Call for Papers: Transforming Environments in Europe and North America: Narratives, Histories, Cultures

RHN 8/2018 | Call

Organisers: Center for German & European Studies (CGES) at the University of Minnesota; University of Birmingham

18-29 June 2018, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA

Closing date for applications: 1 March 2018


Call for Papers for the Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute (TASI):
Transforming Environments in Europe and North America: Narratives, Histories, Cultures

Each summer the Center for German & European Studies (CGES) at the University of Minnesota co-sponsors a Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute (TASI) to help train the next generation of experts on Germany and Europe by providing a unique research experience to advanced graduate students from across Europe and North America. Each institute is led by a team of core faculty and enhanced by guest speakers, and topics change annually. In 2018, the institute will be co-sponsored by the University of Birmingham, and the core faculty will be Charlotte A. Melin (University of Minnesota), Daniel J. Philippon (University of Minnesota), and Frank Uekötter (University of Birmingham). The topic will be “Transforming Environments in Europe and North America: Narratives, Histories, and Cultures.”

The objective of the 2018 institute is to help graduate students frame and develop their dissertation projects to better address the past, present, and future of global environmental problems (such as climate change, biodiversity loss, toxic pollution, and resource depletion), along with the discourses and cultures that shape and are shaped by these problems. While the focus will be on the environmental transformations that have occurred in Europe and North America, the advent of the Anthropocene as a proposed epoch marking significant human impact on Earth’s geology suggests that these transformations cannot be accurately understood outside of a fully global context. In other words, the next generation of experts on German and European environments and environmentalisms will also need to be experts on the global flows of people, species, ideas, technologies, resources, and capital that transform those environments and social movements. German scholars and researchers in particular have long provided intellectual leadership for this kind of thinking, and this seminar aims to extend this tradition in the 21st century context.

Applications are invited from advanced graduate students working toward a PhD or other terminal degree at a North American or European university. Preference will be given to students working on dissertation projects related to environmental literature, history, and/or culture in Germany and Europe that already engage with, or would benefit from, a global perspective on environmental change. (Note that the Anthropocene is not a mandatory framework for the project but one of several concepts we will be exploring during the Institute.) The language of instruction is English. Competency in English and a reading knowledge of another European language are required.

Successful applicants will receive financial support to cover most expenses related to the two-week institute, including program fees, housing, and most meals; access to library and archival materials and Internet resources; and partial travel support. The Institute expects to accommodate up to 15 graduate students from both sides of the Atlantic.

Core Faculty
Charlotte A. Melin, Professor of German, Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota (foreign language education, postwar German poetry, German-American literary relations, translation in theory and practice)
Daniel J. Philippon, Associate Professor of English, University of Minnesota (U.S. environmental writing, food writing, sustainability studies, food in European culture)
Frank Uekötter, Reader in Environmental Humanities, University of Birmingham (environmental history in U.S. and Germany, global environmental history)

Guest Speakers
Heather Sullivan, Professor of German, Trinity University (literature and science, material ecocriticism, literary plant studies)
Seth Peabody, Visiting Assistant Professor of German, St. Olaf College (environmental history and German film, Goethe and landscape change, hybrid environments and identities)
Judith Pajo, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Pace University (environment and environmentalism, nuclear energy and hazardous waste, household waste and recycling)

North American and European graduate students interested in attending the Summer Institute can submit an application to the Center for German and European Studies. For further details see “Application Materials” at their website.

Deadline for applications is 1 March 2018.

For questions or more information, please contact