Call for Papers – “Persistent Conflicts: Archaeological perspectives on warfare and environmental contamination”

Type: Call for Papers
Date: January 1, 2021
Subject Fields: Archaeology, Environmental History / Studies, Military History, Maritime History / Studies, Social Sciences


Military history and conflict archaeology most often focuses on the political and military theory, tactics, and persons of past wars. Though these conventional assessments have seen expansion into associated areas of study (e.g., material culture of the home front, the experiences of traditionally under-represented peoples and places, development of historical/archaeological cross-conflict theory such as the experiences of POWs/confinement, etc.), a nascent but growing body of research shows environmental contamination to be an understudied but significant long-term effect of past conflicts. Proposals are sought for an edited volume, provisionally entitled Persistent Conflicts: Archaeological perspectives on warfare and environmental contamination, on the history and archaeology of environmental contamination as a result of past conflicts. Through aggregation of exemplary inter-disciplinary studies, this volume demonstrates that historic conflicts have lasting, physical effects through both localized and widely dispersed, persistent environmental impacts. While the proposed volume largely focuses on historic conflict, researchers from cognate disciplines examining the potential long-term environmental impacts of current conflicts also are encouraged to submit chapter proposals. Historical and archaeological methodological approaches, topical foci, period of study, and geographic locations are open. Example topics could include but are not limited to:

  • evidence of environmental contamination in the archaeological record as a result of military activity (broadly defined);
  • conflict-based environmental contamination in the ancient, medieval, and early modern worlds;
  • unexploded ordnance resulting in human habitation restrictions;
  • petro-chemical pollution from military wreck sites;
  • radiation contamination from instrumentation, munitions, and atomic testing;
  • health and reproductive/genetic complications from military activity, conflict zones, weapons ranges, disposal dumps, and/or unexploded ordnance, etc.; and
  • histories (oral, archival, etc.) of interaction with / effects of conflict-derived environmental contamination from targeted, neutral, and remediation impacted populations.

Authors are encouraged to contact the editor to discuss their proposed topic.

Chapter proposals should be 250-300 words, accompanied by a current CV and a short biography (MS Word or PDF). For co-authored papers, please specify which individual will serve as the corresponding author. Final chapter submissions should be between 6,000-8,000 words including references. All submissions will undergo peer-review. Please email proposals to: Terence.Christian [at]

Contact Info:

Dr. Terence Christian

Department of History, Temple University