Doing Environmental History in Urgent Times

Doing Environmental History in Urgent Times

The human/nature relationship is at the heart of one of the most urgent crises of our time: climate change. Join a conversation between three of Australia’s leading environmental historians, who will discuss what scholars of the past bring to a problem at the interface between history, science and activism, and the stories they have found to move us forward.

Andrea Gaynor

Andrea Gaynor is a Professor of History and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at The University of Western Australia. An environmental historian, her research seeks to use the contextualising and narrative power of history to assist transitions to more just and sustainable societies. Her current research encompasses histories of nature in Australian urban modernity, water in Australian urbanisation and community-led land management in Australia. She is Vice-President of the European Society for Environmental History and joint chair of Environmental Humanities at UWA. 

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes is Professor of History and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Inland at La Trobe University. She lives on unceded Wurundjeri country. Her work integrates environmental, gender, oral and cultural history and she has a particular interest in the interplay between an individual, their culture and environment. She is currently working on projects researching the cultures of drought in regional Victoria, and water cultures and conflicts around water in the Murray Darling Basin. Her books include Spaces in Her Day: Women’s diaries of the 1920s-1930s (1995),  Between the Leaves: Stories of women, writing and gardens (2011), and the co-authored Mallee Country: land, people, history (2020). Katie will hold the Visiting Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard, 2023-24.

Ruth Morgan

Ruth Morgan is the Director of the Centre for Environmental History at the Australian National University on unceded Ngunnawal and Ngambri country. She has published widely on the climate and water histories of Australia and the British Empire, including her award-winning book, Running Out? Water in Western Australia (2015) and her recent co-authored book, Cities in a Sunburnt Country: Water and the Making of Urban Australia (2022). She was a Lead Author on the Water chapter in Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Assessment Report 6, and her next book Climate Change and International History is under contract with Bloomsbury. 

HCV Board Member and Australian Research Council Future Fellow Associate Professor Susie Protschky will host the evening.


The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

We thank the series sponsors, Monash University Publishingthe Monash University History Program and the Old Treasury Building.


September 22, 2022 at 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Alicia Cerreto · · +61422519322

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