The Places that Speak to Us and the Publics We Talk With: Shaping Environmental Histories


People involved in this project

Principal investigator:

School Humanities
Department History
Dates 01 February 2012 - 01 February 2013
Funder AHRC
Collaborator(s) Georgina Endfield (University of Nottingham), David Moon (University of Durham), Paul Warde (University of East Anglia)
Contact person Professor Peter Coates

More about this project

‘The Places that Speak to Us and the Publics We Talk With’ develops the work of two Networks funded under the Researching Environmental Change Network call: ‘Local Places, Global Processes: Histories of Environmental Change’ and ‘Cultural Spaces of Climate’. ‘Local Places’ revolved around three site-specific workshops on location at Wicken Fen (Cambridgeshire), Quantock Hills (Somerset), and Kielder Water and Forest Park (Northumberland). At each venue, we worked with a formal project partner - the National Trust, the AONB service and Northumbrian Water, respectively - and forged relationships with other environment management organizations, including the Forestry Commission and the Wildlife Trusts. We combined indoor pursuits such as academic papers, presentations by project partners and round table discussions involving partner representatives, with direct engagement with the locales themselves. The Cultural Spaces of Climate’ Network was more orientated towards traditional academic discourse in the seminar room, and entailed innovative engagement with arts and humanities representatives, the broader research community, learned and professional societies and the public sector, to identify ways to redress the global and scientific bias in climate discourse, to explore the meaning of climate for different groups in different spatial and temporal contexts and to interrogate climate’s ontological status. This joint proposal from the ‘Local Places’ Investigators and the Principal Investigator for ‘Cultural Spaces of Climate’ combines their experience and expertise in pursuit of a new round of activities that develops the original research agendas but uses them in combination to shed light on how processes of communication and the transformation of meaning in different contexts shape understanding of the environment, through the structured interaction of different research strands engaging with a variety of publics.