CFP - Rural History Conference 2021

Extension of deadline for submisson of session proposals to October 15, 2020

The fifth biennial conference of the European Rural History Organisation (EURHO), Rural History 2021, will take place in Uppsala, Sweden, from Monday August 23 to Thursday August 26, 2021 and it is a great pleasure for us to bid you all welcome to participate at this event. The conference will be jointly organized by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Uppsala University through the Division of Agrarian History and the Department of Economic History respectively.

The aim of the Rural History 2021 conference is to promote a scientific discussion on new research on rural history in a broad sense by bringing together researchers dealing with different regions, different time periods and from different theoretical and methodological traditions.

In accordance with this, the conference is open for research on all aspects on the history of the countryside in Europe and its interaction with other parts of the world throughout time. We welcome participation from different academic subjects (e.g. history, archaeology, geography, economic history, economics, sociology, anthropology, development studies, gender studies, environmental history, historical demography) presenting and discussing new research and thereby contributing to expanding our knowledge on the rural history of Europe and beyond.

More info here.


Congreso Internacional "Articulación, utilización y gestión del territorio en la Europa mediterránea (siglos XV-XIX)"

Los días 24 y 25 de septiembre de 2020 tendrá lugar el Congreso Internacional "Articulación, utilización y gestión del territorio en la Europa mediterránea (siglos XV-XIX)", dirigido por los profesores Félix Labrador Arroyo y Koldo Trápaga Monchet. Esta actividad forma parte del grupo de alto rendimiento CINTER (Corte, Imagen, Nobleza y Territorio) de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. El congresó será en formato Webinar mediante Microsoft Teams, y tendrá lugar elos días 24 y 25 de septiembre 2020.

Para inscribirse en el Congreso escríbase a Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.

Programa do Congresso.pdf


Portuguese Parks to the world/Parques Portugueses no Mundo

This month – The Madeira Natural Park by Sandra Kiesow (Kiel University)

The Madeira Natural Park is situated on the island of Madeira, covering approximately two-thirds of the islands´ surface area. It was founded in 1982 with the aim to safeguard the outstandingly high biodiversity of its ecosystems, very rich in endemic flora and fauna. The mountainous landscape structure with deep ravines and steep mountainsides offers a large number of divers habitats, reaching from coastal zones with subtropical climate to high mountain areas with more aggressive climatic conditions.

The most famous ecosystem on Madeira is the evergreen laurisilva forest, mainly consisting of huge trees of the family of “Lauraceas” like Til, Bay tree, Barbusan tree and Madeira Mahogany. With an extension of approximately 15.000 ha it is the largest laurisilva forest in the world and home to a large number of endangered species. In 1999, it has been recognized as World Natural Heritage by UNESCO (

At higher altitude, a unique heather forest with many endemic species covers the mountains and contributes with its capacity to filter water out of the clouds to ground water recharge on the island. All over the island one can find the Levadas, small irrigation channels transporting water towards the agricultural terraces. Close to their springs in the Madeira Natural Park, they offer a very pleasant way to discover the natural beauty of the island on foot (

More information at:

Kiesow, S. & Bork, H.-R., 2017. Agricultural terraces as a proxy to landscape history on Madeira island, Portugal. Ler História, Nr. 71, pp. 127-152

Kiesow, S. & Dierssen, K., 2017. Vegetation Analysis as a Source of Historic Information – The Case of Madeira Island. In Vaz, E., Melo, C. J. D., & Costa Pinto, L. M. (2017). Environmental History in the Making: Volume I: Explaining. (Environmental History; No. 6). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 123-144.




Este mês - O Parque  Natural da Madeira por Sandra Kiesow (Kiel University)

O Parque Natural da Madeira está localizado no arquipélago da Madeira e abrange cerca de dois-terços da superficie insular. O parque foi fundado em 1982 com o objectivo de salvaguardar a extraordinária biodiversidade dos seus ecossistemas ricos em endemismos, a nível de flora e fauna. A paisagem montanhosa, com ribeiras fundas e picos altos, ofereçe um grande número de habitats diversos, incluindo as zonas costeiras, com o seu clima subtropical, até os picos mais altos, com condições climatéricas mais agrestes.

O ecosistema mais famoso da ilha da Madeira é a floresta Laurisilva, caracterizada pelas suas árvores de grande porte, da família das Lauráceas, como o Til, o Loureiro, o Barbusano e o Vinhático. Com uma área de, aproximadamente, 15.000 hectares, esta é a maior floresta laurisilva a nível mundial e muito rica em endemismos. Em 1999, a Laurisilva da Madeira foi classificada como Património da Humanidade pela UNESCO (

As zonas mais altas da ilha estão cobertas pelo Urzal de altitude, também muito rico em endemismos. O Urzal tem um papel importante na recarga dos recursos de água subterrânea, as urzes filtram gotículas minúsculas de água diretamente dos nevoeiros.

Em toda a ilha encontram-se as Levadas, transportando água das serras aos campos. Perto das suas nascentes, no Parque Natural da Madeira, elas convidam o visitante à descoberta, a pé, das belezas naturais da ilha (

Mais informação em:

Kiesow, S. & Bork, H.-R., 2017. Agricultural terraces as a proxy to landscape history on Madeira island, Portugal. Ler História, Nr. 71, pp. 127-152

Kiesow, S. & Dierssen, K., 2017. Vegetation Analysis as a Source of Historic Information – The Case of Madeira Island. In Vaz, E., Melo, C. J. D., & Costa Pinto, L. M. (2017). Environmental History in the Making: Volume I: Explaining. (Environmental History; No. 6). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 123-144.


Naturae theatrum et mundum/ The theatre of nature and the world/ O teatro da natureza e o mundo

This month – “«Threatened by the sands of the Ocean sea!»: The Church of São Paio of Fão as an observatory for environmental changes (Fão, Esposende, Portugal)”, by Ana Isabel Lopes pdf.EN


Este mês - “«Ameaçada pelas areas do mar Oceano!»: A Igreja de São Paio de Fão e as alterações ambientais (Fão, Esposende, Portugal)”, por Ana Isabel Lopes pdf.PT


Ana Isabel Lopes, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do Porto


Call for expressions of interest to host the ESEH Biennial Conference 2023

Dear ESEH Members,
Society for Environmental History (ESEH) invites expressions of interest from scholars who would like to host the biennial conference of the Society in 2023. Past organisers have found hosting the conference a rewarding experience that raises the profile of their institutions and helps to develop new relationships and professional skills. Organising a conference in a (post-)pandemic world is a challenge but the ESEH team is available to support you. We need your ideas and creativity to be able to continue the series of memorable ESEH highlights!
As with all the previous ESEH conferences, the host institutions will have the task to organise the conference and will work closely with the program committee and the ESEH board to design it. The letter of intent and the added accompanying materials indicate to the Site Selection Committee (and ultimately the ESEH Board) a serious desire to host the conference.
Crucial points for the evaluation will be:
• The strength of your local group;
• The vision of your conference in a (post-)pandemic world; 
• The possibility and probability of gaining additional funds; 
• The availability and quality of facilities and services; 
• The impact of the conference on your country and the wider region.
The letter of intent should be no more than 5000 words long.
The deadline for the submission of bids is 31 January 2021.
The letter of intent and all accompanying materials (budget estimates and support letters) must be sent by email to Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.. The results of the process will be communicated by 1 April 2021. Do not hesitate to contact us for any clarification you may need! Please also contact us, if you would like to host the conference, but your resources are limited or if you would like to co-host the conference! All ideas are welcome!
The ESEH Site Selection Committee 2019-2021 Ulrike Plath, Tallinn University, Estonia (chair) Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia Elisabetta Novello, University of Padua, Italy
Guidelines for a Letter of Intent
The Letter of Intent should address these points:
1. Proposed dates
The challenge of finding the right date may include the need to consider the availability of local accommodation, avoiding major holidays, and overlapping with large conferences at international level as well as other major events at your home institution. The ESEH Board has indicated a preference for June, late August or early September, but other dates may be possible.
2. Form, theme, and general vision of your conference
In a (post-)pandemic world we need new, creative ways of organising conferences. What kind of conference are you planning (face-to-face, half digital, fully digital conference) and how flexible are you to react to new developments? ESEH meetings have traditionally had a conference theme, although presentations outside that theme have also been welcome. Identify a theme you think would best suit your institution and location. How do you envisage running the conference in terms of sustainability, innovation, experimentation and diversity, creating inclusive and participatory environments? How will you include attention to teaching as well as
3. Local Organising Committee (LOC)
Who are the people that will form your core group of organisers? What is your profile and what are the strengths of your group? What experience do you have in organising international meetings? How do you intend to share work and responsibility? How would you include other individuals and groups from your country working in the field of environmental history?
4. Support and communication
While organising an ESEH conference you will need help. How would your university/institution support the LOC? Do you have a local convention bureau or conference office at your service that has experience with organising large international meetings? What exactly does it offer (communication, registration, travel arrangements, conference web page, payment, digital support etc.)? We recommend that you contact colleagues at your university who recently have organised large (face-to-face and/or digital) conferences and other partners before compiling the bid. Support letters should be provided as accompanying materials. While organising the conference you will have to communicate with past ESEH LOC members, the head of the programme committee and the board. If you need support with financial transactions, please contact the ESEH treasurer.
5. Location, accommodation, facilities 
Identify what the locations of a face-to-face ESEH2023 will be. If it is going to be held on university campus, identify facilities and costs involved. Also investigate local hotels and low budget accommodation possibilities, check their convention facilities (prices, availability) and their policies on minimum room reservations. As a guide, ESEH conferences have recently included the following activities requiring venues:  *10-12 parallel sessions *1-3 plenary sessions *coffee breaks and  lunches *a poster session (c 20-30 posters on display for the whole event) *opening and closing reception *ESEH General Assembly *Education Fair *1-5 rooms for board meetings *other side events If you are going for a fully digital conference, what software/apps are you going to use? Do you/does your institution have experience with them and any support services?
6. Technical equipment and support
Technical solutions are crucial in organising a digital conference. Is your institution/university well equipped for that? Will you cooperate with some other organisations/institutions? Even if we meet again face-to-face in 2023, the technical equipment and know-how will be important. What kind of technical support can you offer (WIFI/stable skype connection/laptops or PC in all rooms/conference app etc)? Will you allow virtual presentations, and if so, to what extent (half digital conference)? How interactive is your conference? Do you want to have a Twitter conference?
7. Fundraising
If past meetings are any guide, the LOC is also responsible for raising a substantial amount of funding. This, however, depends on what kind of conference you envision (digital or face-to-face). How and from whom will you obtain funding to support the conference? How will you support participants with limited or no funds? For face-to-face conferences please also include information about visa requirements. Budget estimates should be provided as accompanying materials.
8. Students, partners, NEXTGATE
Whatever form your conference will have in the end, you will need motivated volunteers and helping hands. What are your plans to promote the conference among your students and make them involved? How will you communicate with other local and international partners you want to work with (local producers, artists, etc)? How will you interact with NEXTGATE?
9. Conference tours and promotion
At previous face-to-face conferences the LOC has typically offered tours or field trips to show off the local nature and/or environmental history sites, whether museums, civil engineering works, nature parks, or other sites. In the past, at least a half day of the meeting has been dedicated to tours. Enough tour spaces to accommodate c. 60-100 people (1/5 of the participants) should be planned. In planning an e-conference you might have specific plans how to promote your region/country/institution digitally and to get financial support for that. Elaborate on that!
10. Impact of the conference
What impact might organising the ESEH2023 have on your institution/country/region? How will the conference foster environmental history in your country? Do you have a plan to enlarge the membership of the ESEH in connection with the conference? Does it make a difference for you if the conference is a face-to-face or a fully digital one – or something in between?
11. COVID-19 and other risks
What are your strategies for hosting a conference in a (post-)pandemic world? We invite you to state in the proposal how you face the uncertainties of our time and minimise the risks large conferences might still bear in 2023. Is your team flexible to shift from a face-to-face meeting to a fully digital conference (or vice versa) according to the developments and circumstances? What kind of other risks do you foresee and what might you do to minimise them?
Don’t worry too much: The ESEH deeply appreciates your willingness to host the conference. In organising it you will join a select community of people who can offer support and advice all along the way!
Accompanying Materials to be provided with the Letter of Intent
Budget estimations
One factor in deciding where to locate a meeting is the probable costs for participants. Providing some rough estimates of travel costs from major cities, your policy concerning participation fees, and a preliminary specification of costs (costs of meeting facilities, audiovisual equipment, conference app, banquet location etc) would be helpful. Please explain how much extra funding you need and how you are going to raise that.
Support letters
We ask you to add support letters from your local conference office, partner organisations, co-hosts etc. This helps us to identify how serious your plans are and how strong your support network is. In the end, it will help you to rationalise your work.
Questions: Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.

Flood data from 500 years: Rivers and climate change in Europe

A major international research project led by the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) shows for the first time that flooding characteristics in recent decades are unlike those of previous centuries
Overflowing rivers can cause enormous problems: Worldwide, the annual damage caused by river floods is estimated at over 100 billion dollars - and it continues to rise. To date it has been unclear whether Europe is currently in a flood-rich period from a long-term perspective.
Austrian flood expert Prof. Günter Blöschl from TU Wien (Vienna) has led a large international study involving a total of 34 research groups that provides clear evidence that the past three decades were among the most flood-rich periods in Europe during the past 500 years, and that this period differs from others in terms of its extent, air temperatures and flood seasonality. Compared to the past, floods tend to be larger in many places, the timing has shifted and the relationship between flood occurrence and air temperatures has reversed. In the past, floods tended to occur more frequently in cold phases while, today, global warming is one of the main drivers for their increase. The results of the study have now been published in "Nature" magazine.
BLÖSCHL, Günter et al. - «Current European flood-rich period exceptional compared with past 500 years». In Nature, 583, 2020, pp. 560-566. DOI:

2021 Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture

Religion and Environment: Relations and Relationality

2021 Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture

February 19-28, 2021

Hosted by Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

* Proposals Due: August 24, 2020 *

(Download a pdf version – revised CFP)

This is a year of pandemic, a year of disruption, a year in which struggles for racial and economic justice can no longer be ignored. In that spirit, and in the interest of protecting the health of our members, the ISSRNC is postponing its in-person conference until 2022. In the interim, in partnership with Arizona State University, we will hold a nearly-carbon neutral virtual conference in February 2021. As our first step toward our commitment to low carbon conferences, our 2021 gathering will feature numerous opportunities for networking and informal conversation among our members, in addition to a select group of virtual sessions. We look forward to continuing the networking and informal conversation, along with a full slate of paper sessions, in the full conference in 2022. 

For our 2021 conference, the ISSRNC welcomes pre-arranged session proposals from all disciplines that address the intersections of religion, nature, and culture. We are especially interested in engaging questions of relationality: relations between human and other-than-human beings (including animals, spirits, gods, places, etc.), among cultural groups, among academic disciplines, etc. There is no unidimensional way to understand these troubled times: environmental crises are closely linked to social, racial and political inequities, and knowledge about the links between social systems and earth systems science is relevant to work in community organizing. Concepts of the human person as an interdependent element within complex systems of social and ecological relations are challenging the dominant norms in the social sciences and humanities. To meet the challenges we collectively face, we invite and encourage scholarly reflections on integrative, holistic, and radically plural ways of knowing. 

Possible paper and panel proposals topics include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • concepts of kinship, reciprocity, and relational ontologies across cultural traditions, especially Indigenous cultures;
  • multispecies ethnography and relations between humans and other-than-human-beings, including creatures, plants, and inanimate beings;
  • environmental jurisprudence, the rights of nature and the legal personhood of other-than-human entities; 
  • the religious and ecological dimensions of immigration, migration, and asylum;
  • structural racism and anti-racism in environmental movements and religious imaginaries;
  • religion and environment in critical race theory, Black studies, Asian studies, and Latinx studies;
  • interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in the environmental humanities and sustainability research;
  • religious imaginaries and religious responses regarding the COVID-19 pandemic;  
  • as always, papers examining other aspects of the religion, nature, and culture nexus are welcome. 


Proposals and Deadlines

To sustain the kinds of active, thoughtful engagement that make ISSRNC conferences successful, and with hopes of having a full-sized, in-person conference in 2022, our upcoming conference will be smaller and more structured. This means that, with regret, we will not be accepting individual paper proposals for the online conference. We encourage you to use social media—including the ISSRNC Facebook page, the ISSRNC listserv, and the members’ forum on—to connect with other scholars and form engaging session collaborations. Additional information and inspiration for online conference participation can be found here: 

For this fully online conference, the ISSRNC invites proposals for pre-arranged sessions. We welcome creative proposals for 90 minute sessions (45 minutes of which will be apportioned to any number of speakers and 45 minutes of which will be apportioned for audience participation and discussion). Sessions can feature any number of speakers in any configuration (e.g. traditional three paper panels, multispeaker roundtables, lightning round sessions with abbreviated papers from numerous speakers, debates, documentary shorts, etc.). 

Some sessions will consist of pre-recorded presentations with live discussions between presenters and conference attendees. Other sessions will be fully live. All sessions will be recorded and posted online for continued conversation and exchange. 

Session proposals will be submitted online. Requested materials include: 

  • Session title
  • 500-word (or less) description of the session that clearly describes the session’s topic, organizational format, and relationship to conference themes; 
  • Individual paper titles (if necessary) 
  • 200-word (or less) abstracts that articulate the central argument and findings for each presenter;
  • Names and contact information for each presenter;
  • Preference of live or pre-recorded session (with brief explanation as to why this would be the best format). 

Timeline and logistics: 

  • The session proposal deadline is 24 August 2020; please submit using the online form here: 2021 Conference Submissions 
  • Those proposals that are accepted will be announced 22 September 2020; proposals will be anonymously peer-reviewed by an international scholarly committee and decisions will prioritize proposals that are creative and engaging in the online format, and that feature presenters who are diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, seniority, etc.
  • Registration will open 1 October 2020, all presenters must be registered for the conference and be members in good standing of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture by 29 October 2020. Registration will be $10 for graduate students and contingent faculty and $25 for permanent faculty 
  • Video presentation deadline 1 February 2021.

Presenters and session organizers are encouraged to submit their articles for publication, or their sessions for special issues, to the official publication of the ISSRNC, the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture. Further information about the society and journal can be found at Please contact Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar. if you have any questions.

Interested scholars are also encouraged to connect with us via social media:

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