Call for Papers: “An Environmental History of Wars in Central Europe”

Call for journal articles

The Hungarian Historical Review invites submissions for its third issue in 2018, the theme of which will be “An environmental history of wars in Central Europe”

The deadline for the submission of abstracts: September 30, 2017 The deadline for the accepted papers: January 31, 2018


The environmental changes of the last millennium in East Central Europe have been studied for decades, and historians, archaeologists, and natural scientists have made substantial contributions to a more nuanced understanding of the relationships between the environment on the one hand and cultural and political history on the other. Historical processes can hardly be grasped in their complexity without some understanding of the changes that have taken place in the natural environment, and yet for the most part environmental history has remained a marginal topic or perspective in the study of the history of East Central Europe. Indeed, in many countries of the region it is still regarded as an auxiliary discipline of importance primarily simply because it adds an interdisciplinary angle to more traditional historical inquiries.

Environmental history does not have a single agenda. It is neither a turn nor a paradigm in historiography. There are many ways to write environmental history. For their part, archaeologists, geologists, geographers, biologists, palynologists, climatologists etc. have made important contributions, but their work and methodologies have not yet been organized systematically to produce a holistic picture precisely because of the absence of a synthetic historical approach. Furthermore, sometimes these scientists have neglected one another’s work, and some of the different disciplines continue to arrive at contradictory findings.

In Western European and U.S. scholarship, one of the problems which has drawn significant interest is environmental change brought about by military conflicts. The environmental legacy of wars has been intensely studied in the last two decades, in part in connection with the visible destruction and environmental impact of the two World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. Dozens of major works have focused on the environmental transformation of landscapes in regions affected by war. However, most of these works addressed the problem of the environmental footprint of wars in modern times and, in particular, the twentieth century. Very few studies examined how military tactics in medieval or early modern times transformed the environment in various parts of Central Europe. The Hungarian Historical Review seeks contributions that will enrich our understanding of the environmental history of wars, broadly understood. The questions the articles should address may include but are not limited to:

- the impact of periods of war on landscape;

- changes in landscapes after wars;

- military industry and its impact on historical environments;

- landscapes of peace;

- the roles of weather and climate in military campaigns;

- the roles of landscapes in determining military tactics


The long-range goal is to summarize the related efforts in order to enhance communication among different fields of the sciences and foster exchanges among researchers of different nationalities. The short-term goal is to present a general, overall picture of our knowledge of environmental changes brought about by wars.


We invite the submission of abstracts on the questions and topics raised above.

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short biographical sketch with a selected list of the author’s five most important publications (we do not accept full CVs).

The editors will ask the authors of selected abstracts to submit their final articles (max. 10,000 words) no later than January 31, 2018. The articles will be published after a double blind peer-review process. We provide proofreading for contributors who are not native speakers of English.

All articles must conform to our submission guidelines:


The deadline for the submission of abstracts: September 30, 2017.

Proposals should be submitted by email:


The Hungarian Historical Review is a peer-reviewed international quarterly of the social sciences and humanities the geographical focus of which is Hungary and East-Central Europe. For additional information, including submission guidelines, please visit the journal’s website:

Weather Markets: Accounting for Climate in Early American Agri-business

In a blog post on, Dr. Josh MacFadyen of Arizona State University outlines how the Archer-Daniels Midland Linseed Company (ADM) made climate data into a commodity during the early 20th century. ADM provided reports for their customers detailing real-time weather conditions in major flax-producing areas in Canada, the northern U.S. plains, and Argentine Pampas. Because crop yields were most tied to weather conditions during summer months, this information helped ADM’s clients make purchases on the futures market – evidence that these commodity systems were more rooted in the natural world than some scholars have allowed. Notably, ADM’s climate data was collected and distributed independent of the growing network of meteorologists and climate scientists, suggesting that early private sector interest in climate data had a distinct history from early climate science.

See the full article here.

Call for Papers Our World of Water: Histories of the Hydrosphere November 4, 2017 | Georgetown University | Washington D.C.


Photo: Ganges River Delta, September 5, 2008 © National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Department of History at Georgetown University invites paper proposals from graduate students for a one-day conference on water-related environmental histories. The conference seeks to bring together students who share common research interests in water and the environment. The conference aims to consider water-based histories in the broadest sense, welcoming proposals ranging from irrigation to ocean basins, anywhere in the world and at any time period. Submissions are welcome from students working in any discipline, so long as their work involves change over time, humans, and water. Accepted proposals will be grouped into three moderated panels, each followed by a roundtable discussion between presenters, commentators, and the audience. The conference aims to serve as an intensive training session for participating students to present and receive feedback on their ongoing work (e.g. dissertation chapters and journal articles) from senior scholars and faculty members.


Application Process and Deadlines

Interested students should submit an abstract (up to 300 words) along with a brief curriculum vitae to Matthew Johnson ( by June 30, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by early July and asked to submit a full version of their papers (between ten and thirty pages) for pre-circulation to conference attendees and commentators by September 23.


Additional Information

Georgetown University will cover the costs of hotel accommodation (two nights) for admitted applicants for the duration of the conference. Attendees are expected to cover their own transportation and other travel related expenses. However, admitted students can choose to substitute their accommodation coverage for a $200 reimbursement towards transportation costs.  


For updates and information on last year’s conference please visit our website (

Climate History Network Meeting at the PAGES OSM

Past Global Changes (PAGES) has given us a time and place for a side meeting at the upcoming Open Science Meeting (OSM) in Zaragoza.  We'll discuss the Climate History Network's current work and plans for new events and initiatives.  The meeting should be fast and informal, so please come by to share your ideas (or just let us know we're doing a great job)!

Saturday 13 May, 9:00-10:00am, Room 11

Auditorio de Zaragoza

Eduardo Ibarra, 3, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

For more information:


AHA Perspectives on History: Historians on Climate Change and the Anthropocene

Sadie Bergen has written an engaging reflection on the field of climate history and its relationship to current debates about global climate change. Drawing on interviews from some of the leading scholars in the field, she points to two ways in which climate historians can contribute to current debates about climate change. First, because climate historians are familiar with the vocabulary of climate science, they are well positioned to communicate across sub-disciplines and with the public. Bergen points to discussions about the Anthropocene, a debated geologic epoch, as a concrete example of how climate historians can contribute to such conversations.  Secondly, climate historians can help ground climate change in people’s daily experiences.  Historians can highlight how past communities adapted or responded to extreme weather events. Click here to read the full article.

Climate History Podcast Episode 6: Geoengineering and Atmospheric Science with James Fleming

In the sixth episode of the Climate History Podcast, Dr. Dagomar Degroot interviews one of the world's best-known historians of science: Dr. James Fleming, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College. Professor Fleming is perhaps the leading historian of meteorology and climatology. He has degrees in astronomy, atmospheric science, and history, and he is the founder and first president of the International Commission on History of Meteorology. He is editor-in-chief of History of Meteorology, and he has written and reviewed for the IPCC. His extensive publications include Meteorology in America, 1800-1870 (Johns Hopkins, 1990), Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (Oxford, 1998), Fixing the Sky (Columbia, 2010), and most recently, Inventing Atmospheric Science (MIT, 2016).

In this episode, Professors Degroot and Fleming  discuss how a plane crash launched Fleming's career, the deep history and future prospects of geoengineering, and the birth of modern atmospheric science in the early twentieth century. Click here to listen.