Open Call for Authors “Future Directions in Environmental History”

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Open Call for Authors “Future Directions in Environmental History”

Afterword for the Routledge Handbook of Environmental History

Editors: Emily O’Gorman, Mark Carey, William San Martín, and Sandra Swart

The editors of the Routledge Handbook of Environmental History (under contract and expected for publication in 2023) invite graduate students, practitioners, and early career scholars (up to 5 years after finishing their Ph.D.) to submit an expression of interest to coauthor the Handbook’s Afterword: “Future Directions in Environmental History.”

The Handbook has 30 chapters on a wide range of topics and focuses on all world regions. It has some innovative components unusual in the discipline of environmental history: (1) all chapters are coauthored to promote new approaches to history and build networks and collaborations among scholars; (2) all author teams were required to be diverse, with authors at different career stages, from different countries, at different types of institutions, and from different backgrounds (race, gender, region, etc.). The format for the Afterword continues in this spirit, fostering new collaborations and providing an opportunity for early-career environmental historians to shape the future of the field. These times provide a critical opportunity to assess where the field is, envision where the field can go, and evaluate what environmental history brings to other disciplines, policymaking, and the need to address global injustices.

The Handbooks’ editors seek motivated individuals to join a co-authorship team that will re-imagine the field’s boundaries, engage with emerging themes and approaches, and suggest future pathways that build on and dialogue with, and depart from more traditional practices in environmental history.

This Afterword builds upon the insights received during our “flipped” panel, Envisioning a Handbook of Environmental History – for worlds anew, at the 2022 ESEH conference. We particularly welcome scholars and practitioners who can expand conversations about global injustices that integrate underrepresented agents (e.g., Indigenous peoples and knowledges, intersectional modes of operation, grassroots movements, among others), non-humans (e.g., animals, plants, technologies, and ecosystems), future generations (intergenerational justice), and mobile entities (e.g., chemical forms, knowledge and cultural systems, waste, governance) into a broader understanding of socio-ecological change across scales.

We now seek 3-5 early-career authors for this Afterword who can help both wrap up the exceptional Handbook chapters we are finalizing now and help imagine pathways to build a better future for environmental history and the communities with whom we work.

Project Timeline: January-March, 2023

Eligibility: early-career environmental historians (current graduate students and scholars (up to 5 years after finishing their Ph.D.)

Deadline for submission of the Afterword: March 15th, 2023

Word limit for the co-authored Afterword: ~4000 words

Process, format, and authorship: Writing the Afterword will involve 2-3 meetings in January to grasp the Handbook and plan the topics, approach, and format of the Afterword. Co-authors will then have approximately one month to write their sections, followed by another meeting and finalizing of the document by March. William San Martín and other Handbook editors will run these meetings, but the 3-5 selected coauthors will have autonomy to define the format and write the content. The format of this piece is open and can include elements of speculative fiction, visual storytelling (following
publisher’s standards), and other creative writing strategies. Per contract with the publisher, as a contributor of the Handbook, each author is entitled to receive one free print or eBook copy of the published Handbook of Environmental History.

Desired assets and skills:

  • Experience and/or desire to work in co-authorship teams and multidisciplinary collaboration.
  • Flexibility to coordinate meetings with co-authors across time zones (drafting and writing will be conducted 100% remotely).
  • Primary specialization in the field of environmental history, but with additional research experience in science and technology studies, environmental politics, environmental humanities, socio-ecological conflicts, environmental justice, Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies, or related fields, and with research experience in different world regions outside North America and Western Europe.
  • Experience with trans-regional or comparative analysis and studying the circulation of environmental knowledge, practices, and objects between developing and postcolonial nations and former imperial centers.
  • Eligible scholars based in the Global South are encouraged to submit an expression of interest.

Questions, please contact William San Martín (wsanmartin [at]

Interested in joining? Please submit a CV and a 250-word letter of interest highlighting relevant skills and assets to wsanmartin [at] with the subject line “Future Directions in Environmental History” by December 30th, 2022.

Emily O’Gorman, Mark Carey, William San Martín, and Sandra Swart
Editors of the Routledge Handbook of Environmental History

Feature Image: Ringing Rocks ACEC, BLM Montana/Dakotas Butte Field Office in the Western Montana District. “Areas of Critical Environmental Concern” by mypubliclands is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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