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Spring School 2024: Landscape History & Ecology | Ghent |Medieval and Early Modern Studies

From:Mo 27-05-2024
Until:Fr 31-05-2024
Where:Het Rustpunt, Ghent

This Spring School is organised by Ghent University (Doctoral Schools), University of Groningen, the Huizinga Institute and the Dutch Research School for Medieval Studies.

It's organized to stimulate contacts and exchange between PhD candidates and ReMa students in the field of cultural history, art history, historical geography, urban history, archaeology, early modern history, medieval history, literary studies, environmental psychology, environmental design and engineering, sustainability studies and environmental education. The course will mainly focus on the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, but students working on Antiquity or the Modern Period can attend as well.

Historical backgrounds of ecological challenges

It has become clear that we need to take the story back (much) further than the industrialisation of the second half of the eighteenth century. Specifically in medieval and early modern studies, scholars have uncovered the deep historical backgrounds of the anthropogenic ecological challenges, including (over)exploitation of natural landscapes, diminishment of open space, deforestation, food production, use of energy and water, fauna and flora extinctions et cetera.

Over the past decades, ever more research has been conducted into the ecological impact and implications of practices in different landscapes. Also the traces of environmental mentalities in art and the cultural representation of human interactions with the environment is a flourishing field, strongly influenced by ecocritical approaches.

The Spring School will therefore pay attention to a wide range of ecological issues in history related to the landscape of city, country and colony and their mediation in cultural production, most notably literature and art. It combines a focus on the medieval and early modern period with a multidisciplinary perspective, attending to the theoretical and methodological background of landscape and cultural history, ecocriticism and archaeology.

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