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International Review of Environmental History: Volume 4, Issue 2, 2018


James Beattie

Victoria University of Wellington;

Research Associate,

Centre for Environmental History,

The Australian National University

I am delighted to welcome three new editorial board members: Dr Rebecca Rice, Curator Historical New Zealand Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; her colleague at the museum, Kirstie Ross, History Curator (Modern New Zealand); and Associate Professor Fa-ti Fan, Binghamton University. Together, their expertise in the visual depiction and display of nature will significantly strengthen International Review of Environmental History.

Following the success of this year’s earlier issue, ‘Bodies of Knowledge’, guest edited by Alessandro Antonello and Ruth A. Morgan, I am pleased to introduce ‘Disasters Fast and Slow’. Guest edited by Fiona Williamson (Singapore Management University) and Chris Courtney (Durham University), it showcases the methodological and theoretical contributions that environmental history can make to the discipline of history.

The issue not only enlarges our understanding of hazards in environmental history, it also addresses issues at the heart of our discipline, by examining agency, structure and causality through the multiple temporalities that disasters can induce. The perspectives and approaches presented in ‘Disasters fast and slow’ are particularly apposite at a time when we are being subject to greater hazards in our daily lives, from extreme and unstable weather events, to political and social turmoil.

Call for papers

I would particularly like to encourage submissions on topics related to history and energy, the atmosphere and water, especially in relation to Africa, South America and Asia. Please also contact me if you are interested in guest editing a special issue.


I am indebted to the support of so many in making this publication possible. International Review of Environmental History is published with the support of the Centre for Environmental History, The Australian National University, whose Director, Professor Tom Griffiths, enthusiastically backed this venture from the outset. In 2013, Professor Bruce Clarkson, Director of the Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato, granted me the time to devote to planning and preparing the journal by giving me teaching buy-out. I am especially grateful to the journal’s Associate Editors and supportive and active Editorial Board for permitting me to test ideas and share material with them. Further support for the journal has also come through funding provided by Science in Society, Victoria University of Wellington. Finally, I acknowledge the assiduous copyediting of Austin Gee.

James Beattie, Editor

Dunedin, July 2018

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