CFP: Transformations of the Earth, Renmin University of China

view from Burj Khalifa

10 Nov CFP: Transformations of the Earth, Renmin University of China

Transformations of the Earth: International Graduate Student Workshop in Environmental History

Renmin University of China, Beijing

21-23 May 2016

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Ecological History, Renmin University of China, and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany


This conference is open to advanced graduate students and early postdocs, regardless of department, discipline, or country. The purpose of the conference is to provide promising but inexperienced scholars an opportunity to present their work in progress (e.g., a chapter from a dissertation) before an international group of peers and a panel of senior mentors in the field.

Our theme is meant to be broad and inclusive. We will consider topics from any period of history or any part of the world. But especially we want to include new research on how societies, large or small, have transformed the natural world around them materially and in the process have changed their own structure, views of the world, or social-economic relations. In other words, we are interested in exploring the dynamics of reciprocal change.  Studies of ideology or cultural attitudes are welcome, but only if they include the material dimensions of social/ecological transformation.

Those interested in attending should send a written proposal of one page in length (or about 300 words) and include a title and a one- or two-page CV.  The proposals should be in English, although for speakers of Mandarin it is permissible to provide both a Chinese language version and an English.

The deadline for consideration is 1 January 2016.  Successful proposals will be announced around 1 February, and complete drafts of papers (minimum of 5,000 words in English or the equivalent in Chinese characters) will be required by1 May 2016.  All papers will be circulated to the participants in advance and will not be presented orally during the conference.

The senior mentors, who will provide critiques of all the papers, include Christof Mauch, director of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich; Peter C. Perdue, professor of Chinese history, Yale University; Lise Sedrez, professor of Brazilian history, Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro – Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Sociais; and Mingfang Xia, Shen Hou, and Donald Worster, all faculty members in the Center for Ecological History.

Travel expenses for students living outside of China will be paid by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.  Students living within China will be reimbursed for their travel expenses by Renmin University, which will also provide hotel rooms and meals for three days for all participants.


Send proposals to both of the following:

Agnes Kneitz (conference secretary)

Assistant Professor of History

Renmin University of China


and Annka Liepold

Events Coordinator

Rachel Carson Center, Munich


Feature image: View from Burj Khalifa. Michael Theis.

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