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.
Graf von Hardenberg, W., & Mahony, M. (Eds.). (2020). Verticality in the History of Science [Special Issue]. Centaurus, 62/4. doi:10.1111/1600-0498.12347.Read More
Graf von Hardenberg, W., & Mahony, M. (2020). Introduction — Up, Down, Round and Round: Verticalities in the History of Science. Centaurus, 62(4), 595-611. doi:10.1111/1600-0498.12347.Read More
Hardenberg, W. G. v. (2020). Making Sense of Water: A Personal Quest into the History of Irrigation. In R. Biasillo, & C. De Majo (Eds.), Storytelling and Environmental History: Experiences from Germany and Italy (RCC Perspectives) (pp. 13-18)…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
Books and Media
Theories of Change; Or, How Sea Level Rise Became a Historical EventMORE
The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to RichterMORE
Bodily Aspects of MeasurementMORE
Doing Science Differently in the Age of Climate ChangeMORE
Digital Humanities Workshop
Modern Architecture and the Notion of “Artificial Climate”MORE
Gendered Physiology: The Sea Women and Physiological Research across the PacificMORE
What One Should Know about a Locality: Analyzing Knowledge Categories from the Chinese Local GazetteersMORE
One of Geometry’s Nicest Applications: Digging the Georg-Tiefer Stollen (1771–1799)MORE
Mathematics in Narratives of Geodetic ExpeditionsMORE
Reinventing Disaster in Yuan ChinaMORE
A Green-Colored Leaf Called Tabaġa: Early Ottoman Inquiries into an American PlantMORE