Tuesday, May 30, 2023, 10:00 am – Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 4:40 pm
CEMS Graduate Conference
Humans and Nature in the Mediterranean Landscape
Keynote Speaker: Nükhet Varlık (Rutgers University-Newark)
May 30-31, 2023
Central European University, Vienna
The consequences of global warming, pandemics, and ecological catastrophes serve as painful reminders of the contingency of human history on its natural environment. These issues have provided a forceful impetus to the study of history with environmental considerations in mind, leading to what scholars coined as an ecological turn. Since Fernand Braudel, several conceptualizations of the Mediterranean and its surroundings as a subject of historical research have emphasized how common patterns of climate, geography, flora, and fauna have given rise to shared models of ecology, agriculture, and social organization. Subsequently, environmental history, as well as various approaches centering on the environment in several other disciplines, has inspired scholars working on a broad range of topics related to the history of the Mediterranean and led to the emergence of various perspectives on the problems of nature, landscape, sustainability, environment, and ecology. We would like to highlight the broad variety of approaches to these topics and show that themes of nature, environment, and ecology are not only a concern of environmental historians, but they could also serve as shared spaces of encounter between scholars arriving from an array of backgrounds and disciplines. We also hope to grope toward a conceptualization of the relations between humans and nature, which complements the agricultural and rural focus of the discipline with a thematization of urban landscapes and spaces as parts of ecologies.