CFP Date Change/New Remote Options: Agricultural Pasts of the Climate Crisis, the Agricultural History Society Annual Meeting

Emily Pawley Announcement
Tennessee, United States
Subject Fields
Environmental History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Labor History / Studies, Rural History / Studies, Social History / Studies

TL/DR: Based on input from members, we're adding new possibilities for presenting remotely (see "Remote Guidelines" below the CFP text) and extending the deadline for AHS submissions until October 15th.

Revised CFP: Agricultural Pasts of the Climate Crisis, The Agricultural Society Annual Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee

June 8-10, 2023

Stories of the climate crisis often focus on the future, but agricultural historians already know a great deal about its many pasts.  Through accounts of deforestation, the plowing of grasslands and digging up of peat, the rise of animal agriculture, artificial fertilizers, and fossil fuel based systems of food production, we trace the roots of the crisis. By examining the emergence of empires and markets in crops, lands, and people, we can better illuminate both these roots and the asymmetric effects that the crisis is already having. We also know that past climate change such as the Little Ice Age, and extreme weather such as droughts, frosts, and floods created challenges and opportunities for past agriculturalists. By examining their responses as well as the emergence of new forms of agriculture, we can better understand the profound agricultural transformations that are currently being proposed.

With this conference we hope to sustain and extend the conversations begun at the 2022 "Greening the Field" Conference in Stavanger, Norway. We ask, what existing historical work should be informing our understanding of the climate crisis?  What new connections might we need to fully understand that crisis?

As always, we accept papers not centered on the conference theme.  Theme-related topics could include but are certainly not limited to:

  • The emergence of agricultural practices that have catalyzed or driven the crisis physically, e.g. deforestation, grass and peatlands destruction, mechanization, over-fertilization, and the shift to intensive animal agriculture
  • The larger social structures of markets, subsidies, development, coercion, incarceration, migration, and colonialism that undergird these agricultural practices, as well as some of the proposed solutions
  • Related accounts of resistance, power struggles, and agrarian activism
  • Examples of rural vulnerability and resilience in the face of crises
  • Accounts of rural fossil fuel development: fracking, pipelines, coal-mines, and oil wells 
  • Histories of "organic," "alternative," and "regenerative" agriculture
  • Histories of other forms of culture being proposed as solutions, from tree plantations to kelp farms, cultured corals, and cellular and microbial agriculture
  • Examinations of the role of identity in shaping rural lives and agricultural policies
  • Stories of displacement, migration, mobility, and multinational refugee events related to changing climates
  • Evolving foodways, diets, and other cultural connections, either driving or adapting to changing climates
  • Policies, corporate practices, and NGO involvement related to agriculture and climate

As we take on an evolving global crisis, we hope to hear from a broad spectrum of voices and disciplines.  Reflecting the society's inclusive tradition, we especially encourage contributions from emerging and contingent scholars and researchers covering understudied geographical regions or periods.


Conventional session proposals should include the organizer's contact information, a two-hundred-word abstract for each paper, and a one-page CV for each panel member

Session proposals in other formats (roundtables, workshops, etc.) should include the organizer's contact information, a two-to-three-hundred-word abstract, and a one-page CV for each participant.

Individual paper proposals should consist of contact information, a two-hundred-word abstract, and a one-page CV.

Poster proposals should include contact information, a two-hundred-word abstract, and a one-page CV.

All proposals should be submitted electronically in a single file in MS Word format to the Program Committee by email at:

Deadline: October 15th, 2022

Remote Guidelines

In order to make the meeting more accessible and to prepare for continuing transportation and pandemic disruptions, we will be experimenting with remote options this year.

  • We won't be able to make the whole meeting hybrid--we're fulfilling our original contract in Knoxville and won't have the technical capacity.
  • However, we'd like to make it possible for participants unable to make the meeting in person to present at and attend some remote and hybrid sessions, as well as the plenary, presidential address, and business meeting.
  • We will ask remote participants to pay the full registration fee--we'll be incurring significant expenses to make remote participation possible (We also note that in-person participants will be spending more on travel and accommodations.)
  • Format: Some members feel strongly that sessions should be fully remote and others want to be part of a planned hybrid session.  We hope to accommodate both possibilities, but our ability to do so will depend on submissions.

As an individual presenter, if you would like to participate remotely--please indicate on your submission:

  • That you'll be participating remotely
  • Whether you would prefer to be included in a hybrid or a fully remote event
  • Your local time zone

If you're submitting a remote or hybrid panel, please indicate this on your submission as well as your time zone.

We may be able to accommodate a small number of last minute changes, but it will be difficult, so please do your best to let us know before the CFP deadline.



Contact Information

Emily Pawley

Contact Email