Torstai, marraskuu 3, 2016 - Lauantai, joulukuu 31, 2016

Environment and health in history
3-4 November 2016

Programme (pdf)

The workshop is open to the public and there is no registration fee. Registered participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

The interaction between health and the environment is a central theme to both environmental and medical history. The importance of the interaction has been implicitly acknowledged, and sometimes explicitly explored, in, for instance, the histories of hospitals, sanatoriums and other medical institutions, drugs and medication, the relationships between chemicals and other pollutants, ecosystems and human health, food and nutrition. Historians of disease have inspected the role of the environment (animals, plants, climate) in giving rise, facilitating and/or controlling epidemics, as well as the changing conceptions of the relationship between health and the environment. The intricate and dynamic interplay between the environment and health is a burgeoning field of research in environmental history and environmental humanities. A host of complex subfields such as environmental health, gender and social vulnerability have been integrated into their studies. In environmental philosophy, vital values like human and ecosystem health, symbiotic interactions and biodiversity have been seen as important basic values for the common good of humans and nature.

Our two-day workshop seeks to explore the environment, health, and their points of contact in historical contexts. We invite individual papers, sessions and posters on any theme, topic, or period related to the history of the environment or medicine and health, and especially welcome papers exploring the intersection of the two themes. Presenters with background in environmental and medical humanities, medicine or environmental sciences, and environmental philosophy and philosophy of values are also welcome, providing there is a historical perspective in their presentations.

The workshop is organised by Health in History Research Group and Centre for Environmental Humanities.

Heini Hakosalo, PhD, Academy Research Fellow (history of science and ideas), University of Oulu

Esa Ruuskanen, PhD, Academy Research Fellow (history), University of Oulu

Workshop Venue

The workshop will take place in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oulu. The Oulu University Linnanmaa main campus is located about 6 km from the city centre. The Linnanmaa Campus map can be found here.


 You can reach Oulu via Helsinki either by train  (6-7 hours) or, more conveniently, by plane (1 hour). The Helsinki-Oulu route is operated by Finnair and by Norwegian. You can get from the Oulu airport to the city centre either by taxi (the fare is approximately 40 euros) or by bus (a single ticket costs around 3 euros).


We suggest that you book a hotel or other accommodation at the centre, where we will also have the conference dinner. There are several mid-prize hotels to choose from. You can make hotel reservations by yourself by contacting the hotel or by using international online booking services.

Local transportation

Several bus routes run from the city centre to the university. The bus timetable can be found here.


Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided. Lunch is self-paid, but the cabinet from the restaurant Balance will be reserved for the participants. In addition to refreshments provided during the workshop, we will arrange a workshop dinner on Thursday 3 November in Restaurant Rauhala. Please let us know if you have any particular dietary requirements. 


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Viimeksi päivitetty: 11.11.2016