WEBSITE/CALL FOR AUTHORS – The Rachel Carson Center Blog

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) is excited to announce the launch of its blog,

Seeing the Forest!

With Seeing the Forest, the RCC hopes to enhance the online influence of the environmental humanities and help extend its reach.  By showcasing innovative research, valuable resources and provocative expert commentary, the blog will demonstrate the relevancy and importance of infusing humanistic and historical perspectives into discussions about today’s environmental challenges.  The RCC seeks to provide context that will help reveal the bigger picture, or “the forest,” explaining the long and complex relationship between humans and nature.

It is  also seeking contributions from scholars, students and professionals in the environmental humanities field.  Contributions will reach a diverse and international audience, and will help to infuse environmental discussions with humanistic and historical perspectives.  For more on becoming a contributor the RCC’s submission guidelines.

WORKSHOP – Second Global Environments Summer Academy on Socio-ecological Interactions in a Dynamic World

The Rachel Carson Center and the Global Diversity Foundation are now calling for applications for GESA 2012: the second Global Environments Summer Academy on Socio-ecological Interactions in a Dynamic World, to be held as part of the Munich International Summer University in August 2012.  The Academy is designed to broaden and deepen the knowledge, networking, and communication skills of postgraduate students and professionals who are concerned about human dimensions of environmental challenges.

The course conveners will select 15–18 Masters/PhD students or professionals from around the world who have the capacity to become future environmental leaders in academic, civil society or governmental institutions. The cost of the Academy is €1500, inclusive of accommodation, tuition, field trips, insurance and materials, but excluding local and international travel, meals and other living costs. Some partial and full scholarships will be available to cover travel, living costs in Munich and the course fee.

We invite applications from students in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences – as well as from postgraduates already working in advocacy, media or policy – who focus on the relationship of environment and society.  We expect to choose candidates from a diverse range of disciplines including (but not limited to) anthropology, area studies, conservation biology, earth sciences, ecology, economics, environmental history, environmental philosophy, environmental studies, geography, history, literary studies, media studies, psychology, religious studies, sociology, visual arts and other fields.

GESA 2012 will focus on human dimensions of global environmental change, ranging from adaptive community management regimes to planetary processes. It will span local to global scales in exploring the most critical contemporary environmental issues from the perspective of biocultural diversity, environmental history and sustainability studies. Students will gain literacy in policy matters and will acquire skills in research design, fieldwork methods and data analysis related to documenting local environmental knowledge.

Interested students and professionals can now apply for the course by filling in the
application before 15 March 2012.  More details about the course content, financial information and registration are available on the downloadable GESA 2012 Overview. For more information, visit the GESA website, which provides an overview of the first Summer Academy held from 2 – 26 August 2011.

Join our new GESA Facebook Page to receive news and updates on GESA 2012.

ESSAY COMPETITION – Silent Spring Essay Contest

Fifty years ago, the world was rocked by the publication of a quiet tirade against the chemical industry. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring exposed the dangers and risks of everyday chemicals and commonplace practices; it launched the modern American environmental movements and also influenced similar movements all over the globe.

In commemoration of fifty years of Silent Spring, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (in collaboration with the British Council, the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations, and the Consulate General of the United States, Munich) is soliciting essays from junior and senior scholars which analyze the impact and reception of Silent Spring as well as the legacy of Rachel Carson. Essays might address one or more of the following questions:

  • How has Silent Spring shaped environmentalism or environmental thought in various countries? How is it a global phenomenon?
  • What elements of Silent Spring have had the greatest impact on environmental leaders? Policy makers? Anti-environmentalists?
  • How is Silent Spring still relevant to current environmental debates?
  • How has the relevance of Rachel Carson’s writing changed over the decades since Silent Spring was published?
  • If Rachel Carson were alive today, what would she be writing about?

In the spirit of Carson’s own writing, submissions are encouraged to address an interested public with an approachable and provocative style. The RCC will be awarding both a junior and senior prize for the most outstanding essays:

  • Junior Prize: $1,000 for 1,000 words (or less); Open to students aged 13-18
  • Senior Prize: $2,000 for 2,000 words (or less); Open to anyone aged 19 and above

The winning essays, as well as those which receive an honorable mention, will be published in a commemorative edition of the RCC Perspectives series, an occasional papers series available in print and online. Submissions are due via email to

The submission deadline is March 15, 2012.

Please also include a short biographical profile and indicate whether the essay is to be considered for the junior or senior prize. The essays will be reviewed by an international committee of scholars and writers. For questions, please submit queries to