People

Wilko Graf von Hardenberg

Senior Research Scholar (Sep 2015-Feb 2022)

Dr.

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.

Projects

The Art of Judgement

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Baselining Nature

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Measuring the Earth: A Digital Repository for the History of Modern Geodesy

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Understanding the Anthropocene: The Level of the Sea

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Selected Publications

Hardenberg, Wilko Graf von (2021). A Monastery for the Ibex: Conservation, State, and Conflict on the Gran Paradiso, 1919–1949. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

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Coulter, Kimberly, Wilko Graf von Hardenberg, and Finn Arne Jørgensen, eds. (2021). Ant Spider Bee: Chronicling Digital Transformations in Environmental Humanities. München: Spider & Cloud. https://doi.org/10.5282/ubm/epub.75927.

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Hardenberg, Wilko Graf von (2020). “Measuring Zero at Sea: On the Delocalization and Abstraction of the Geodetic Framework.” Journal of Historical Geography 68 (March): 11–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2019.12.004.

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Hardenberg, Wilko Graf von (2021). “Making a Stable Sea: The Littorals of Eighteenth-Century Europe and the Origins of a Spatial Concept.” Isis 112 (1): 130–140. https://doi.org/10.1086/713563.

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Ureta, Sebastián, Thomas Lekan, and Wilko Graf von Hardenberg (2020). “Baselining Nature: An Introduction.” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space 3 (1): 3–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848619898092.

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Books and Media