Calls for Papers/Jul 30, 2019

Changing Climates, Shifting Borders

Changing Climates, Shifting Borders lead image

Changing Climates, Shifting Borders, session at 27th International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 6–9, 2020

The environment has always been a fundamental element of physical borders and abstract boundaries. Through the study of environmental history, we examine human interaction with the natural world and how the environment has affected the course of human history. The Medieval period in particular was a time of great movement and expansion. as well as centralization and unification. It is the purpose of this session to investigate the role that climate and environment played on borders and boundaries, and we seek to explore the idea of new climate frontiers: how did travelers and migrating groups react when encountering new climatic zones? How did changes in climate give rise to new "frontiers" within the same region. How then did individuals and groups adapt—or fail to adapt—to these environmental changes? How did political borders respond to changes in climate, and did they shift to encompass changes in the movement of peoples?

These potential insights are more dynamically linked to present day concerns than ever before, and we aim to provide a lends through which we can add context to the chaos of modern climate discussions.

Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin, invites proposals for papers with a multi/interdisciplinary approach to the Medieval world. Topics that incorporate environmental factors can include, but are not limited to:

  • Boundary studies, with an emphasis on transitional or migration histories
  • Short-term and long-term population movements
  • Travel narratives on encountering new/different climate zones
  • Adaption—or failure to adapt—to new climate frontiers
  • Territorial borders and natural boundaries
  • Medieval perceptions and attitudes toward the environment
  • How the environment shaped medieval geopolitics

Session sponsor
Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin

Session organizers
Tenaza Jorgensen, Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin
Jonathan Mehaffey, Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin