Course date

1 July - 12 July, 2002
Application deadline:
15 February, 2002
Course Director(s): 

József Laszlovszky

Cultural Heritage Studies Program/Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary / Vienna, Austria
Course Faculty: 

Astill Grenville

University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Laszlo Bartosiewitz

Eotvos Lorand University , Medieval and Early Modern Age Archeology, Budapest, Hungary

Rudolf Brazdil

Brno University, Geography, Brno, Czech Republic

John Chapman

University of London, Institute of Archaeology, London, United Kingdom

Richard Hoffmann

York University, Toronto, Department of History, York, Canada

Zsolt Molnar

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Ecology and Botany , Vacratot, Hungary

Lajos Racz

Szeged University, History, Szeged, Hungary

Richard Unger

History, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Verena Winiwarter

Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Klagenfurt, Vienna, Austria

The course is intended to explore the ever-changing relationship between people and the nature that surrounds them. Environmental history and landscape history are among the most topical issues of present-day historical research; they aim aims at finding solutions to current problems (global warming, nature conservation, etc) by analysing historical data with interdisciplinary methods. While environmental history is predicated on the construction of sequences and explanations which privilege natural processes and data, landscape history tends to favour cultural, social, and economic data, explanations, interpretations and processes. The two interpretations, however, are not mutually exclusive, but rather intimately related to each other, and only together are able to form a coherent overall picture. One of the significant contributions of the course is that it intends to study the human environment in its entirety, thus conforming to the overall scientific trend in which the division line between natural and cultural heritage gradually disappears. One of our principal goals is to introduce the wide range of research possibilities connected to this field of study. Therefore the course will be more of a presentation of the different techniques that can be applied to study the history of our environment than a compact unit focusing on one narrowly defined object or method.

The methodology of environmental history has been developed in Western Europe; the ECE countries have just started to establish the scientific and academic background to apply these methods. Therefore the dissemination of current teaching and research methodologies is essential, for which the SUN course will provide an excellent basis. The network built between Western European countries, alongside with those from the ECE region with a more advanced knowledge in the subject, and the ECE countries will largely facilitate future co-operation and will ensure that landscape history be one of those subjects in which the whole of the European scientific community work together towards a deeper understanding of our common past.

Course level, target audience

This course is designed essentially for participants with some prior knowledge of East-Central European cultural, historical, and environmental processes. It is not intended as either a strictly postgraduate or a professional upgrade course. The interdisciplinary nature of the whole research area will most likely result in a diverse student-body, from university researchers through heritage specialists to local historians. In other words, participants will have some background knowledge in different topics, and will certainly benefit from acquiring data and methodology from related fields of the interdisciplinary spectrum of the course.

Application requirements

Applicants are required to send a maximum two-page research topic proposal. This proposal has to be taken from their own study areas but must be compatible with the topics of the course. The proposals will be discussed and elaborated during the course, and the participants will finally produce posters, which will be made available on the internet.