Seminar Series at CRASSH

Call for expressions of interest

Are you interested in contributing to a series of seminars/ roundatble discussions on the theme of  “Climate Histories” at the University of Cambridge in the 2011-2012 academic year? As well as inviting seasoned researchers to participate, we are interested in meeting PhD students, post-docs, and other early career scholars across a whole range of disciplines who are interested in discussing their own climate research in a setting that encourages collaboration and cross-boundary thinking.

The Climate Histories research network is about bringing people together from different backgrounds (sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as people working in policy, media, and industry) to tackle questions about climate and environmental change in the past, present, and future.

The general questions we ask as a network are: Why does environmental knowledge matter? What can we learn about climate change from history? How can different disciplines work together to develop our understanding?

Since its creation (funded by the AHRC) in 2010 this network has sought to bring these multiple disciplinary perspectives into rigorous conversation – addressing questions of reliability, evidence, and communicability as these pertain to our understanding of environmental processes over time. Between October 2011 and April 2012, we are hosting a series of seminars in the University of Cambridge funded by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH). Our goal is to bring together early career and established scholars who will offer different perspectives on a range of problems. We hope that in dialogue climate researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds can find new ways of thinking about their research questions, and develop new methodologies for a truly multidisciplinary approach to climate through time. How can scientific knowledge about climate be communicated to and acted upon by society? What can we learn about climate in the past and present from a whole range of sources, including not only scientific data but the sources that are accessed by historians, ethnographers, social researchers, etc.? What kinds of collaborations are required if we are to understand the history of climate both as a process within nature and as a process in which human society is directly involved, with enormous repercussions?

The aim of the seminar series will be to share knowledge, start conversations, and work towards new ways of thinking for future research projects.

If you are interested in being involved in any way, shape or form, please e-mail Richard Irvine ( or Marcos Pelenur ( by August 15th with your name and some indication of your disciplinary background and the kinds of questions you work on in your research. We are looking for people who might want to be involved in all kinds of ways, whether it be giving a full paper, taking part in a roundtable, or just joining us to part in the general discussion and conversation. We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you over the course of the next year!