Calll for papers  » The Voice of Nature » Radboud University, Nijmegen, 23-24 April, Soeterbeeck

Call for Papers: „The Voice of Nature“

International multidisciplinary workshop „The Voice of Nature“

The present workshop is the second meeting and the first international meeting in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Part of the agenda is to reflect on research questions and assumptions of the various disciplines in an informal setting, another part will be devoted to the discussion and assessment of the comparative research proposal “The Voice of Nature” on the politics of nature in, initially, a handful of Northwest-European polities.

It is imperative for historians of modern-day politics to join in and catch up. For this reason the research programme “The Voice of Nature”, was launched, aiming to chart “the politics of nature” in the 19th and 20th centuries and analyse it as one of claim-making and contention in the name of a variety of interests: economic modernisation and profitability, scientific expertise and progress, the liveability of citizens or future generations, or the sanctity of nature as such. We aim to explain why some claims were rejected, while others were accepted and enforced, and show how the contention over “nature” led to new institutional arrangements and a redefinition of representative democracy as such.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scholars operating at the cross-section of several research interests: nature protection and management, expert cultures, and environmental movements. Despite this overlap, in day-to-day academic life these various communities of scholars rarely meet and discuss the issue of environmentalism and the politics of nature as a result of academic compartmentalisation. This workshop provides a platform to discuss and confront each other’s approaches and research questions and explore possible common ground.

As the set-up of the workshop is an informal multidisciplinary meeting of experts interested in exploring new research synergies, participation is mainly by invitation. Some of the seats, however, have been reserved for an open call for papers. If you are interested, please send the convenors a 200 words outline of your research in one of the relevant fields including your paper proposal and a short CV no later than 4 April, 2014 to Liesbeth van de Grift, e-mail: Radboud University covers travel costs and accommodation at the Soeterbeeck venue for all participants.

Workshop Programme
Wednesday, 23 April
• 10:30 Arrival
• 10:30-11:30 Keynote: Environmental History – State of the Art
• 11:30-13:00 Panel I: Managing Nature
• 13:00-14:00 Lunch
• 14:00-15:30 Panel II: Protecting Nature
• 15:30-17:00 Panel III: Nature’s Experts
Thursday, 24 April
• 9:00-10:30 Discussion: Research programme „The Voice of Nature“
• 10:30-11:30 Keynote: New Approaches to the Study of Political Representation
• 11:30-13:00 Panel IV: Nature’s Advocates
• 13:00 Lunch and departure

Convenors: Liesbeth van de Grift, Wim van Meurs (Radboud University Nijmegen, History Dept.)
23-24 April 2014, Soeterbeeck (near Nijmegen), The Netherlands
Deadline: 4 April 2014

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