Centre for Environmental History

picture river landscape

Welcome to the Centre for Environmental History!

Open PhD position
The environmental history of Austrian forest regulations, 1766-1914

The Institute of Social Ecology at BOKU Universtiy seeks to fill a PhD position investigating the environmental history of Austrian forest regulations, 1766-1914. Specifically, the PhD researcher will trace the evolving “cultural programs” that shaped forest use in Austria during 1766-1914, manifested in legal regulations of forest use and management (e.g., provincial forest regulations 1766, forest act 1852 and later revisions), and the debates surrounding them. The PhD project explores how rationalized views on forest use gained dominance throughout the long 19th century. It elaborates the underlying political, scientific and economic rationales promoted by major actors, such as policy-makers, large forest owners and learned experts. Methodologically, the project relies on qualitative content analysis of historical sources, most of which are printed and available digitally and can thus be analyzed using digital history methods, such as coding or text mining.

Closing date for application: 31st of August, 2024


CfP: Dissertant*innen-Tagung Wirtschafts-, Sozial- und Umweltgeschichte 2025

Dieser CfP richtet sich an Dissertant:innen aus den Bereichen Wirtschafts-, Sozial- und Umweltgeschichte sowie anderen Disziplinen mit wirtschafts-, sozial- oder umwelthistorisch relevanten Themen, die ihre Dissertationen entweder an einer österreichischen Universität verfassen, eine Zweitbetreuung an einer österreichischen Universität haben oder zu einem Thema mit Österreichbezug forschen. Die zweitägige Präsenz-Tagung bietet die Möglichkeit, Forschungsergebnisse zu präsentieren, zu diskutieren und sich mit anderen Dissertant:innen und mit Professor:innen zu vernetzen.

Veranstalter: Universität Innsbruck, Arbeitsbereich Wirtschafts-, Sozial- und Umweltgeschichte (WSUG) in Kooperation mit Austrian Economic and Social Historians (AESH) und Environmental History Cluster Austria (EHCA)

Bewerbungen bis spätestens 01.10.2024 an: Sabine.Robic(at)uibk.ac.at

Ort: Universität Innsbruck
Zeit: 27.02.2025 - 28.02.2025


New WebGIS Application
Vienna’s landscape evolution 200 – 2010 CE and historical hydraulic constructions

As part of several interdisciplinary projects on the environmental history of Vienna’s waterbodies, the past landscape was reconstructed from 200 CE onwards. Step by step the historical states of the landscape were compiled. The resulting maps of Vienna’s landscape evolution from 200 to 2010 provide a solid basis for interpreting the environmental conditions for Vienna’s urban development and help to localise certain riverine and urban landmarks relevant for the history of Vienna.

Click here for the WebGIS Application

The Austrian Danube River: Historical State and Current Situation

The 13th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region will take place in Vienna on 20 and 21 June 2024. The Centre for Environmental History is contributing a large display panel showing how the Austrian Danube has changed since the middle of the 19th century. The numerous river restoration measures carried out over the last 30 years are also presented.

A smaller version of the approximately 4 metre long display panel can be downloaded here (jpg).

Information on the Annual Forum can be found at 13th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region - EUSDR - Danube Strategy Point (danube-region.eu).

Results of the conference are available at Annual Fora - EUSDR - Danube Strategy Point (danube-region.eu).

Wachstum - Wie die Wirtschaftsidee nach Europa kam

BR Podcast / Radiowissen von Maike Brzoska, 11.1.2024

Im Interview Matthias Schmelzer und Robert Groß

CfP: Agro-Food Change through the Lens of Soy: (Sub-)National Pathways in a Global Perspective

The conference will assess agro-food globalization and its transformations through the lens of soy from a social science and humanities perspective. Contributions will aim to overcome the 'methodological nationalism' of country-focused agro-food studies as well as the globalist tendency of concepts such as food regimes. As a solution to these problems, we propose to study (sub-)national pathways of agro-food change, including the role of nation-states and regional movements as powerful actors. The (sub-)national focus should be linked to a global perspective through transnational connections and/or international comparisons. The conference will address these theoretical challenges empirically through the lens of soy, which has become the world’s largest agricultural commodity in the long twentieth century.

Due date for submissions: 31.12.2023

Ort / Place: Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Zeit / Time: 14.-15.10.2024


Heritage Science an der BOKU

BOKU Forscherinnen und Forscher unterschiedlicher Disziplinen erforschen das Natur- und Kulturerbe Österreichs. Oft beschäftigen sie sich dabei mit Detailfragen. Doch erst durch interdisziplinäre Kooperationen können diese Erkenntnisse zu einem "großen Ganzen" zusammengefügt werden. Deshalb haben sich Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter der BOKU vernetzt und sind dem österreichweiten Netzwerk Heritage Science Austria beigetreten. Im Rahmen des Heritage Science Café wurden ausgewählte Projekte von BOKU Forscher*innen präsentiert. Der Film folgt den Forschenden ins Archiv und Labor, bei Feldforschungen, auf Dachböden und ins Bergwerk und zeigt, wie der Mensch unsere Umwelt bearbeitet, gestaltet und verändert hat. Der Blick zurück hilft uns, Antworten auf Herausforderungen der Zukunft zu finden.

>zum Film

Now Online

Umwelthistorische Datenbank Österreich
Environmental History Database Austria (EHDA)

Materialien zur Umweltgeschichte Österreichs Nr. 8

In 2004, the then newly founded Centre for Environmental History (ZUG) started to systematically search and collect bibliographical data on environmental historical literature in Austria. Over the years, the data set has grown to the 3,751 entries tabulated in this volume. Until 2019, the collection then named "Environmental History Database Austria (EHDA)" was available for online searches in a custom-made environment. EHDA entries comprise works with publication dates from 1945 until 2019 and include hard-to-find grey literature and academic qualification works. Since EHDA went online about 15 years ago, digitalisation has markedly impacted scientific publishing and research. Powerful finding aids, mostly with access to full texts, full-text searches and linked searches have become available. While EHDA has been regularly updated, because committed colleagues have invested time and expertise, we have not been able to modernize the tool in terms of search possibilities and links. We have therefore taken EHDA off the Internet. This volume of the “Materialien” makes the entire content of EHDA available to all interested parties as a fully searchable pdf document with carefully preserved tags. The introduction includes search tips and explains the search possibilities we have tried to preserve or are able to now offer under the new possibilities of full-text indexing and other search engine possibilities.

>zum Materialienband (pdf, 4,35 MB)

ICEHO Bulletin 19

Das Zentrum für Umweltgeschichte ist Mitglied von ICEHO und stellt das neueste Bulletin von ICEHO hier auch direkt zur Verfügung

>Bulletin 19 (pdf 2,4 MB)