Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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Current and Recent Projects (Externally Funded)

Bloodborne: Hot Zones, Disease Ecologies, and the Changing Landscape of Environment and Health in West Africa

“Bloodborne” is a research project supported by a European Research Council Advanced Grant (2021–2026). It deals with a multi-perspective view of pandemic threats.

Communicating Planetary Health

The aim of this project is to support the permanent institutionalization at LMU of the Environmental Humanities (EH). It receives funding from the Volkswagen Foundation. 

Cool Infrastructures

“Cool Infrastructures: Life with Heat in the Off-Grid City” is a 3-year UK Global Challenges Research Fund project. It examines the everyday strategies through which people in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Cameroon manage exposure to heat when they have limited access to power, water, and other services.

Corridor Talk

“Corridor Talk: Conservation Humanities and the Future of Europe's National Parks“ examines humanistic aspects of biodiversity loss. The project is jointly funded by the DFG and AHRC.

Die Startbahn

For over two decades ending in 1987, the extension of Frankfurt Airport through the construction of a new runway (Startbahn 18 West) was accompanied by vocal protests. This study aims to explain why the runway extension attracted such long-lasting controversy and protest.

Environing Infrastructure

“Environing Infrastructure: Communities, Ecologies, and China’s 'Green' Development in Contemporary Southeast Asia” is a five-year research project (2020–25) funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. 

Epochal Life Worlds: Humans, Nature, and Technology in Narratives of Crisis and Change

The Rachel Carson Center is one of six partners of the Joint Center for Advanced Studies “Worldmaking from a Global Perspective: A Dialogue with China,” a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 

Foraging at the Edge of Capitalism

The objective of this project is to work process a comprehensive political ecology of foraging in the Anthropocene. The project (2022–26) is funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant.

Fostering the Health-Nutrition-Ecology Nexus: Organic Farming Practices and Household Resilience in Rural Bangladesh and Thailand

The objective of this project is to reveal the links between natural resource use and the human health and nutrition perspective, and to eventually derive a conceptual model of the health-nutrition-ecology nexus. The project is funded by a DFG research grant for 36 months.

Greening Military? On the Transformation of the Armed Forces in the Context of the “Zeitenwende” and Climate Crisis

“Greening Military? On the Transformation of the Armed Forces in the Context of the ‘Zeitenwende’ and Climate Crisis” examines the tensions between Germany's climate goal and its defense budget increase. The project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Half-Lives/Afterlives: Labor, Technology, Nature, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Business (NUCLEARDECOM)

NUCLEARDECOM is funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Program and proposes a comparative, interdisciplinary approach to the current discussions around nuclear decommissioning.

Hazardous Travels

The DFG Emmy-Noether Research Group “Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy” investigates structures and dynamics of hazardous waste trade since the 1970s.

Human-Wildlife Conflicts in China

This project focuses on human-wildlife conflicts in China and aims at drawing public attention to this issue.

International Doctorate Program "Rethinking Environment"

This program invites graduate students from a broad range of fields to explore the topic “Rethinking Environment: The Environmental Humanities and the Ecological Transformation of Society” in an intellectually inspiring environment in collaboration with Augsburg University.

Issues with Europe

The D-A-CH project “Issues with Europe—A Network Analysis of the German-speaking Alpine Conservation Movement (1975–2005)” investigates the complex negotiation processes in European politics by analyzing European transport policy in the Alps.

Learning Nature(s): A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Children and Nature(s)

This project is the first large-scale comparative study to examine how specific practices of socialization, material engagements, and direct and indirect interactions with natural entities shape children's understandings and relationships with the nonhuman world. It is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Making Green Germany

“Making Green Germany” studies the roots of German climate politics in the 1980s and 1990s. It is funded by the DFG.

OFFSHORE: Energy Cultures of the North Sea

“OFFSHORE” focuses on the cultural imagination of energy and energy production around the North Sea through the analysis of literary texts and visual media from the UK and Scandinavia. The project is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

RECOMS Innovative Training Network

The Rachel Carson Center is participating in RECOMS, Resourceful and Resilient Communities, a Marie Skłodowska Curie (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission. 

Social Impact Mechanisms and Solutions to Human-Wildlife Conflicts in National Parks—Comparing International Experiences

This project is a collaboration between Tongji University, Shanghai, China, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU Munich, Germany, and the Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald, Germany, funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

SPEAK4Nature: Rights of Ecosystems

The Rachel Carson Center is a part of a new multi-year, international, and interdisciplinary project that focuses on understanding ecological interdependence and the Rights of Nature.

Strengthening the Environmental Humanities

The aim of this project is to support the permanent institutionalization of the Environmental Humanities (EH) at LMU. It receives funding from the Volkswagen Foundation. 

Textile Waste in Emerging Economies: Management and Governance Toward a Circular System

“Textile Waste in Emerging Economies” is the project of Humboldt Fellow Anwesha Borthakur. She works on the project between April 2024 and November 2025.

The Marine Environmental Awareness

“The Marine Environmental Awareness” investigates how concepts of the environment have been formed by ocean sciences, especially marine biology during the 19th and 20th centuries. The project is funded by the DFG.

Transformations in Environment and Society

The Rachel Carson Center hosts a Kolleg-Project funded by the Federal Ministery of Research and Education (Käte Hamburger Kolleg funding). Its thematic focus is on “Transformations in Environment and Society.”