Welcome to the Virtual Exhibitions

Virtual Exhibitions 2016, no. 2

Energy Transitions

Human practices of energy consumption both transform—and are transformed by—social structures. This essay introduces the concept of “energy transitions,” structural shifts in energy use and their pathways, obstacles, and consequences, challenging the view of “transitions” as the simple replacement of one energy resource by another.

Virtual Exhibitions 2016, no. 1

Beyond Doom and Gloom: An Exploration through Letters

“Doom and gloom” has become the de facto cultural construct not only for environmental communication but for the environmental science it seeks to communicate. We are interested in engaging in deep conversation about what it means to shift beyond “doom and gloom,” and to create movement toward more hopeful, solutions-oriented environmental narratives.

Virtual Exhibitions 2015, no. 2

Famines in Late Nineteenth-Century India

Between 1850 and 1899, India suffered 24 major famines, resulting in millions of deaths. The exhibition situates the causes and costs of the famines within the complex environmental and social contexts of nineteenth-century colonial India. The exhibition´s dramatic historic illustrations and photographs give the reader an impression of the deep impact of the famines.

Virtual Exhibitions 2015, no. 1

A German Explorer’s Letters Home from Australia

In collaboration with the Deutsches Museum and historian Heike Hartmann, we're pleased to present the first open-access edition of the letters that the German naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt sent to his relatives between 1842 and 1848. Apart from introducing a brand new English translation of the letters and a timeline tool with which to view those, this virtual exhibition documents Leichhardt's adventurous stay in Australia and opens up new perspectives for the environmental history of the land.

Virtual Exhibitions 2014, no. 3

A History of Water in 20th-Century Bogotá

This exhibition is a historical exploration of the relationship between water and modernization in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. The history of water is examined on a micro level, through people's daily interactions with water; and on a broader level, through the consideration of water supply infrastructure and the increase in water pollution.

Virtual Exhibitions 2014, no. 2

Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands

As a digital companion to the special exhibition at the Deutsches Museum (December 2014 through January 2016), this virtual exhibition explores several key topics of the “age of humans”—a new geological era known as the Anthropocene.


Ecological Sites of Memory

Sponsored by the VolkswagenStiftung and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and curated by environmental historian Frank Uekötter, this external exhibition is dedicated to sites of ecological memory and their significance for current environmental debates in Germany.

Virtual Exhibitions 2014, no. 1

Representing Environmental Risk in the Landscapes of US Militarization

Curated by literary scholar Hsuan Hsu, this exhibition examines the environmental impact of US military activities worldwide and compares how the US military and activists use different forms of representation to influence public perceptions of environmental problems.

Virtual Exhibitions 2013, no. 2

The Wegener Diaries: Scientific Expeditions into the Eternal Ice

Christian Kehrt's collaboration with the Deutsches Museum offers insights into Greenland’s extreme environments as experienced by the German polar researcher Alfred Wegener on three expeditions between 1906 and 1930. At its heart we have digitized previously unpublished diaries of Wegener, which the exhibition contextualizes with historic photographs and video footage.

Virtual Exhibitions 2013, no. 1

Wilderness Babel: What does Wilderness Mean in Your Language?

Listen to words for “wilderness” and learn about their political and historical meanings in different regional contexts. "Wilderness Babel" is a collaboration with the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich, edited by Marcus Hall. Its international contributions are still growing.

Virtual Exhibitions 2012, no. 1

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a Book that Changed the World

Fifty years after the publication of Silent Spring, historian Mark Stoll discusses its international reception and impact, as well as the book’s legacy in popular culture, music, literature, and the arts.

Virtual Exhibitions 2011, no. 1

Promotion and Transformation of Landscapes along the CB&Q Railroad

A collaboration with the Newberry Library in Chicago, this exhibition shows how railroads reshaped landscapes of the American West between 1847 and 1965. Historical geographer Eric Olmanson draws on archival materials to show the way that a variety of actors—railroad executives, girl scouts, advertising men, European settlers, farmers, and entrepreneurs—shaped the way these landscapes were marketed, perceived, and used.

ISSN 2198-7696 Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions