Colloquium: Medieval Urban Ecology between matter and mind

May 25, 2023 from 10:30 AM

Kiel University,Olshausenstraße 80a,Seminar room

Towns are socio-ecosystems consisting of the environment (soils, water, plants, animals etc.) and human society with its values, knowledge, beliefs, technology and social organization. This system is constantly changing. Population, resources, and microbes are coming to towns; waste is going out, buildings and infrastructure are deteriorating, and the weather is changing. Humans and the environment constantly interact. These interactions are mutual, not determined by one of the sides. Human society and environment are entangled, although the decisive factor differentiating human ecosystems from biological ecosystems is culture - a set of beliefs, traditions, cosmologies, and knowledge that shapes human behaviours. As a result, change in landscape and built environment, human social practices, and change in environment are driven by the interaction between material and mental processes. How interaction between mental and material processes is pivotal to the transformation of past urban sites/settlements/agglomerations/societies poses the most significant challenge for studies of past urban sites.

The colloquium aims to explore the relationship between matter and mental processes. It focuses on (1) the way the perception of the environment, knowledge and beliefs profoundly influenced human decision processes in facing long-term environmental changes; (2) the theoretical background of studies of past urban ecologies; (3) the health and welfare of the urban population as a result of human environment entanglement. The colloquium focuses on towns in Europe during Middle Ages and Early Modern Period.
The colloquium will take place on the 25th of May from 10:30 a.m. in seminar room Olshausenstrasse 80a.
Poster for the Colloquium

Dr Paweł Cembrzyński

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