Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Turning Points of Environmental History

Date: June 16 - 18 , 2005
Organizers: Joachim Radkau (Bielefeld), Christof Mauch (Washington), Frank Uekötter (Bielefeld)

The Turning Points of Environmental History were the subject of an international group of researchers that convened at the ZiF. Speakers from Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, Scotland, and the United States discussed the criteria that one should use in the periodization of environmental history: should we focus on changes in the land-or ratheron the social and political reactions to changes in the environment? And does environmental history demand a periodization that differs from that of history in general? The event, co-sponsored by the German Historical Institute in Washington, provided a great opportunity to discuss the state of environmental history at a time when the broad questions are increasingly getting lost in the wake of growing specialization. Taken together, the conference proceedings demonstrated the vibrancy of a field of research that depends like few others on interdisciplinary communication.

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