ESEH Conference 2023

Keynote Speakers

Gaia Giuliani

Gaia Giuliani, University of Coimbra

25 August 2023 | 11:15am-12:45pm | UniS – S003

Working title of the talk: The Anthropocene, monstrosity, and (post-)coloniality

Gaia Giuliani is an Italian Critical Whiteness Studies pioneer and an anti-racist feminist activist and scholar. She is a political philosopher and a permanent researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra. Her research work aims to deconstruct post-colonial (visual) archives of monstrosity through the analysis of texts coding 'fears of disasters and crisis' and their symbolic and material impact on European and Western self-representations in the context of the post-9/11 terrorist threat, the so-called migrant and refugee crises, and environmental catastrophes including the Covid-19 pandemic. She is the author of Monsters, Catastrophes and the Anthropocene. A postcolonial Critique (Routledge 2021).

Jon Matthieu

Jon Mathieu, University of Lucerne

22 August 2023 | 11:15am-12:45pm | UniS – S003

Working title of the talk: Sacred Mountains. Environmental History and Religion

Jon Mathieu is Editor-in-chief of the journal "Histories", and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Lucerne. He was the founding director of the Institute of Alpine History at the University of Ticino and has published widely about the history of mountain regions, e.g. The Third Dimension. A Comparative History of Mountains in the Modern Era (2011); The Alps. An Environmental History (2019); Mount Sacred. A Brief Global History of Holy Mountains Since 1500 (2023).

Plenary Roundtable
Environmental History and Public Policy

Followed by a series of Science for Policy Workshops

23 August 2023 | 11:15am-12:45pm | UniS – S003

With the climate and biodiversity crisis, and the ongoing pandemic, there has been increasing interest on the part of public policy actors across the globe to draw on environmental science in responding to the emerging threats and in implementing the green transformation. This growing interest, and the current global crisis, is also a call to arms for environmental historians. However, like most of the humanities, our community’s engagement with public policy making has been very limited and we lack both the experience and visibility needed to become partners in the process of policy development. The aim of the plenary discussion and of the workshop series that will follow it in the course of the ESEH 2023 is to provide a strong impetus for the environmental history community to engage with public policy in Europe and beyond.

The plenary is sponsored by EnvHist4P.

The plenary session is conceived as a meeting platform for environmental historians and policy stakeholders. It will be the forum for environmental historians to showcase their work and engage with the feedback from politicians and policy-makers, and to foster new, more practically oriented debate within our community. The plenary will last 90 minutes and will consist of three parts:

1)  Lightning talks by selected environmental historians:

  • Claiton Marcio da Silva (Univ. Federal da Fronteira Sul, Brazil) – «Soyacene - the Socienvironmental Observatory of the Soybean»
  • Davide Orsini (Rachel Carson Center ) – «Energy and climate crises: the eternal return of nuclear power and the question of containment»
  • Simone Schleper (Maastricht) & Iva Pesa (Groningen) – «Redressing climate inequality through reparations?»
  • Karla Garcia (Bielefeld) – «Rights of Nature»
  • Amanda Power (Oxford) – «Why historians are essential to public policy-making for climate adaptation»
  • Joschka Meier (Bern) – «Skiing, Switzerland and Sustainability: Learning from the past to adapt to the future»

2)  Feedback discussion with the plenary speakers
3)  Open debate between the public and the speakers

Throughout the conference, the plenary speakers will offer workshop sessions on how to engage with policy in different institutional and thematic contexts. More information to follow in the spring.