Call for Papers – Transitions, Transformations and Transdisciplinarity: Histories beyond History, WCEH4 2024

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Transitions, Transformations and Transdisciplinarity: Histories beyond History

Oulu, Finland, 19-23 August 2024

Call for Papers

Environmental issues are typically cast in present and future terms – the current climate crisis, or goals for 2030 or 2050. Yet the past is prelude – it informs our current situation and shapes our capacity to imagine future choices. The fourth World Congress in Environmental History will centre history in the global discussion about critical environmental challenges. In choosing Transitions, Transformations and Transdisciplinarity as key themes of the conference, the organizers aim to emphasize both the arc of time and the importance of bringing diverse approaches to bear on contemporary problems; the conference will thus illuminate the value of historical understandings that go far beyond the discipline of history. In other words, the organizers understand environmental history to be an evolving practice, one that is created in conversation across multiple fields, concerns, and communities. Environmental historians have much to contribute to multiple audiences; but they should wisely seek points of critical connection with other disciplines that value historical evidence and thinking. Similarly, the social sciences and humanities outside of history have much to learn from historically rich understandings of environments. Held in Finland in 2024, WCEH4 will showcase the historical and human dimensions of environmental change, working closely with the Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme, co-funded by the Academy of Finland and the University of Oulu.

World Congresses are spaces for connecting and communicating, they form catchments for ideas. Inspired by the natural diversity at Oulu – an estuarine city of forests and farms on a northern coastline, whose etymology has been linked to the Sami term for melted snow or floodwater – we encourage participants to consider questions of difference and co-existence, and our place in scholarly as well as social landscapes.

WCEH4 will be an exciting, inclusive, and encouraging event. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we envisage a conference centred on its Nordic venue and promoting a variety of in-person exchanges that will reinvigorate the human dynamic outside the digital. In reflection of the global mandate of the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO), we will also develop innovative programming to cultivate involvement from colleagues around the world.

Submission Guidelines

Submission for panels and papers is a two-stage process designed to build a robust conference programme that encourages collaboration and diversity. The Call for Panels is now open and will close at 23:59 EET (Finnish time) on 03 April 2023: Extended Deadline: 24 April 2023.

Full details and guidelines for submission are available at

The panel and paper submission process has been designed to build an inclusive and robust conference programme by encouraging conversation and collaboration in framing and formulating sessions. This is a two-stage process, first a call for panels and later a call for papers. All panels must be proposed via the online form and not by email. On the form, proposers will need to enter the following information:

  • the format of the proposal (panel, roundtable, or workshop – see details below);
  • the panel title;
  • names and email addresses of panel convenors (e.g. yourself and your co-convenor/s);
  • a very short abstract (blurb), under 300 characters;
  • a longer abstract (description), under 250 words.

You may also add names of any chairs/discussants, although these can also be added subsequently to the process as and when, by emailing the admin team.

All proposed panels will be reviewed and evaluated by the Programme (e.g. Scientific) Committee, after which point the selected panels will be announced and the Call for Papers will be published (on 15 May 2023).

All presenters and other participants are required to register in advance of the conference, once their sessions have been confirmed. Membership in ICEHO is not required. Those who subscribe to ICEHOUSE as underwriters and supporters for 2022 and 2023 will be entitled to a 20 euro reduction in their registration fee. ICEHOUSE membership will help to support travel to the conference by early career scholars from the global south.

Feature Image: Finnish traffic sign no. 631. Advance direction sign (above the lane). Intersection of the National road 4 (E8/E75) and the National road 22 in Kontinkangas, OuluFinland. The picture has been taken from Ylioppilaantie street. Apalsola, August 2007, Wikimedia Commons.

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