CFP “Environmental questions in Great Britain : Between Visibility and Marginalisation” (18th-21st centuries).

Page Sorbonne's picture

P.sdfootnote { margin-left: 0.5cm; text-indent: -0.5cm; margin-bottom: 0cm; font-size: 10pt; }P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A.sdfootnoteanc { font-size: 57%; }


CFP  “Environmental questions in Great Britain : Between Visibility and Marginalisation” (18th-21st centuries).

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A.western:link { }A.ctl:link { }


Spécial issue of the Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique (French Journal of British Studies) (,


The importance of environmental questions today seems, at first sight, to justify a view according to which these concerns have slowly and gradually risen from invisibility and neglect to their current inevitability. Many discussions and accounts of “the age of ecology” thus assume that issues around the relationship between man and nature have been raised above the individual and local level only in the past three or four decades. One of the implications of this vision of a gradual rolling out of environmental concerns in modern societies is that these questions are bound to become more and more important and inevitable.


Historians have however shown that concerns over man's relation with his environment have a much longer history, and have also insisted on how some warnings (over pollution or the destruction of natural environments for example) were ignored or marginalised.1 Even if we focus on recent events and contemporary political action, the salience of environmental questions is subject to variations and it is a commonplace to say that they have sometimes been relegated to the background by those who professed to make them a priority. So, while issues of environmental concerns are often treated from the point of view of a gradual and inevitable “awakening” it seems just as important to analyse their fluctuations, the debates to which they have given rise and the political processes which have contributed to question and sometimes marginalise these concerns.


Finally, rather than attempting to reduce “the environmental movement” to a single ideology or essence, it seems more fruitful to highlight the heterogeneous nature of the preoccupations and movements concerned with the relationship between humans and their (natural) environment. In order to avoid a teleological and uniform vision of what constitutes environmental questions and movements, the notion of “environment” will be taken in a broad sense, precisely so as to better understand its plasticity and evolutions. The purpose of this special issue will therefore be to analyse historical and contemporary environmental questions in Great Britain by insisting not on a linear and consensual emergence but rather on the instability and the negotiations presiding over the political treatment of such questions.


Possible themes include :

Responses to pollution

Energy dependence and reactions to coal consumption

Chemicals, pollution and health.

Nuclear energy

Warnings and concerns over waste and sustainability

Conservation of “natural heritage”

Animal welfare in history and today

Relations between green movements and other political movements, or trade unions

The passing of environmental laws (causes, processes, negotiations).

Lobbying and the “greening” of politics

Development and contestations of “environmental” concepts ( “carbon footprint”, “degrowth”, “the Anthropocene”, “sustainable development”).

Devolution and environmental issues.

The EU, Brexit and environmental issues in Great Britain.


Articles must be between 30 000 and 42 000 signs maximum long (5 000 to 7 000 words maximum including spaces, footnotes and bibliography). They may be written in English or in French.


Deadline for submission of proposals (maximum 500 words): September 30 2017. Authors will be informed of the decision in October 2017. Articles on selected proposals should be completed by the end of January 2018 for submission to peer review.


Submissions should be sent to :



Arnaud Page

Assistant Professor


1See Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth, History and Us, London: Verso Books, 2016, for a summary description of these questions.