Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CFP: The Cultural History of Climate Change

In lieu of a proper post (and there's one on the way, I promise, which looks at Ignacio de Loyola Brandao's And Still the Earth, Don DeLillo's White Noise and Gabrielle Lord's Salt, and which has been sitting on my desk half-written for months now), here's a call for papers for a conference I'm putting on in late August that may be of interest to readers of this blog:


The Cultural History of Climate Change

Humanities Research Centre
Australian National University
27 – 28 August, 2012
Historians since Herodotus have argued that climates shape cultures. We can no longer ignore the fact that cultures also shape climates. Today’s climate is increasingly a material effect of the history of industrialisation. The climate of the coming centuries will be an effect of contemporary global society. Recognition of these interactions opens a significant new field to historical inquiry. It brings the economic, political and technological history of the carbon cycle together with cultural, aesthetic and literary reflections of climate, and links the emergence of ecological thinking to broader transformations in the organization of knowledge.

Acknowledging that the climate is cultural compels us to rethink many existing forms of historical understanding. It challenges traditional notions of the historical period, of collective and individual agency, of the narrative forms of historiography, and of the basic distinction between natural and human history. It demands new ways of relating the existential and historical moments of human knowledge and action to the dimensions of geological and evolutionary time.

The cultural history of climate change will be of central importance to social, cultural and political debates of the twenty-first century. To provide a speculative survey of this field, the Humanities Research Centre will hold a special conference on this theme on 27 and 28 August, 2012, in Canberra, Australia.

Proposals are invited for papers that either:
  • examine episodes, works or themes that fall within the cultural history of climate change; or
  • address the conceptual challenges posed to historical inquiry by anthropogenic climate change.

Please submit proposals of up to 300 words to by
18 May 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to seeing this post on Ignacio de Loyola Brandao's "Still the Earth", Don DeLillo's "White Noise" and Gabrielle Lord's "Salt" once you have finished it.

    Thanks in advance,