Salt mountain at Salin-de-Giraud, spring 2019 © Joana Luz

Environmental History symposium

Climate, environment and human activity: shall we rethink History?

Parc des Ateliers
La Formation
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Environmental History symposium
Climate, environment and human activity: shall we rethink History?

The first Environmental History symposium continues the work that began with LUMA Eco Days in 2019. It sets the foundation for an extensive research project that aims to explore how human interactions with the environment have evolved throughout time.

The symposium will look at the concept of the environment as a constantly evolving set of unstable data. The environment changes through multiple circumstances, often involving the human species. Environmental History provides an incredibly rich context that can help us understand the transformation of societies within the environments they have created, or with which they have evolved.

How do societies develop their understanding of the environment through processes of interdependency? Why is it important to analyze the past and present of our environmental thinking at this moment in time? How can we reposition the notion of non-human agents— whether these be animals, forests, soil, air, or bacteria—as key protagonists in historical processes? 

The Environmental History symposium aims to reassess and rethink human reality and history from diverse perspectives as a framework defined by complexity and continuous transformation. It brings together voices from multiple disciplines including ecologists, climate experts, and researchers, alongside artists, architects, designers, and philosophers to begin outlining this complex and fascinating field of inquiry.

Conferences dates: Thursday, Aug. 25 and Friday, Aug. 26
Workshop date: Saturday, Aug. 27 afternoon
Place: LUMA Arles, Parc des Ateliers, 33 avenue Victor Hugo, 13200 Arles
Price: Free 


Conferences and discussions program

Thursday, Aug. 25

Saturday, Aug. 27

  • 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Ways of Seeing Nature: Story Writing Workshop
    We live in an age of environmental crisis, and the stories we tell about our places matter. Join historians Jenny Price (USA) and Grégory Quenet (FR) for a fun and interactive workshop on how to write urgent stories about our everyday environments — from what we plant in our yards and why we love parks to where our electricity comes from and where our wastewater goes. How do we use environments daily to live in a place like Arles? Who benefits the most? What is the environment, anyway — and why does that question matter so deeply?

    With Jenny Price, Public Writer; Artist; Historian, Sam Fox School at Washington University-St. Louis and Gregory Quenet, Professor of Environmental History, University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.


    Note: All conferences are simultaneously translated (FR > EN).


Amita Baviskar, Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology-Anthropology, Ashoka University, India 

Catherine T. Dunlop, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Modern European History, Montana State University, Bozeman, and Gallery Editor of Environmental History 

Claire Dutrait, PhD candidate in practice and theory of literary and artistic creation, CIELAM Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Literature of Aix-Marseille 

Steve Hagimont, Associate Professor at Paris-Saclay University (UVSQ)

Saodat Ismailova, Artist

Lucile Leclair, Journalist

Sébastien Marot, PhD, Accreditation to supervise research (HDR), Professor of Environmental History at the School of Architecture of the city and territories of Paris (Éav&T) and at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL)

Christof Mauch, Professor; Director of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich

Samaneh Moafi, Senior Researcher of Forensic Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London

Timothy Morton, Professor, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University, Texas; Director, Cool America Foundation

Véronique Mure, Botanist; Engineer in Tropical Agronomy

Jenny Price, Public Writer; Artist; Historian, Sam Fox School at Washington University-St. Louis

Grégory Quenet, Professor of Environmental History, University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

Mahesh RangarajanHead of the Department of Environmental Studies, Ashoka University

Loïc Rogard, Independent Interdisciplinary Researcher in Energy and Environment; Historian of Energy, Paris Diderot

Estelle RouquetteDoctor in Art History and Archaeology, Curator of the Camargue Museum and Deputy Director of the Camargue Regional Nature Park

Lise Sedrez, Doctor; Associate Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, History Institute

Bas Smets, Landscape Architect 

Mark D. SpenceMA and PhD in History, Professor at Oregon State University 

Jan Synowiecki, Former student of the École Normale Supérieure Ulm; Historian; Doctor in Modern History

Curators LUMA Arles: Maria Finders, Martin Guinard 
Scientific Advisor: Grégory Quenet, Environmental Historian


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