History and climate change: what have we learnt? - call for papers

Posted on Wednesday 14th May 2014

A Rescue! History day workshop, to be held on 8 November 2014 in Birmingham. 

We invite 20-25 minute contributions from scholars, activists, policy-makers and members of the public to explore two related questions. Firstly, to think about how climate concern is forcing us to rethink our understandings of history, often in quite radical ways. Second, how history and historians should inform our understandings of climate change and actively contribute to changing society to ensure an ecologically wholesome future. We are particularly keen to explore how our historical understanding and rhetoric around climate change have changed in the last five years and how they might need to change in the future. Questions we hope that papers will address include:

  • How might history become ‘activist history’ in an era of ecological emergency?
  • Whether historical rhetorics of ‘crisis’ and ‘apocalypse’ are productive or counter-productive?
  • History and scale: the roles of local and global narratives in an era ecological emergency
  • What might be learnt about social transformation from radical social movements such as Occupy?
  • Can activist historians learn from the Transition Town movement?
  • Is there an unexamined gender aspect to climate change? Why do climate debates so often seem to be dominated by men?
  • Are religious understandings a necessary and neglected aspect of environmental discourse?
  • How can local history and local historians contribute to local sustainability? (e.g. how can oral histories contribute to local energy descent models?)

The organisers are committed to the Active History tradition of scholarship that listens and is responsive;that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of scholarship that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active scholars and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of scholarship.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 August 2014

Please send abstracts by email to: Dr Jonathan Coope, jonathan.coope@nottingham.ac.uk and Dr Chris Callow, c.p.callow@bham.ac.uk