PhD Course: Environmental History and Identity

The Phd School at the Faculty of Humanities
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
University of Copenhagen

PhD Course
Environmental History and Identity
6-7 May 2014

Environmental dimensions of cultural beliefs and practices have become an important topic of research and inquiry over the past few decades, and have influenced our understanding of identity and society around the world. This has resulted in a growing appreciation that identity construction and behaviour is situated in the surrounding landscape, and much of this is linked to the development of Environmental History.

Arising as a subfield within historical studies in the 1960s and as part of larger global social movements that opened the investigation of a variety of social and cultural fields, Environmental History is the study of how humans have interacted with and understood their environment, and conversely how the environment has influenced humans. Research and theory generated from inter- and cross-disciplinary dialogues among historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, philosophers, geographers, political scientists and natural scientists has broadened our understanding of history and identity so that focus on the environment is now an essential component of social cultural theory to explain present day identity constructions as well as to explain the world that we are producing. Cutting edge research in a variety of fields, including food, imperialism, technology, urban and climate change studies is now foregrounding history and the environment and not simply relegating it to background information to understand the construction of identity.

This PhD workshop is open for all those who are interested in looking at different cultural groups, and situating them within their surrounding landscape, and to rethink and reconceptualise the study of environment and identity. Special focus will be placed on spatial issues – both tangible (e.g., the natural physical landscape, foodscapes etc.) and intangible (e.g., media-, sound-, ideoscapes etc.) – as well as the role that flora and fauna have played in the development of societies.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Timothy P. Barnard, Associate Professor, Department of History, National University of Singapore
The keynote lecture will be open to the public.

The course is free of charge. Participants will be selected on the basis of their application file and field of research. The selected participants are asked to organize travel and accommodation at their own expense.

Venue: Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen

Requirements: Mandatory readings and active participation in seminar discussions. Participants are further encouraged to present some of their work in the seminar.

Deadline for submission of applications: letter of motivation (1 page), CV and PhD abstract (max. 2 pages) is 1 April 2014

3 ECTS with paper presentation
1,5 ECTS without presentation