Call for Contributors: Environmental Histories of the Future

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The present has been so overwhelming during the past ten months that it’s been difficult for many people to think beyond the next few days or weeks, let alone imagine what life might be like in six months, or in a few years, or even decades into the future. But COVID-19, the BLM protests, and the end of the Trump presidency have also inspired some visionary perspectives on what the future holds.

Not all of these views imagine things getting better before they get even worse. But if you pay attention there are plenty of proposals that lay out more equitable and sustainable transformations in our lives, including Universal Basic Income, the Green New Deal and a just transition away from fossil fuels, Defund the Police, Indigenous Land Back, and universal child, health, and pharma care. And that’s not to mention the hope that so many people are placing on the various vaccines being rolled out to bring an end to the pandemic!

Motivated by a desire to think about the future, NiCHE invites contributions to a new series on Environmental Histories of the Future.

Contributions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Ideas about how recent environmental history might shape the future
  • Examples of how people in the past imagined the environmental future
  • Representations or imaginings of the environmental future in fiction, film, and art
  • Explorations of interesting primary sources that present novel expectations for the environmental future
  • Histories of any of the current proposals for a more equitable and sustainable society
  • Other ideas that might relate to the theme of Environmental Histories of the Future

Contributions should be between 800-1200 words, and may include images and other multi-media. Anyone interested in contributing to this series should contact Andrew Watson (a.watson [at] by February 1, 2021.

Feature image by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

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Andrew is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. His current research includes the history of sustainability and tourism on the Canadian Shield in Muskoka, Ontario; the environmental, social, and economic history of coal in Canada; and the role of energy in shaping agroecosystems on the Great Plains of the United States. His first book, Making Muskoka: Tourism, Rural Identity, and Sustainability, 1870-1920, was published in 2022 with UBC Press.

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