river in Oulu, Finland

CFP: Fourth World Congress of Environmental History

4th World Congress of Environmental History

19-23 August, 2024

Oulu, Finland

Website: https://wceh2024.com/

Transitions, Transformations and Transdisciplinarity: Histories beyond History

Environmental issues are typically cast in present and future terms – the current climate crisis, or goals for 2030 or 2050. Yet the past is prelude – it informs our current situation and shapes our capacity to imagine future choices. The fourth World Congress in Environmental History will centre history in the global discussion about critical environmental challenges. In choosing Transitions, Transformations and Transdisciplinarity as key themes of the conference, the organizers aim to emphasize both the arc of time and the importance of bringing diverse approaches to bear on contemporary problems; the conference will thus illuminate the value of historical understandings that go far beyond the discipline of history. In other words, the organizers understand environmental history to be an evolving practice, one that is created in conversation across multiple fields, concerns, and communities. Environmental historians have much to contribute to multiple audiences; but they should wisely seek points of critical connection with other disciplines that value historical evidence and thinking. Similarly, the social sciences and humanities outside of history have much to learn from historically rich understandings of environments. Held in Finland in 2024, WCEH4 will showcase the historical and human dimensions of environmental change, working closely with the Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme, co-funded by the Academy of Finland and the University of Oulu.

World Congresses are spaces for connecting and communicating, they form catchments for ideas. Inspired by the natural diversity at Oulu – an estuarine city of forests and farms on a northern coastline, whose etymology has been linked to the Sami term for melted snow or floodwater – we encourage participants to consider questions of difference and co-existence, and our place in scholarly as well as social landscapes.

WCEH4 will be an exciting, inclusive, and encouraging event. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we envisage a conference centred on its Nordic venue and promoting a variety of in-person exchanges that will reinvigorate the human dynamic outside the digital. In reflection of the global mandate of the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO), we will also develop innovative programming to cultivate involvement from colleagues around the world.

Submission Guidelines

The program committee invites panel, roundtable, paper, poster, creative, and digital proposals for the Congress. We prefer to receive complete session proposals but will endeavour to construct sessions from individual proposals as well. Sessions will be scheduled for 90 minutes. To maximize participation, we encourage proposals for sessions with innovative formats, several participants, and audience engagement. Individuals are allowed to participate in a maximum of one panel and one roundtable, except as a chair or discussant in other sessions.

The program committee encourages creative thinking that experiments with session format, such as mobile (e.g. walking or outdoors) panels, laboratories, skills workshops, and open discussion forums.

A limited number of travel bursaries will be available for students and early-career scholars.

The submissions system will open 15 February 2023 at www.wceh2024.com

Deadline for submissions: 15 April 2023.

All presenters and other participants are required to register in advance of the conference, once their sessions have been confirmed. Membership in ICEHO is not required. Those who subscribe to ICEHOUSE as underwriters and supporters for 2022 and 2023 will be entitled to a 20 euro reduction in their registration fee (https://www.iceho.org/enter-icehouse-society). ICEHOUSE membership will help to support travel to the conference by early career scholars from the global south.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

Image: Arpad Gabor at Unsplash