Histories of Earth Sciences: visual and interdisciplinary approaches amid an environmental crisis
Histories of Earth Sciences:
visual and interdisciplinary approaches amid an environmental crisis
For decades now, the history of Earth sciences has been a ground for the development of interdisciplinary research. Historians and scientists from different disciplines have been contributing with methodologies coming from the history of institutions, art history, visual studies, material studies, geoscientific fields (such as integrating geoscientific iconography or retreating historical fieldwork), philosophy, gender studies, the history of literature, political and colonial histories, disciplinary histories, and history of fieldwork.
In the recent years, this convergence of various methodologies has only been accelerated by a rising interest for the history of Earth sciences, which is now considered a critical resource to improve the management of natural collections, to guide the decolonization of institutions and practices, and to better address the protection of geoheritage and geosites, as well as their representations. Such issues, which situates the Earth and its deep history at the center of a complex web of social, political, and economic stakes, have been prompting new ways of questioning the historical production of knowledge about and from the Earth.
This conference pursues two related objectives: (1) considering new interdisciplinary approaches to study the history and the images of Earth sciences and (2) reflecting on the responsibilities that come with studying the history of Earth sciences amid a global, environmental crisis. Indeed, this context forces us to reconsider our historical relationship to the Earth, its landscape, resources, and dynamics. The ambition of this conference is to begin a conversation on what a sustainable and responsible historiography of Earth sciences can look like in the face of today’s environmental and social challenges.
The scope and themes are intentionally broad, with a particular focus on visual and material culture and the history of climate and environment. We welcome propositions investigating such aspects of Earth sciences’ history from the early modern period to the present day. Propositions can range from close analysis of specific historical cases to broader methodological reflections on multidisciplinary in the history of Earth sciences.
Scholars and researchers from different disciplinary fields belonging to the humanities or natural sciences are welcome to submit a proposal. Early-career scholars, doctoral candidates, and postdocs are especially encouraged to take part in this event.
The conference is scheduled to take place on June 6, 2023, at the University of Insubria in Varese (Italy), hosted by the Center for the History of the Mountains, Material Culture and Earth Sciences and will be sponsored by INHIGEO, the IUGS International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences.
To take part in this event, please submit both a 300-word abstract of your presentation and a short resume (2 pages maximum) detailing relevant publications and/or communications. The abstract and the short resume should be sent as a single .pdf file to both Victor Monnin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Maddalena Napolitani (email@example.com). Deadline for submission: April 10, 2023.