Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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RCC Newsletter, Issue 29

July 2017


Dear Friends of the RCC,

The RCC is pleased to highlight a new online tool for collecting donations. We are the first organization at LMU Munich that now has the capability for supporters to donate via PayPal, credit card, automatic withdrawal (SEPA Lastschrift), and electronic wire transfer.  Donations will be used to support the Carson Center and our alumni organization, the Society of Fellows. All donations to the RCC are tax deductible in Germany, and we are working on tax-deductible status for other parts of the world. We hope that many of you will explore this new tool on the website.

  1. William Cavert, author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City (Cambridge UP), won the 2017 Turku Book Award. He received the prize from committee chair Verena Winiwarter at the 2017 European Society for Environmental History conference in Zagreb, Croatia.

  2. Recent Events:

    A diverse group of scholars, artists, and activists gathered at the RCC in early July to consider the question of “Radical Hope: Inspiring Sustainability Transformations through our Past.’’ Presenters looked at resilience in Japanese nuclear narrations, earthquakes and the rebirth of hope, wind energy, solar houses, and much more as they examined the places radical hope can be found.

    As part of our cooperation with the Center for History, Culture and Environment (CHE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the RCC organized a weeklong field seminar down the Danube River all the way to Bratislava. Exploring by bus, boat, bike, and on foot, the seminar discussed the river, its watershed, and its culture with local experts and with scientists from a dozen different academic disciplines.

    The workshop “Household Consumption and Environmental Change in the Twentieth Century” brought together the approaches of environmental history and consumption studies to shed new light on the contradictory place of consumption in present-day environmental debates and politics.

    Issues of knowledge and knowledge production—how knowledge develops, what factors impact knowledge production, and who has authority—were at the center of this year’s conference with Renmin University in China, “Knowing Natures: The Changing Foundations of Environmental Knowledge.”

    Organized by Carson alumni Melanie Arendt and Marc Elie, the workshop “East Side Story of Ecological Globalization” aimed to integrate the “Eastern” story into explanations of global environmental processes. Participants explored the role that the Soviet Union played in an “ecological turn” of the 1970s, and what impact this had, in turn, on the Soviet Union.

    Energy landscapes are environments defined by energy-related processes and infrastructures of extraction, generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption. The “Transitions in Energy Landscapes” workshop explored the coevolution of energy landscapes and everyday lives over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  3. Publication News: The second issue of RCC Perspectives in 2017, “Visions of Australia: Environments in History,” was officially launched at the ESEH in Zagreb in the presence of all three editors and several contributors. Two more issues are currently in typesetting and will be published in the coming weeks, “The Ecology of Home” by Mingfang Xia, and “Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change,” edited by Sherilyn MacGregor and Nicole Seymour.

  4. New on the Environment & Society Portal: The Environment & Society Portal is now mobile-responsive and has improved discovery tool designs, making it easier to use. New content on the Portal: there is a major virtual exhibition about the Northwest Passage, from the pursuit of a myth to the exploitation of natural resources, and the Arcadia collection continues to grow, with more than 200 articles online to date. The Portal team is looking for a new Research Associate to start in November. We encourage PhD candidates in environmental history and related fields to apply. You can read the call here.

  5. News from the Hazardous Travels Project: Hazardous Travels members met for their second research group workshop on July 10–11 to discuss “What is Waste in the Global Waste Economy?” Guests at this two-day workshop were Roman Köster (University of Freiburg), Teresa Spezio, and David Biggs (both RCC fellows). On Monday afternoon, the group explored the Fröttmaninger Berg, a former landfill site in northern Munich that has now been renaturated.

  6. Environmental Studies Certificate Program (ESCP) Update: As of print time, the student-run exhibition “Ecopolis München: Umweltgeschichten einer Stadt” (Ecopolis Munich: Environmental Histories of a City) has just concluded. The exhibition featured different exhibits by students that looked at various sites in Munich—from the renatured Isar to Munich’s underground. The next issue of the newsletter will highlight the exhibition in more detail, including more photos from the exhibition and the accompanying event, Ecopolis Night.

  7. News from the Doctoral Program Environment and Society: The program is pleased to congratulate the most recent graduate, Annka Liepold, on the successful defense of her dissertation, “Corn Capital: How Corn Shaped the Landscape, Industry, and Culture of Olivia, MN.” Doctoral students have posted a report from their recent workshop, “Envisioning Environments—Visual Media for the Environmental Humanities,” including some of the short films they produced during this event.

  8. Upcoming Events:

    18 Aug: “Communicating the Climate” (Workshop)

    3 - 5 Nov: “Asia and the Pacific Environments—Cultures—Histories” (Workshop)

    Beginning on 18 October 2017, our next Green Visions film series on “Green Cities” kicks off with the film Bikes vs. Cars. The documentary is also part of the “Münchner Klimaherbst 2017” (Munich Climate Autumn) which the RCC is participating in with three films screenings and further activities. The complete line-up for the winter semester of Green Visions can be found here.

  9. Calls for Papers:

    How New Are the Renewables? Historicizing Energy Transitions
    —Deadline 31 August 2017

    New Environmental and Cross-Cultural Histories of Pacific Whaling
    —Deadline 1 September 2017

  10. Alumni News: It’s been an award-winning season for our alumni: John Sandlos and Anya Zilberstein have won prizes for their publications. And chair of the RCC Advisory Board, Verena Winiwarter, has received the 2017 Planetary Award. In addition, Irus Braverman, Sherilyn MacGregor, and Alexa Weik von Mossner have just released new publications.

As always, to stay up-to-date on the RCC—check out our website, our Facebook page, and blog, or follow us on Twitter.

Best wishes,
The Rachel Carson Center