A Call for an Environmental History of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey Reflections on the Fourth ESEH Conference

The fourth ESEH conference was held at the Vrije Universiteit (VU University) in Amsterdam between 5 and 9 June, 2007. 1 The theme of the conference was “Environmental Connections: Europe and the Wider World.” In a welcoming note to the conference participants, the local organizing committee stated that the conference sought to “contribute to constructing new world views about the interactions between humans and nature in the past and the present.” 2 Jane Carruthers, in the keynote lecture, underlined as one of the most distinguishing features of environmental history its potential capacity to connect “local, regional, national, global, and transnational histories” with each other. Hence, it was no surprise to see that the conference included many papers that dealt with environmental and ecological problems/events in a long-term perspective, highlighting temporal and spatial connections in world history. More specifically, the main focus of this year’s conference was on the question of “sustainability.” As is well known, this question has gradually come to occupy a central place in the policy agendas of many states and transnational organizations, as the devastating environmental outcomes of centuries of economic growth based on aggressive industrialization and technological change have become more visible and alarming in the last few decades. In the words of the ESEH conference organizers,“[t] he ultimate question for our generation concerns the sustainability of human activities within the ecological carrying capacity of the earth.” Therefore, climate history and the history of natural risks stood out as the most common areas of research

Citation Formats
S. Dursun, “A Call for an Environmental History of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey Reflections on the Fourth ESEH Conference,” New Perspectives on Turkey, vol. 37, pp. 211–222, 2007, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9500853&fulltextType=RV&fileId=S0896634600004799.