Organisation: Dr. Femke Kramer (RUG), Dr. Stefan Meysman (UGent), Dr. Marrigje Paijmans (UvA), Prof. Jeroen Puttevils (UAntwerpen), Prof. Hanneke Ronnes (UvA / RUG), Prof. Kornee van der Haven (UGent), Caroline Baetens, MA (UGent)
Teaching staff: TBA
In cooperation with the Research School for Medieval Studies & Doctoral Schools Ghent University
Date: 27-31 May, 2024
Location: Het Rustpunt, Ghent (Belgium)
Climate change, depletion of natural resources, loss of natural and cultural landscapes, and many other (ecological) sustainability challenges urge us to (re)evaluate human interaction with the natural world. This renewed environmental consciousness has invigorated not only scientists working on effects in the present and solutions for the future, but also those who study the (distant) past. It has become clear that we need to take the story back (much) further than the industrialisation of the second half of the eighteenth century. Specifically in medieval and early modern studies, scholars have uncovered the deep historical backgrounds of the anthropogenic ecological challenges, including (over)exploitation of natural landscapes, diminishment of open space, deforestation, food production, use of energy and water, fauna and flora extinctions et cetera. Over the past decades, ever more research has been conducted into the ecological impact and implications of practices in different landscapes. Also the traces of environmental mentalities in art and the cultural representation of human interactions with the environment is a flourishing field, strongly influenced by ecocritical approaches. The Spring School will therefore pay attention to a wide range of ecological issues in history related to the landscape of city, country and colony and their mediation in cultural production, most notably literature and art. It combines a focus on the medieval and early modern period with an multidisciplinary perspective, attending to the theoretical and methodological background of landscape and cultural history, ecocriticism and archaeology.
Instructions for registration will follow in due time