includes the main personal data, academic training and career, selected publications and e-mail for further contact.
      2) A short statement of purpose (350-400 words) detailing your academic reasons for wishing to attend the summer school. This should include your expectations what you hope to get out of the summer school, and what you are likely to contribute to the intellectual life of the summer school. This may include details of history, political or social science courses you have previously taken, or the relevance of the summer school to your present course of study or professional development. If you are preparing a thesis or research paper at the moment, please write a brief description of it. Include also the title of your possible paper submission to the ICOHTEC Symposium, which follows the Summer School (Further information:
     3) A letter of recommendation by your teacher or supervisor, referring to your application to the ICOHTEC Summer School.
The subject line of the email should be "Summer School Application" and in the titles of your file attachments mark your surname first and then the title of the file (e.g. Smith_CV).
Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.
After the submission of the application, you will receive a response by 30 March 2019. 
Members of the Summer School Committee
Hans-Joachim Braun (chair), Germany
Maria Elvira Callapez, Portugal
Timo Myllyntaus, Finland
Sofia Alexia Papazafeiropoulou, Greece
Magdalena Zdrodowska, Poland

What are the most important events in environmental history?

In the spring of 2013 a group of environmental historians from around the globe was confronted with the following question: What are the most important events in environmental history? They were asked to nominate one event that, in their opinion, should be included in any global environmental history. This was part of a survey for a special issue of the journal Global Environment on environment and memory. The twenty-two entries that were returned provided an interesting window in what professional environmental historians regard as world changing environmental events (See list below). A video based on this survey was published on the Exploring Environmental History Website (see: but it revealed considerable gaps both spatially and chronologically. 
Spatially, North America and Europe are over represented, while Africa, Asia Africa and Australia have only one entry.
Chronologically, there was only one entry that straddled the boundary between Antiquity and the Middle Ages: the dust veil event of 536 CE. The Neolithic period is represented by the Agricultural revolution. The chronological focus is very much on the 19thand 20thcenturies and Antiquity and the Middle Ages are very much missing in action.
To fill these gaps, the plan is to produce a follow up video for the Exploring Environmental History website. This allows for a more balanced spatial and temporal distribution and the inclusion of emerging research themes, for example the environmental history of space. 
Scholars working in the field of environmental history are invited to suggest one event in environmental history to be added to the original list (see topics below). Please take a liberal view of “event” when suggesting entries, and include individuals, books, studies, or anything else that can reasonably qualify as an event. Explain your choice of an event in in one or two paragraphs of up to 250 words. Keep your explanation simple, as if you were addressing an informed layperson.
Email your entry by 2 January 2019 using the submission form on this website.
The original survey included the following events:
- Air pollution in Japan transported from China (2013)
- Assassination of Chico Mendes, 1988
- Chernobyl, 1986
- Stockholm Conference, 1972 
- Earth Day, 1970
- The Santa Barbara Oil Spill, 1969 
- “Operation Rhino”, kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, 1961
- Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945 
- Invention of the chainsaw, 1929
- Invention of Nitrogen-Fixing Techniques, 1913 
- The Big Blowup, 1910 
- The United States Bureau of Reclamation, 1902 
- The Invention of Mass Destruction Mining, 1899 
- Anthropogenic Climate Change, c. 1880 
- The Beginning of the Global Career of Phylloxera, 1864
- Drilling of the World’s First Oil Well, 1859 
- Plowing up the World’s Grasslands, c. 1850 
- The Dust Veil Event, 536 CE 
- Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, c. 10,000 BCE 
- Crossing of Wallace’s Line, c. 60,000 BCE 
- Chicxulub asteroid strike, c. 65 Million BCE

CfP: #ESEH2019 Twitter Conference Call for Papers

Call for Papers
#ESEH2019 Twitter Conference Call for Papers
August 15-16 2019
The Next Generation Action Team (NEXTGATe) of the European Society for Environmental History invites abstract submissions for a Twitter conference from 15-16 August, 2019, prior to the ESEH meeting in Tallinn. This is a great opportunity for those who attending the conference to give a preview of their paper or for those who are unable to attend the physical conference.  Each participant will have fifteen minutes (approximately 10 tweets) to present their paper using the twitter conference hashtag, with a further fifteen minutes for a virtual question and answer session.  We welcome and encourage the use of images, brief videos, gifs and memes in presentations. Papers may be collaborative. Each paper will be circulated on the @ESEHtweets and @ENextgate to c.1500 followers, then continue to circulate as individual Twitter moments before and during ESEH 2019 in Tallinn. If you are curious as to what this format could look like please see last year’s #ASEH2018tweets conference organised by Jessica DeWitt.
The #ESEH2019 Twitter Conference hopes to provide:
- A dynamic platform on which emerging and established scholars can disseminate their research using digital communication methods.
- Increased visibility and publicity for environmental history, #ESEH2019 and its presenters.
- Interaction with the wider public and scholars unable to attend #ESEH2019.
- A carbon neutral alternative to traditional conference structures, offering an opportunity for individuals unable to attend #ESEH2019 to participate in the conference.
Submission requirements:
- 250 word abstract
- Three keywords
- Presenter(s) institutional affiliation (if applicable) and Twitter handle(s)
- Presenter(s) Academic CV (max. 2 pages)
- For further guidance, visit for a comprehensive guide to presenting at the conference.
Abstract submissions are due by 1 March 2019 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Participants will be notified of their acceptance for the conference by 25 March.
Questions should be directed either to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Twitter @ENextgate

FCUL - SUSBEAUTY: Sustainable Beauty for Algarvean Gardens Old Knowledge to a Better Future

Quando se pensa no Algarve e na sua paisagem é normal que ocorram imagens mentais de palmeiras e campos de golfe. A paisagem algarvia tem vindo a ser invadida por um modelo de paisagem, os ditos “tropical paradises”, que proliferaram por via da indústria do turismo. Foi a partir daqui que o estudo “Sustainable Beauty for Algarvean Gardens: Old Knowledge to a Better Future” se desencadeou, definindo como problema a falta de sustentabilidade da paisagem algarvia dominada por relvados com palmeiras que esgotam os recursos hídricos da região.
Ana Duarte Rodrigues, investigadora do Departamento de História e Filosofia das Ciências e do Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia, é a coordenadora deste projeto, iniciado em 2015 e financiado pela Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, no âmbito do Programa Investigador FCT, no valor de 50 mil euros.
O projeto encontra-se explicado no artigo “Sustainable beauty for algarvean gardens: cross-boundary solutions between the humanities and the sciences", publicado online pela Interdisciplinary Science Reviews em outubro de 2017.
Através de livros e documentação dos séculos XVI ao XIX, esta investigação pretende demonstrar que se podem encontrar soluções mais sustentáveis recorrendo a espécies autóctones da região do Algarve, capazes de se adaptarem às caraterísticas do clima e dos solos daquela zona. A investigação histórica permitiu descobrir quais as espécies que dominavam a paisagem algarvia entre os séculos XVI e XIX, muitas delas perfeitamente adaptadas ao clima da região mediterrânica e que , portanto, dispensavam a rega. Para além disso, este estudo permitiu descobrir técnicas hortícolas antigas que protegiam a evaporação de água da terra e sistemas de rega tradicionais.
Para melhor compreender o problema, a equipa que suporta o estudo no terreno – composta ainda por um arquiteto paisagista e dois agrónomos -, está a desenvolver experiências piloto, em talhões com espécies autóctones e diferentes tipos de irrigação para comparar os gastos de água e o desempenho das plantas por comparação a um relvado.
Os resultados preliminares já são visíveis, as plantas autóctones têm tido um desempenho visivelmente melhor do que o relvado e não precisam de qualquer sistema de irrigação, pois encontram-se adaptadas ao clima.
“Se tudo correr bem haverá indicações muito concretas a partir deste projeto sobre relações entre certo tipo de plantas e certos tipos de solos e os modos mais adequados para fazer a rega”, conclui Henrique Leitão, presidente do Departamento de História e Filosofia das Ciências.
Para mais informações consultar: 

Novo número da HoST — Journal of History of Science and Technology

A HoST — Journal of History of Science and Technology é uma revista de acesso aberto com arbitragem científica, disponível em linha, publicada em inglês pela De Gruyter, em resultado de uma parceria de quatro unidades de investigação portuguesas (CIUHCT, CIDEHUS, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, e Instituto de História Contemporânea).


Ensaio de abertura de Jürgen Renn sobre o entendimento do papel da ciência e da tecnologia na era do Antropocénico à luz de uma História do Conhecimento, "The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science in the Anthropocene".

Número temático New Insights and Perceptions on Railway History, com introdução pelo editor convidado Hugo Silveira Pereira, dois artigos com investigação primária e dois artigos de revisão crítica bibliográfica, que trazem cruzamentos entre sub-especializações da história (História do Trabalho, História Colonial, Humanidades Digitais e História Empresarial) e a História da Tecnologia:

"Introduction – New Insights and Perceptions on Railway History", Hugo Silveira Pereira

"The Transfer of Railway Technologies and Afro-Asian Labor Processes within the British Empire", Ian J. Kerr

"Colonial Railways and Conflict Resolution Between Portugal and the United Kingdom in Africa (c. 1880–early 1900s)", Hugo Silveira Pereira

"The Transport Revolution on Land and Sea: Farming, Fishing, and Railways in Great Britain, 1840-1914", Robert M. Schwartz

"Railway Towns: a Long-term Global Perspective", Domingo Cuéllar

Três recensões de livros:

"Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The gender politics of food contamination after Fukushima", Mónica Truninger

"For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution", Ignasi Meda-Calvet

"Wiring the World: The Social and Cultural Creation of Global Telegraph Networks", Ana Paula Silva


CfP: Irregular Ecologies: The Environmental Impact of Unconventional Warfare (Florianopolis, Brazil, 20-21 July 2019)

Florianopolis, Brazil, 20–21 July 2019
Conveners: Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich), Javier Puente (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
Warfare seldom affects humans alone. While inflicting devastating effects on societies, armed conflicts also shape economic, cultural, sociopolitical, and ecological transformations. As violence territorializes, armed conflicts begin to affect the ecologies and livelihoods that once sustained them. Environmental transformation thus emerges as an inextricable correlate of human conflict. With the dawn of the Cold War, the environmental impacts of human conflict unfolded alongside the same geopolitical trends that engulfed the Global South. Decolonizing movements, guerrilla warfare, rural insurrections, and other forms of intrastate conflict developed from within ecologically fragile areas and eco-sensitive zones, including savannahs, valleys, watersheds, islands, mangroves, forests, plateaus, and jungles. Over the years, emerging and consolidated republics such as Ethiopia, Colombia, the DRC, Vietnam, Peru, Liberia, Mexico, Myanmar, the Philippines, Nepal, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria, among others, have become gruesome epicenters of armed conflict in sensitive ecosystems and precarious agrarian landscapes. 
The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) and the Armed Conflict and Environment Research Network (ACERN) invite paper proposals for a two-day workshop focused on the interaction between guerilla warfare and social and environmental transformations in the Global South, with a special focus on the last three decades. We invite papers on questions that include, but are not limited to, the following: 
- How has irregular warfare transformed or conserved environments? 
- How has it reconditioned everyday life?
- What impact has it had on livelihoods and food access?
- How were chemical cycles changed through irregular warfare? 
Paper proposals (300 words) should be submitted by 15 December 2018 to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. Upon acceptance, full manuscripts (2000–3000 words) should be submitted by 15 June 2019 for pre-circulation. Successful applicants will receive travel support from the RCC. They will join a group of RCC alumni and ACERN members in Florianopolis, Brazil, on the eve of the Third World Congress of Environmental History (22–26 July 2019).

CfP: Small Cities and the Environment - from the Middle Ages to Contemporary Times (14-16 March 2019, Castelo de Vide, Portugal)

The international conference Small Cities and the Environment (from the Middle Ages to Contemporary Times) will be held in the ancient frontier town of Castelo de Vide (Portugal) between 14 and 16 March 2019. It is organised by the Small Cities in Time Network, Castelo de Vide Local Authority, the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the New University of Lisbon (Institute of Medieval Studies, Humanities Centre, Institute of Contemporary History) and the School of Hispanic and Iberian Studies (Casa de Velázquez, Madrid), through the CIDADES programme.
The subject of this conference focuses on the argument that the «environment» (in the twin sense of «nature» and «the area surrounding a locality») offers small cities amenities, benefits and constraints for development. Conversely, that, small cities have an impact on this environment, both inside the built-up area and in the surrounding land. Environmental amenities, constraints, impacts and policy responses, have important implications for urban governance and culture but also are intimately related to the urban economic sphere.
Both environmental history and urban history have developed strongly since the 1970s in the United States and Europe, with growing work not just on the contemporary but on the pre-modern period as well.   However the history of small cities and towns has been somewhat underplayed despite a growing monographic literature. Here in our conference we bring together the two studies of environmental and urban history with an important, new and exciting focus on small cities and the environment.  The theme raises major questions about how far the current literature on the urban environment, its questions and approaches largely dominated by a focus on metropolitan and major cities, is applicable to the small town, or whether we need to construct new theories and approaches for the study of the small city and the environment.
This conference will focus on four main themes:
1. the impact of small cities on the natural and cultural environment, particularly through the effects of extraction: quarrying for stone, wood, sand …, harnessing water, the demands of the urban food market and its consequences for the surrounding agricultural countryside, impacts of drainage (particularly effluents). Do questions about the urban micro-climate, crucial in the reflections of town-planners and hygienists, apply to small cities?
2.the impact of the natural environment on small cities, such as agriculture and foodsupply. woodsupply, and water provision considering both amenities and constraints, and the role of nature in the city (eg parks and green spaces).
3. the small city’s responses to the changes in the urban environment and to urban environmental problems such as sanitation, pollution, industrialisation and deindustrialisation.
4. how the environment can affect the development of small cities in the urban system: the opportunities and constraints caused by access to the sea, insularity, the limits of local resources; here one important topic is the competition between small cities and between them and the wider urban network.
We invite researchers, including senior and younger scholars to submit session proposals or paper proposals focused on one or more of these themes.  Please send a proposal by completing the form until November 15th, 2018 You will be notified of acceptance November 30th, 2018
In general, the conference is unable to fund travel or accommodation costs but transport to the conference venue from Lisbon, together with lunches, an excursion and other sociability will be offered by the municipality of Castelo de Vide. In addition it may be possible to provide some support for scholars without funding. Hotels in the beautiful town are very inexpensive, as are other costs.
The conference languages will be Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.
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