The Norwegian Graduate School in History: "Environmental and Climate History: The Role of History in Society”
What is the role of history in society? This 3 ECTS course will investigate the public role of historians.
What is the role of history in society? This course will investigate the public role of historians. How can and why should a doctoral candidate in history engage the wider public? “Knowledge of our own history and culture as well as that of others can open new perspectives, give rise to new concepts and heighten our capacity for creative thinking and critical analysis, including self-criticism,” notes a recent white paper on the role of humanities in Norway. (Meld. St. 25 (2016-2017), p. 8). This course will put the claim to the test by providing an in-depth exposure to current debates about the public role of historians. In particular, we will explore, as a test case, the recent turn toward climate and environmental history to illustrate the ways in which historians have deepen our understandings current affairs, or also failed to do so. Does the call for a greener political regime require a reevaluation of the way we historians think about history? Climate change entails a deeper timeline reaching back centuries and even millennia, and it involves including the agency of non-human forces – climate, environments, and animals – in the historical trajectory. In the course we will introduce and discuss new methodologies for historians to use in order to better understand how we can include climate and the environment in our analysis of the past. Climate change has shaped human belief systems, initiated political and social processes, and reshaped the human condition economically, socially, and environmentally. How do you reconcile the timescale of the climatologists with time as it is understood by historians? Can environmental histories of climate be a bridge between “the two cultures” in academia: the natural scientists and the humanists?
Expectations and Format
In preparing for this course, the student must write an approximate 4000 word long writing sample either in the form of (a) a reflection on an existing or planned public exhibition, (b) a historically informed speech for a public event, (c) a policy memo for a government agency or international organization, (d) a lay out a social media platform, outreach or phone app, or (e) a piece of historically informed journalism for a newspaper magazine. At the top of the writing sample the author must declare the audience which the writer seeks to engage and the imagined medium for the writing sample.
The writing sample will be discussed during the course and each participant will serve as main commentator for one statement as will one of the presenters. We will invite relevant national and international stakeholders in the private and public sector to interact with the students and as commentators of the writing samples. After the course, the writing statement is to be revised and resubmitted. Revised statements must be resubmitted by Jan 15. 2020. The grading will be pass/fail.
Information about participation
Deadlines and Application form:
Deadline for Applications October 6, 2019, . To apply, please fill out the application form.