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Postcards for Unstable Times: Environmental Narratives of Change and Crisis

  • April 21, 2021
  • 9:00 AM (EDT)
  • Virtual

This project, promoted and organized by the European Society for Environmental History (, will present a series of virtual postcards showcasing stories, environments, and landscapes from throughout Europe (and beyond).

These are intended to be windows of opportunity that may provide alternative readings of the world in times of crisis and radical change. We will use our collective knowledge and skills as environmental historians to speak to the future from the present, the present from the past, or the past from the future. Our hope is to present stories that may contribute to a sense of the incommensurable scale of the changes we are facing. To use Arundhati Roy’s metaphor, we aim at offering portals into another world [1]. And, to cite Andri Snær Magnason, we explore what words we can use to effectively describe such a world [2].

The postcards will be posted on a dedicated Instagram account (@eseh_postcards) which we will launch during Environmental History Week. The launch will take the format of a virtual roundtable in which each of the participants in the project will briefly present their postcard, highlighting the connection between the text and the image and the rationale by which they chose the topic and the addressee.

If you are interested in proposing a postcard, please email We plan to continue collecting them after the launch event.

[1] Arundhati Roy, “The Pandemic Is a Portal,” Financial Times, April 3, 2020,
[2] Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, “On Time and Water – a Conversation with Andri Snær Magnason,” Emergence Magazine,

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American Society for Environmental History

UIC Department of History - MC 198

601 S. Morgan St.

Chicago, IL  60607-7109