Urban Cultures of Sustainability Postgrad Conference


18 Nov Urban Cultures of Sustainability Postgrad Conference


Call for Applications

Urban Cultures of Sustainability:

International Graduate and Doctoral Student Workshop


To be held in collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) at the Albert-Ludwig-University


Freiburg, 11–14 July 2016


This five-day intensive workshop is open to advanced graduate students and PhD students, as well as recent PhDs in the fields of history, geography, and environmental humanities and environmental social sciences. The purpose of the workshop is to provide young promising scholars an opportunity to present their work in progress (e.g., a chapter from a dissertation or a master’s thesis) to an international group of peers and a panel of senior mentors in the field.

Thematically, we wish to discuss the relationship between urban development and environmental challenges as they have changed over time, with a special emphasis on the postmodern era. We seek to understand how (and if) actors of urban planning have responded to environmental challenges such as pollution, sanitation, biodiversity conservation, and energy sustainability and in what ways cities, rather than businesses or state governments, have been assigned responsibility for addressing these problems. Studying contentious debates about environmental policies across multiple levels of governance, we want to identify relevant stakeholders, as well as agents’ respective realms of action, claims to responsibility, and sources of authority.

Our workshop is meant to be broad and inclusive in terms of themes, time periods and geographic focus. There will be an emphasis on case studies from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and on Europe, North America, and Asia, but students whose work involves other time periods and world regions may also apply.

We will offer a mix of input sessions led by experts in the field, workshop sessions in which students are expected to work on their own projects, and excursions.

Those interested in attending should send a) an abstract of their suggested contribution of max. 400 words b) a paragraph explaining their motivation for participating, and c) a one- or two-page CV.

Please submit your proposals before 1 January 2016. Successful proposals will be announced in February 2016.

The senior mentors, who will provide critiques of all the papers, include

  • Sabine Dabringhaus (Founding Director of the Center for Transcultural Asian Studies (CETRAS), Chair for East Asian History, University of Freiburg),
  • Tim Freytag (Professor for Human Geography, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg),
  • Rob Krueger (Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester,MA),
  • Annika Mattissek (Professor for Economic Geography and Sustainable Development, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography),
  • Christof Mauch, (Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich),
  • Martin Melosi, (Professor of History and Director of the Center for Public History, University of Houston, Texas),
  • Simone M. Müller (Assistant Professor for North American History, University of Freiburg),
  • Mark Roseland (Director of the Center for Sustainable Community Development, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver),
  • Philipp Späth (Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg), and
  • May Tan-Mullins (Professor in International Relations, University of Nottingham Ningbo China).


Travel expenses for students and hotel costs can unfortunately not be reimbursed.

Please send your proposals as one PDF file by 1 January 2016 to:


Dr. des Simone Müller

Assistant Professor of History

University of Freiburg:



Feature image: Smog. Craig Nagy

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