At the core of my various research interests lies the desire to understand how nature has been historically perceived, appraised, and managed and how each of these aspects has affected the other two. Consequently I have worked on different facets of modern European environmental history, including the politics of fascist regimes, the history of access rights, and the preservation of iconic animal species in the Alps. Moreover, I have a thriving interest in the use of digital tools and methods in historical research.
My current research focuses on the intellectual history of the Anthropocene and, in general, of theories of anthropogenic environmental change. In the specific the research project looks at the development of the concept of mean sea-level and at the history of the different ways in which the level of the sea has been understood and interpreted in the modern age.
I hold an Italian Laurea in history (Università di Torino) and a PhD in geography (University of Cambridge). Immediately before coming to the MPIWG I was DAAD Visiting Professor of Environmental History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously I have been first a Carson Fellow and then the Digital Humanities Research Specialist at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich. I also was a post-doc, funded by the Autonomous Province of Trento, at the University of Trento, Italy, and a post-graduate fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy.
Hardenberg, W. G. v. (2019). Climate, fascism, and Ibex: experiments in using population dynamics modeling as a historiographical tool. Journal of the History of Biology, 1-21. doi:10.1007/s10739-019-09579-0.Read More
Hardenberg, W. G. v. (2019). An unguided boom: environmental policies of Cold War Italy. In A. M. Kirchhof, & J. R. McNeill (Eds.), Nature and the iron curtain: environmental policy and social movements in communist and capitalist countries,…Read More
Hardenberg, W. G. v. (2018). Tutela di confine: modelli di conservazione della natura nell’arco alpino tra le due guerre. In F. Balestracci, & P. Causarano (Eds.), Al confine delle Alpi: culture, valori sociali e orizzonti nazionali fra mondo…Read More
Hardenberg, W. G. v., Kelly, M., Leal, C., & Wakild, E. (Eds.). (2017). The nature state: rethinking the history of conservation. London: Routledge.Read More
Books and Media
Of Materiality and Minds: Provocations in the History of Science Across EnvironmentsMORE
Transnational Conceptions of Nature and EcologyMORE
Conservation in the Anthropocene: A Plenary RoundtableMORE
Shifting Baselines, Altered Horizons: Politics, Practice, and Knowledge in Environmental Science and PolicyMORE
Nature and the Writing of HistoryMORE
The Rhetoric of Innovation: Silk Treatises in Pre-modern China and EuropeMORE
Thematic Cluster: Crafts and InnovationMORE
A Million Horses. The Horse Administration in the Yongle Reign (1403–1425)MORE
Know Your Remedies: Pharmacy and Early Modern Culture in China, 1500–1800MORE
Thematic Cluster: Diseases and HealthMORE
The Schistosomiasis Epidemic and Environmental ChangeMORE
Pneumonic Plague, Environmental Changes, and the International Fur TradeMORE