Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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Global Deserts: Environmental History in the Arid Lands


14.09.2015 – 15.09.2015

Location: University of Arizona

Sponsors: The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, Germany; Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; the University of Arizona, Tuscon; and the University of California, Davis.

The goal of this conference is to examine and discuss, in a comparative and transnational context, a wide variety of topics including (but not necessarily limited to) the changing understandings of deserts by both their indigenous inhabitants and colonizers; the influences of deserts upon human societies; and the impact of human habitation and resource use upon deserts from the pre-modern period to the present, including processes such as mining, water, military development, tourism, and scientific research.

The conference will be global in scope; we encourage scholars with expertise in deserts in any region of the world to submit proposals.

Papers (4,000–5,000 words, not including footnotes) will be pre-circulated for discussion. Selected papers will be eligible for inclusion in a collection of essays that we aim to publish with a university press.

Call for papers (PDF, 224 KB)


View the program here.

View the conference report here.


Submitted papers (for participants only; password protected)

Carrasco, Anita

Davis, Diana

Ertsen, Maurits

Evans, Sterling

Guerin, Adam

Isenberg, Andrew

McKittrick, Meredith

Morgan, Ruth

Morrissey and Burtner

Peterson, Maya

Reger, Gary

Warren, Louis

Williams, Fernando

Williams, Fernando (Images)

Yeh, Huatse and Hopping

Yeh, Huatse and Hopping (Figures)