Ellen Arnold, Assistant professor (tenure-track), Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance history, Ohio Wesleyan University (USA)
My research interests are in medieval cultural and religious history, and in how environments (both real and imagined) affect medieval identity. My first book project Negotiating the Landscape: Environment and Monastic Identity in the Medieval Ardennes explores the multiple ways that the communities of Stavelot and Malmedy understood and interacted with their cultural, natural, and religious landscapes. Based on the methodology that I developed in the book of close, ecocritical reading of hagiographical sources, I am now turning to a new project on rivers and riverscapes in early medieval Gaul (ca. 300-900), exploring the connections between imagination and experience of rivers and water.
Christina Arrigoni Martelli, PhD student, Dept. of History, York University (Canada)
My work centers on animals, both wild and domesticated, in the Middle Ages. I am currently writing my PhD dissertation on hunting in medieval North and Central Italy. I am interested in how the animal was “constructed,” responded to, and manipulated culturally, and in how it was hunted, by whom, and in what environmental context. I would like to understand how these two aspects, the practical and the cultural, dynamically collided, interacted, and changed and I am attempting to do by placing the human/animal interaction in a larger ecological and social context.
Constance Berman, Professor, University of Iowa (USA)
I’m interested in water and wind-powered mills and women’s work in medieval Europe.
Fredric Cheyette, Retired, Amherst University (USA)
In retirement I have taken up a problem I first recognized in the 1970s: the transformation of the rural landscape in late Antiquity/early middle ages. Then there was no archaeology to consult. Now there is almost more than a single individual can master. I am looking for collaborators especially in the technical fields of pollen studies and climatology. The issue has to be dealt with on a European scale.
Abigail P. Dowling, Ph.D. Candidate in Medieval History, University of California, Santa Barbara
My research focuses on the interrelationships between land management, elite status, and environment in the late 13th and 14th centuries. In my dissertation, I use the Countess Mahaut of Artois’ well-documented management as a case study to explore how she exploited and managed her land for resources and income and how she used, funded, and maintained her elite playground parks to display her elite status and inscribe her power on the landscape. I also consider the impact of various crises (war, the Great Famine, human and animal disease, and economic recession and inflation) on wider land use and management patterns.
Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara (USA)
Not really a medieval environmental historian, but some of my work has involved the subject, including two books on the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period, also Fish on Friday. I am currently working on a book about humans and water from a global perspective, 10,000 B.C. to A.D. 1860, in which medieval times will pay a significant role.
James Galloway, Researcher, Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London(UK)
I am currently working on the environmental and economic history of flooding around the tidal river Thames and its estuary in SE England during the later middle ages. My previous research and publications looked at medieval urban hinterlands and provisioning systems – particularly those of London – and the commercial exploitation of woodlands in southern England.
Michael W. George, associate professor of English, Millikin University (USA)
My research focuses on ecocritical approaches to Middle English literature. I am currently working on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English and Anglo-Irish literary representations of the non-human and the potential relationship of those representations to paleoclimatic data from the Middle Ages. My previous work has included attitudes toward the non-human environment in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ecocritical approaches to Chaucer, and attitudes toward the ecosphere in BL MS Harley 913.
Ruthy Gertwagen, Prof. Dr. for Byzantine, Medieval and early modern history maritime history and marine archaeology, Oranim Academic College and Haifa University (Israel)
Since 2005 I have been occupied with marine environmental history in the framework of Marine Animal Population (HMAP), in which I am the coordinator and teams leader of the Mediterranean and Black Sea.I personally coordinate the project of the Venetian Laguna and the Northern Adriatic (VeLNA), from the 12th century until the 19th. I am currently editing a volume titled When Humanities Meet Ecology. Historic changes in Mediterranean and Black Sea marine biodiversity and ecosystems since Roman period until nowadays. Languages, methodologies and perspectives, which is the outcome of the HMAP 2009 International Summer School.
Eric Goldberg, Associate Professor of History, MIT (USA)
I am writing a book about hunting in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.
Jane Harrison, PhD student University of Oxford, Project Manager East Oxford Archaeology Project
I am researching the dynamic relationship between Viking-Norse groups and coastal landscapes of the North Atlantic. This has grown out of my work as Excavation Director on the Birsay-Skaill Landscape Archaeology Project in Mainland Orkney (the Birsay-Skaill Project is directed by Dr David Griffiths of the University of Oxford). Stressing the link between the Norse populations’ deep understanding of the potential of coastal resources, and their manipulation of landscape to reflect social organisation, my work focuses on coastal settlement mounds.
Marie-Luise Heckmann, Lecturer, University of Potsdam (Netherlands)
I’m medievalist at the University of Potsdam with special interests in medieval climate and seismic phenomena.
Richard Hoffmann, Professor, York University (Canada)
My semi-retirement from full-time teaching at York U is supposed to free time to complete two book projects, namely:
1) the very long overdue The Catch, an environmental history of medieval European fisheries seen in context of the present-day global fisheries crisis.
2) an interpretive survey An Environmental History of Medieval Europe.
Additional interests include deeper investigation of ecological and economic connections of medieval herring on a pan-European scale, development of state regulation of natural resource use, and the operation of medieval and early modern fish culture enterprises. The latter includes work with the oldest published and unpublished handbooks on carp culture and reconstructing the metabolic connections of traditional artificial and natural aquatic systems with surrounding agroecosystems.
Mark Humphries, Professor of Ancient History, Swansea University, UK
My interests are in late antiquity and the early middle ages. My interests in environmental history arise from work in which I have been seeking in various ways to get beyond the traditional narrative focus that explains the late-antique/early medieval transition primarily in terms of the “barbarian invasions”. I am currently working on environmental change in Italy in the period 300-800 exploiting a wide range of textual and archaeological sources.
John James, Independent Research Historian (Australia)
I first suggested a connection between climate change and the amount being spent on ecclesiastical construction in The Art Bulletin in 1982. Since then I have developed much more accurate figures for amounts being spent 1060-1250 in northern France, and am trying to align that with changes in temperature and precipitation.
Sverrir Jakobsson, Adjunct lecturer, University of Iceland (Iceland)
I am currently working on a history of the Breiðafjörður region in Iceland, focusing on how environment and space interact with political, economic and social structures.
Dolly Jørgensen, Researcher, Umeå University (Sweden)
I have written several articles on urban sanitation problems in late medieval towns of England and Scandinavia and forestry resource management in Anglo-Norman England and Normandy.
Rick Keyser, Assistant professor, Western Kentucky University (USA)
I am working on a book entitled “From Gift to Contract: The Transformation of Medieval Property Dealings, 1100-1350,” which examines a dramatic shift from the cultural and religious values of an informal gift economy to those of a commercial economy subject to formal legal rules.
Hannele Klemettilä, Researcher, University of Turku (Finland)
Doctor of Medieval History (Leiden), specialist of late medieval French and Burgundian cultural history. I have published books on many topics, for example, on medieval animals (2013) and on cultural history of berry plants (2011). My newest book is Animals and Hunters in the Late Middle Ages (Routledge, 2014).
Joëlle Rollo-Koster, Professor, Dept. of History, University of Rhode Island (USA)
I recently started to work on hygiene in Avignon in the XIV and I have a decent amount of material. I have presented preliminary research at the Society for French History and I need to start thinking environmentally!
Roberta Magnusson, Associate professor, Dept. of History, University of Oklahoma (USA)
I have publications on medieval water supplies and technology, with an emphasis on England and Italy. I am currently working on a book on public works in medieval English towns (provisional title: Urbanization and Infrastructure in Medieval England) which will examine bridges, town walls, streets, and water management from the 13th to 16th century.
Tim Newfield, Impact Research Fellow, University of Stirling (Scotland)
I am an environmental historian of the early Middle Ages (300-1000) with a focus on human and livestock health. My doctorate is in History from McGill University (2 June 2011) and my doctoral thesis, supervised by medical historian Faith Wallis, is a multidisciplinary assessment of acute and chronic disease and hunger in the Carolingian period (750-950). From 2011 to early 2013, I was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) where, under the supervision of environmental historian Paolo Squatriti, I investigated the relationship between disease, nutrition and climate during the transformation of Roman world (300-750). Since February 2013 I have studied early medieval zoonotic and epizootic disease at the University of Stirling (Scotland) as an Impact Research Fellow.
Aleks Pluskowski, Lecturer, Dept. of Archeology, University of Reading (UK)
I am working on human responses to animals (especially large carnivores) and the construction of human ecological niches across medieval Europe, particularly in the Baltic region in relation to colonisation, crusading and religious conversion.
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Researcher at the Institute for Byzantine Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Lecturer at the University of Vienna (Austria)
My main research interest is the implementation of methods of social network analysis, quantitative analysis and complexity theory for the study of political, economic and social structures and their interdependencies with environment in the medieval Eastern Mediterranean, but also beyond in a global comparative perspective. Together with colleagues in Austria and Romania, I am currently preparing a project for the analysis of linkages between sociopolitical and environmental change in Southeastern Europe, the Black Sea region and Asia Minor between 1200 and 1500 CE.
Anita Radini, Environmental Archeologist, University of Leicester (UK)
I am interested in urban ‘pollution’ and living conditions and how they have changed from late Roman to late Medieval times. I am currently working on micro-debris analysis in human and animal dental calculus, focusing on micro-charcoal, wood dust and other pollutants that sometime are trapped in the fine calculus matrix during its formation.
Lee Raye, PhD candidate at Cardiff University, UK.
My PhD project is: ‘The Forgotten Beasts in Medieval British Literature’. This involves a new eco-sensitive analysis of medieval sources describing the lynx (L. lynx), crane (G. grus), beaver (C. fiber) and whale (E. glacialis, E. robustus) in English, Latin and Welsh literature. My aim is to extract useful ecological information from these accounts. Key research questions include how these species were seen by medieval writers and when and why they became extinct.
Sébastien Rossignol, Lecturer, Université de Montréal and Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada); Researcher, German Historical Institute in Warsaw
I am a historian specialized on Central and East Central Europe and interested, amongst other topics, in environmental history. I co-organized in March 2010 an international conference on “Landscapes and Societies in Ancient and Medieval Europe East of the Elbe. Interactions between Environmental Settings and Cultural Transformations” at York University. The proceedings will be published by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto.
Alasdair Ross, Lecturer in Environmental History, University of Stirling (Scotland)
I am primarily interested in landscape divisions/assessments and the utilisation of natural resources within those divisions across time. I am currently investigating something completely different – the importation of exotic species into Scotland and the (sometimes very hopeful!) programmes set up to encourage cross-breeding between them and native species.
Linnéa Rowlatt, PhD student, Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate, University of Kent, Frei Universität Berlin (UK and Germany)
My principle research interest is about the impact of climate in cultural evolution, examined primarily through developments in conceptual metaphor within religious discourse. My dissertation will be an exploration of the role of climate changes in the Protestant Reformation. Overall, my goal is to understand how English culture frames and shapes its responses to the natural world.
Rainer Schreg, Archeologist, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz (Germany)
I am an archaeologist at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (a research institute for archaeology in Mainz). I also teach at Tübingen university. My interests are in environmental and social aspects of settlement and landscape changes, as well as in methodological aspects of historical archaeology, with research projects ranging from the Neolithic to the modern period. Besides projects dealing with Neolithic flint mining in Southwest Germany and the Spanish conquista in Central America, my main focus is on medieval rural archaeology in Central Europe especially in Southern Germany. I am German representative in the Ruralia—Jean-Marie Pesez Conferences on Medieval Rural Archaeology.
Tim Sistrunk, Lecturer, Dept. of History, California State University – Chico (USA)
I am interested in Medieval European Environmental Law and am currently writing a monograph that treats changing legal ideas about the natural world from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
Philip Slavin, Economic Growth Center, Yale University (USA)
My two main fields of research are: (1) Agrarian, economic and environmental history of late-medieval Northern Europe, primarily the British Isles; (2) Connection between environmental and economic shocks, on the one hand, and religious fanaticism and popular violence, on the other.
Martin Schmidt, Assistant Professor, Centre for Environmental History (ZUG), Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna (Austria)
I am fascinated with environmental history as an interdisciplinary field, crossing the “great divide” between humanities and natural sciences. Trained as a historian, I have worked as (medieval) archaeologist and then moved into the field of environmental history in the mid 1990s. I have published on a rather wide range of topics, including the history of agro-eco-systems and on theoretical concepts for environmental history, emphasizing the role of technology (“socio-natural sites”) in humans’ changing biophysical and symbolic relationship to nature. I am convinced that the distant mirror of medieval and early modern times is urgently needed to better understand the intensity and velocity of the ongoing environmental transformation.My current research focuses on an environmental history of the Danube from 1500 onwards.
Christoph Sonnlechner, Municipal Archives of Vienna (Austria)
I have publications on the genesis and change of cultural landscapes in Austria (Lower and Upper Austria, Salzburg), Germany and France (Frankish Empire and Cistercian Monasteries). Since 2005 my focus is on towns and their environments. Currently I am working on the consequences of urbanization in the case of Vienna, 12th to 16th centuries: How did the becoming of the medieval town influence the surrounding environments? What sort of interactions between nature and society do we see?
Paolo Squatriti, Associate prof., Dept. of History, U. of Michigan (USA)
Currently I’m working on the history of the diffusion of European chestnut tree in the western Mediterranean region during the Middle Ages. I tend to be most interested in the early medieval end of environmental things, especially in southern Europe.
Péter Szabó, Researcher, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno (Czech Republic)
My main research area is woodland historical ecology. Originally trained as a medievalist, I have published a book on Woodland and Forests in medieval Hungary. Currently I work on Czech woodland history as part of an interdisciplinary team.
Vicki Szabo, Associate professor, Western Carolina University (USA)
I published a book on medieval whaling in the North Sea in 2008. Check out an interview about the book. I will be a Fulbright Scholar in Environmental History at Cardiff University in fall 2009.
William TeBrake, Retired, University of Maine (USA)
As a just-retired professor of history at the University of Maine, I am looking forward to having the time to pursue my long-standing interest in water management in the Low Countries during the Middle Ages.
Verena Winiwarter, Professor of Environmental History, Alpen-Adria University, Klagenfurt at the IFF, Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna (Austria)
For the past decade I have studied the environmental history of soils, starting in Classical Antiquity and moving up to Liebig, obviously with quite a lot on the Middle Ages to cover. I also teach medieval environmental history in my survey course .
Lydia Zeldenrust, PhD student, University of London (UK)
I am interested in medieval ideas on the environment, especially in terms of relationships between humans and other beings in the world. My current PhD research examines late medieval and early modern translations of the story of Mélusine, focusing mostly on Mélusine herself as an animal-human hybrid monster and the way in which her figure challenges ideas on the boundaries between man and animal.
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