Globalization, Environmental Change, and Social History

CFP: International Review of Social History
Globalization, Environmental Change, and Social HistoryCFP: International Review of Social HistoryCall for Papers
Globalization, Environmental Change, and Social History
Supplement to the International Review of Social History 2010
Editors: Peter Boomgaard and Marjolein 't Hart

Throughout all ages, the activities of mankind have weighed considerably upon the environment. In turn, changes in that environment have favoured the rise of certain social groups and limited the actions of others. Nevertheless, environmental history has remained a "blind spot" for most social and economic historians. This is to be regretted, as changes in ecosystems have always had quite different consequences for different social groups. Indeed, the various and unequal effects of environmental change often explain the strengths and weaknesses of certain social groups, irrespective of their being defined along lines of class, gender, or ethnicity.

This Supplement to the International Review of Social History aims to bring together the expertise of social and environmental historians by looking in particular at the consequences of processes induced by globalization since the Late Middle Ages. The editors are particularly interested in how transnational agents changed the socioecological space and how that change affected the vulnerability of different social groups. Social processes generally result in unequal exposure to risk by making some people more disaster-prone than others. A fine example can be found in Mike Davis's Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World (2001), in which he shows how in the late nineteenth century global political and market forces aggravated the sufferings caused by climate. For the early modern period, John Richards has pointed to the far-reaching ecological effects of trading companies, colonialism, and state expansion on the indigenous population in his The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (2003). The extremely strong biological dynamic connected with European expansion had already been pointed out by Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (1986). Recently, in his Epidemics and Geopolitics in the American Tropics, 1640-1920 (2008) John McNeill showed how the death toll caused by yellow fever could vary enormously in a colonialized setting, exacerbated inter alia by the introduction of sugar plantations - an excellent breeding ground for the virus causing yellow fever. The proposed volume also links up well with recent social theory on inequality and vulnerability, for example Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People (2004) edited by Greg Bankoff, Georg Frerks, and Dorothea Hilhorst. Apparently, many disasters that seem purely "natural" are aggravated by a peculiar combination of social processes and human-environmental interactions.

Call for papers
The International Review of Social History invites scholars from all over the world to submit abstracts for papers dealing with the connection between environmental and social history, in particular with the changes induced by the long-term process of globalization. The period covered may lie anywhere between the twelfth century (for example the Eurasian exchange induced by the Mongolian expansion) and the mid-twentieth century (for example the deforestation caused by the Vietnamese wars). We seek papers that reflect recent and original research and we stimulate proposals dealing with the long term, that take a comparative perspective, whose subject is drawn from the non-Western world, and/or that combine historical research with a theoretical outlook. The Supplement will include eight to ten individual papers each of around 8,000-10,000 words. An introduction will situate the Supplement within the context of recent developments in the field of social and environmental history.

The deadline for sending proposals, including brief outlines of the articles, is 1 February 2009. Please send your proposal to [mailto][/mailto], including your affiliation, and email and postal addresses.

Time schedule
1 February 2009: Deadline for proposals, including brief outlines of articles by authors March 2009: Letters of acceptance (or rejection) of proposals September 2009: Deadline for first draft of articles November 2009: Letter from the editors to authors about any necessary revisions January 2010: Second draft of articles April 2010: Final version of manuscript to copy editor December 2010: Publication of Supplement