Irish Environmental History Network
Welcome to the home of the Irish Environmental History Network (IEHN), hosted by the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The Network is a collection of individuals from institutions in Ireland and beyond, interested or engaged in research relating to the concerns of Irish environmental history. This research employs a broad array of methods and sources and focuses on how humanity has perceived and interacted with the global and Irish environment in any past era. The primary goal of the Network is to act as a contact point for researchers in diverse disciplines focusing on the different aspects of Irish environmental history. More information about the Network and its remit can be found here. On this website you will find simple research profiles of members of the Network, a growing collection of links to relevant websites and resources, reviews and short articles highlighting the work of members, and news of events of interest. The Network is a Member of the International Consortium for Environmental History Organizations.
News & Event Highlights
30 January, 2017: Trinity College Dublin
The 28th Public Lecture & Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network will feature a lecture by Prof. Andrew Jackson of Trinity College Dublin, entitled "Palaeoecology and Future Ecology Through the Lens of Stable Isotopes". The lecture will take place in Trinity College Dublin (TRISS Seminar Room, Floor 6, Arts Block) from 4.45pm, on Monday the 30th of January, 2017. All are welcome to attend, and a brief abstract is given below.
Ecology is the study of the interactions among living organisms and their environment. While conceptually simple, there are enormous challenges to collecting data that gives insights to these interactions, creating problems for sustainable management of ecosystems. In this talk, I will introduce the fundamental concepts of ecology, and show how naturally occurring chemical tracers such as elemental stable isotopes can be used to infer ecological processes in extant systems: in its most simple case the concept of "you are what you eat" means we can gain understanding of an organism's diet and hence its geographic providence among other relevant characteristics. The utility of these methods extends to analysis of fossil tissues and I will introduce a new project that I am working on with researchers at the Natural History Museum of London and the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton in which we aim to gain historic understanding of the movement ecology of baleen whales in the period 1870 to the present.
See more details.
17 October, 2016: Ireland and the Caribbean in the Age of Empire (11-12 November, 2016)
The Ireland and the Caribbean in the Age of Empire symposium, associated with the 'Making Ireland' Trinity College Research Theme, and organized by IEHN Co-Founder, Prof. David Dickson, was held November 11-12, 2016, in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, under the auspices of the TCD Centre for Irish-Scottish and Comparative Studies and the Department of History. The intention was to bring together researchers working on the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to explore complementary themes relating to the multifaceted involvement of Irish people in Caribbean history during the era of European conquest, commercial development and extreme human exploitation. The line-up included four plenary speakers, the first of whom, Prof. Peter Pope (Memorial, St. John's), was co-sponsored by the IEHN and Prof. Poul Holm's North Atlantic Fish Revolution (NorFish) project. Prof. Pope spoke on "Interlocking Triangles: The Expansion of the Market for Newfoundland Dry Salt Cod to the Caribbean, c.1670-1750". See the full programme (.docx download).
07 September, 2016: CfP for Sea, Land, and Spirit: Coastal Environment in the West of Ireland (05-08 June, 2017)
IEHN Member, Prof. John B. Roney has announced the Call for Papers for the Sea, Land, and Spirit: Coastal Environment in the West of Ireland conference, to be held June 05-08, 2017, in Dingle, Ireland. Here is a brief conference description:
Join us at this gathering of scholars and practitioners from a variety of fields to reflect on the coastal environment of the west of Ireland. The conference will offer a multi-disciplinary forum for scholars who have a primary interest in the coastal environment as a shared national treasure to come together to increase their understanding, and to offer ideas and best practices to sustain the coasts for future generations. Panel presentations will be held on the natural sciences along with panels on humanities and social sciences to understand the past relationship with the environment, as well as more recent and future changes. Other topics include the effects of tourism and industry, and the human imagination and experience. The conference will also invite participation from leaders and practitioners to discuss current projects and opportunities.
01 September, 2016: The Great Transition by Bruce M. S. Campbell
IEHN Member, Prof. Bruce M. S. Campbell's new monograph, The Great Transition: Climate, Disease and Society in the Late-Medieval World, has just been released in August by Cambridge University Press, and will likely be of interest to many IEHN members within and beyond Ireland. Here is a brief description:
In the fourteenth century the Old World witnessed a series of profound and abrupt changes in the trajectory of long-established historical trends. Transcontinental networks of exchange fractured and an era of economic contraction and demographic decline dawned from which Latin Christendom would not begin to emerge until its voyages of discovery at the end of the fifteenth century. In a major new study of this 'Great Transition', Bruce Campbell assesses the contributions of commercial recession, war, climate change, and eruption of the Black Death to a far-reaching reversal of fortunes from which no part of Eurasia was spared. The book synthesises a wealth of new historical, palaeo-ecological and biological evidence, including estimates of national income, reconstructions of past climates, and genetic analysis of DNA extracted from the teeth of plague victims, to provide a fresh account of the creation, collapse and realignment of Western Europe's late medieval commercial economy.
22 July, 2016: ICEHO Website and Survey
The International Consortium for Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO), of which the IEHN is a member, has launched a new website (iceho.org) and, to kick that off, is also conducting a survey to find out from "the members of our members" how it can better serve the global environmental history community. We encourage IEHN members to take the five minutes required to complete this survey, and check out the new ICEHO website. One lucky respondent will win 2 books of his/her choice from the Studies in Environment and History series from Cambridge University Press.
12th April, 2016: Trinity College Dublin
The 27th Public Lecture & Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured a talk by Professor Kurt Villads Jensen of Stockholm University, entitled "Changing Nature in the Baltic Crusades in the Middle Ages". The lecture took place on Tuesday, 12 April, 2016, in the TRISS Seminar Room, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin, and was Chaired by Dr. Frank Ludlow. See full details.
3rd February, 2016: Trinity College Dublin
The 26th Public Lecture & Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured a talk by Professor Steven Hartman of Mid Sweden University, entitled "Inscribing Environmental Memory: Bringing the Historical Past and Underrepresented SSH Knowledge to the Global Change Agenda". The lecture took place on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, in the Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre of the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The meeting was Chaired by Dr. Charles Travis, Trinity College Dublin. See full details.
28 January, 2016: Trinity College Dublin
The 25th Public Lecture & Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured a lecture by Dr. Peter Jones of the University of Strathclyde, entitled "The 'Pre-History' of Industrial Trawling, and its Impact on the Coastal Fisheries of the U.K. and Ireland", and took place on Thursday 28 January, 2016, in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The meeting was Chaired by Dr. Frank Ludlow, Trinity College Dublin. See full details.
17 November, 2015: Trinity College Dublin
The 24th Public Lecture & Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured a talk by Professor Shen Hou, History Department, Renmin University of China, Beijing, entitled "Nature Modernized: An Environmental History of the Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve", and took place on Tuesday November 17th, 2015, in the Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin. The meeting was Chaired by Dr. Charles Travis, Trinity College Dublin. See full details.
10 December, 2014: Trinity College Dublin
The 23rd Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured a talk by Professor Linda Williams, Associate Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, and Key Researcher at the Australia Pacific Observatory in Environmental Humanities at the University of Sydney. Her lecture was entitled "Ocean Acidification, Affective Imaginaries and the Pivotal Role of the Longue Duree", and took place on Wednesday, December 11th, 2014, in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The meeting was Chaired by Dr. Charles Travis, Trinity College Dublin. See full details.
31 August, 2014: Trinity College Dublin
The 22nd Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured the launch of Prof. John Wilson Foster's new book, Pilgrims of the Air, published by Notting Hill Editions. The launch was jointly hosted by Notting Hill Editions, the European Observatory of the New Human Condition, and the Trinity Long Room Hub. It took place in the Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre of the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, from 6pm on Tuesday 30 September. Dr. Charles Travis chaired the event, which included commentary by Prof. Foster and Prof. Patrick J. Duffy. See full details.
23 July 2010: Irish Environmental History Network Video
At a meeting held in Trinity College, Dublin, October 2009, to discuss the establishment of the IEHN, the opportunity was taken to make a short film of some of the attendees discussing their views on the potential of the IEHN and the directions it might take in immediate future and longer term. We thank the brave participants who agreed to be filmed: Prof. Poul Holm and Dr. Juliana Adelman of Trinity College, Dublin, Prof. Chris Smout of the University of St. Andrews, and Prof. Richard Oram of the University of Stirling. The film can be viewed on Youtube, here. Our thanks to Dr. Cecilia Mcallister for her work on filming and production.