History shaping the future – NZHA conference

Next week’s New Zealand Historical Association Conference features a special four-person panel dedicated to environmental history. The panel is entitled: “History shaping the future: how environmental history research can inform environmental policy and management”, and will feature papers by Professors Katie Pickles and Eric Pawson (both from Canterbury University), Professor Tom Brooking (Otago University) and Dr Catherine Knight (envirohistory NZ).

Themes traversed will be tensions in Christchurch’s history, revealed by the devastating February earthquake; the important role of geographer Kenneth Cumberland, who clearly articulated the dangers of soil erosion and tirelessly advocated for legislation; how recent natural events have underscored our reality as a nation “living on the edge” (whether it be on former swamps, beside flood-prone rivers, or on erosion-prone land) influenced the revision of the forthcoming second edition of Environmental Histories of New Zealand; and how, in respect to worsening floods and erosion in New Zealand, we would be well-advised to learn from discourses of the past.

More details of the conference, including the programme and abstracts, can be found on the NZHA website.

An episode of the ground-breaking 1980’s television series, “Landmarks”, presented by Cumberland, can be viewed on NZ on Screen.

See also: How can environmental history shape the future?Earthquake reveals the forgotten streams of ChristchurchChristchurch: a city haunted by its environmental past?Seminar: how can environmental history shape the future?

Photo top: Christchurch, which was built on an extensive coastal wetland, in 1860. Above right: Geographer Kenneth Cumberland in 1981.

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