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Turku Book Award

The Turku Book Award is a joint prize from the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC). The award is named after the city of Turku, Finland, where it was awarded for the first time at the 6th annual ESEH Conference in June 2011. 

The Turku Book Award is intended to identify and encourage innovative and well-written scholarship in the field of environmental history and is awarded every two years. Books may be nominated by authors, publishers, or members of the ESEH. Preference will be given to books that focus at least partly on Europe and/or to authors who are affiliated with European institutions. The award carries a prize of 3,000 Euros.

Turku Book Award 2017

2017 Winner


William M. Cavert, The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, Cambridge University Press, 2016. 

2017 Finalists

  • Bruce Campbell, The Great Transition: Climate, Disease and Society in the Late-Medieval World, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Kieko Matteson, Forests in Revolutionary France: Conservation, Community, and Conflict, 1669–1848, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • Giacomo Parrinello, Fault Lines: Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy, Berghahn Books, 2015.
  • Peter Thorsheim, Waste into Weapons: Recycling in Britain during the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

The selection committee consisted of Verena Winiwarter (Chair; Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Jane Carruthers (University of South Africa), Arielle Helmick (RCC), and Ellen Arnold (Ohio Wesleyan University). 

To read a citation from the award speech by Verena Winiwarter, including contributions from Arielle Helmick and Jane Carruthers based upon the discussions of the Turku Prize committee, click here.

Turku Book Award 2015

2015 Winner

Cushman_Winner 2015

Gregory Cushman, Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World: A Global Ecological History, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

2015 Finalists

      • Deborah R. Coen, The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to Richter, University of Chicago Press, 2012.
      • Jens Lachmund, Greening Berlin: The Co-Production of Science, Politics, and Urban Nature, MIT Press, 2013.
      • Clapperton Mavhunga, Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovations in Zimbabwe, MIT Press, 2014. 

The selection committee consisted of Helmuth Trischler (Deutsches Museum / RCC), Patrick Kupper (University of Innsbruck), Finn-Arne Jørgensen (Umeå University), Robert Emmett (RCC), and Julia Lajus (National Research University Higher School of Economics / European University).

Turku Book Award 2013

2013 Winner

Kupper_Winner 2013Patrick Kupper, Wildnis schaffen: Eine transnationale Geschichte des Schweizerischen Nationalparks, Haupt Verlag, 2012.

2013 Finalists

      • Marco Armiero, A Rugged Nation: Mountains and the Making of Modern Italy, The White Horse Press, 2011.
      • Finn Arne Jørgensen, Making A Green Machine: The Infrastructure of Beverage Container Recycling, Rutgers UP, 2011.

The selection committee consisted of Franziska Torma (RCC), Stefania Barca (ESEH), Julia Herzberg (RCC), Uwe Lübken (RCC), and Paul Warde (ESEH).

Turku Book Award 2011

2011 Winner

Barca_Winner 2011_2

Stefania Barca, Enclosing Water: Nature and Political Economy in a Mediterranean Valley, 1796-1916, The White Horse Press, 2010. News Story on Barca's Win

2011 Finalists

      • Mark Carey, In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society, Oxford University Press, 2010.
      • Torben Huus Larsen, Enduring Pastoral: Recycling the Middle Landscape Ideal in the Tennessee Valley, Rodopi, 2010.
      • Charles-Francois Mathis, In Nature We Trust: Les paysages anglais a l'ere industrielle, Presses de l'universite Paris-Sorbonne, 2010.
      • John McNeill, Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

The selection committee consisted of Christof Mauch (ESEH / RCC / LMU Munich), David Moon (ESEH), Diana Mincyte (RCC), Phia Steyn (ESEH), and Franziska Torma (RCC).

Address for Submissions

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Turku Book Award
Leopoldstrasse 11a
80802 München