Historical Dimensions of Political Ecology

We invite papers that address the historical dimensions of any concept or topic relevant to political ecology. As many summary texts have emphasized (e.g. Neumann 2005, Zimmerer and Bassett 2003, Robbins 2011), political ecology and environmental history have much in common, especially a shared interest in understanding environmental change over time. History and political ecology also have key differences, including disciplinary norms, methodologies and sources of data, duration and foci of study, and narrative style. With this session, our hope is to bring together work which engages at the meeting point between political ecology and history, both broadly defined. 


We welcome papers falling within the fields of historical geography or environmental history, and those within political ecology, whose focus may be less on historical narrative than the emphasis of particular historical details to advance the argument. This may include applying a historical lens to the intellectual tradition of political ecology itself. We want to highlight and extend the field’s rich tradition of grounding its critiques, and visions for better alternatives, in an understanding of how socioenvironmental relations have changed over time. 


We invite you to take this call for papers broadly, but here are some suggestions for possible approaches:


- The historical development of particular environments, power relations, resource use, etc.

- A historical account of knowledge production.

- A critique of historical accounts that justify existing power relations. 

- Work which brings theory or methodologies from history to bear on political ecological questions (e.g. the Annales school, archival research).

- A biography or intellectual history of a key figure in political ecology.

- The origin and history of a concept commonly used in political ecology. 


If you would like to take part in this session, please send a 200 to 300-word abstract to Chris Knudson (chrisknudson@email.arizona.edu), Kelly Kay (k.kay2@lse.ac.uk), and Eric Nost (nost@wisc.edu) before Saturday, November 26. We will confirm your participation on Monday, November 28, to allow for registration by Thursday, December 1. 


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