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Janina Priebe

I am an associate professor in the history of science and ideas, with a focus on environmental history. As of June 2022, I am Arctic Five Chair in Environmental History at Umeå University.


Research qualifications: Docent



Works at

Associate professor at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Section: History of Science and Ideas
A, Humanisthuset, HUM.K.137 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

My teaching and research interests include sustainability, sustainability transformation, and natural resource development in Arctic contexts and from a historical and cultural perspective. 

I currently conduct research in two research projects: "Route to Paris", funded by Formas (2021-2025); and "Peripheral Visions" (2022-2025), funded by Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland. 

Since 2022, I am Arctic Five Chair at Umeå University. https://arcticfive.org/home/research/chairs-fellows/chairs/

I am a representative for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in Umeå University's internal reference group of MIRAI 2.0, a research collaboration between 19 Swedish and Japanese universities (https://www.aurora.umu.se/organisation-och-styrning/internationella-samarbeten/mirai/)

I am the assistant program leader for Umeå University at Future Forests, the platform for interdisciplinary forest research and research communication at SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The platform is a collaboration between SLU, Umeå University and Skogforsk (https://www.slu.se/en/Collaborative-Centres-and-Projects/future-forests/)

Previous projects: 

2020-2022: Senior research assistant in environmental history with a focus on forests and climate. 

Between 2018 and 2020, I was a postdoc researcher in environmental history in the transdisciplinary project "Bring down the sky to the earth: how to use forests to open up for constructive climate change pathways in local contexts", funded by Formas. My research in this project deals with transdisciplinary research methods, historical perspectives on societal transformations toward sustainability and local climate change pathways.

In my PhD thesis Greenland's Future, defended in Dec 2017, I examined how different actors constructed narratives about Greenland's future and the modernization of the land's natural resource industries in the 20th century.

Lychnos, Lychnos, Lund University 2023 : 47-56
Priebe, Janina; Wormbs, Nina
Umeå: Umeå University 2023
Priebe, Janina; Lempinen, Hanna; Vikström, Hanna
Ecosystem Services, Elsevier 2023, Vol. 60
Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; Nordström, Eva-Maria; Priebe, Janina; et al.
Environmental Science and Policy, Elsevier 2023, Vol. 151
Reimerson, Elsa; Priebe, Janina; Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; et al.
Sustainability Science, Springer 2023, Vol. 18 : 1329-1341
Priebe, Janina; Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; Reimerson, Elsa; et al.
Forests, MDPI 2022, Vol. 13, (1)
Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; Reimerson, Elsa; Priebe, Janina; et al.
Environmental Science and Policy, Elsevier 2022, Vol. 134 : 100-107
Jönsson, Jimmy; Priebe, Janina; Mårald, Erland; et al.
Route to Paris: forskning om skogens klimatnytta, Umeå: Södertörns högskola; Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet; Umeå Universitet; Lunds universitet; Högskolan i Borås; World Forest Forum; Formas 2022 : 6-7
Priebe, Janina
Skogens värden: forskares reflektioner, Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet 2022 : 66-67
Priebe, Janina
Skogshistoriska Sällskapets Årsskrift, Falun: Skogshistoriska sällskapet 2022 : 122-129
Priebe, Janina; Jönsson, Jimmy
The age of the soybean: an environmental history of soy during the great acceleration, White Horse Press 2022 : 227-246
Priebe, Janina
Umeå: Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet; Umeå universitet 2022
von Essen, Malin
Sustainability Science, Springer 2022, Vol. 17, (5) : 1921-1938
Priebe, Janina; Reimerson, Elsa; Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; et al.
Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier 2022, Vol. 859
Svennevig, Kristian; Keiding, Marie; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; et al.
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Vol. 11, (1) : 76-84
Priebe, Janina; Mårald, Erland; Nordin, Annika
Nature and Culture, Berghahn Journals 2021, Vol. 16, (2) : 1-12
Mårald, Erland; Priebe, Janina
The Polar Journal, Routledge 2018, Vol. 8, (1) : 141-162
Priebe, Janina
Environment and History, White Horse Press 2018, Vol. 24, (3) : 349-375
Priebe, Janina
Journal of world history, Vol. 27, (4) : 619-640
Priebe, Janina
Umeå: Umeå universitet 2015
Eklöf, Jenny; Byström, Tora; Palmadottir, Valgerdur; et al.
Journal of Northern Studies, Umeå University 2015, Vol. 9, (1) : 13-32
Priebe, Janina

I have developed and led courses with historical and cultural perspectives on environmental issues, including forests and sustainability: 

Environmental Humanities - Human places in environmental contexts

The course aims to give the student a multi- and interdisciplinary introduction to central questions and traditions in the emerging research field of environmental humanities. The central theme of the course is the relation between people and places in the ongoing changes of environment and societies, which is reflected in the course literature and examinations. The course examines how human frameworks of understanding, ways of life, and cultural expressions are shaped through the tensions between global and place-based perspectives on environmental and sustainability issues. The student learns to apply environmental humanities' perspectives on environmental and sustainability challenges, among others, by referring to the history of ideas, discursive analytical, ecocritical and environmental ethical arguments. This includes a critical reflection on how places are constructed, and how this affects different groups in society. In order to analyze these relations, this course builds on theories and approaches in the field of environmental humanities. Thereby, this course provides the students with a multifaceted understanding of how the humanities' perspectives on the environment can contribute to creating sustainable societies.


Rethinking forests: Cultural and historical perspectives on forests (Advanced level, 7.5 ECTS)

With this course, students gain insight into historical and environmental humanities approaches to forests. The course deals with the history of forests as an environmental, social and cultural phenomenon comprising different ideas, scientific disciplines, political ambitions, institutional settings and cultural framings. The course has a comparative perspective, where changes in Sweden from the 19th century to the present are contrasted with examples from other countries and cultural contexts. The overall aim is to help students develop knowledge and analytical tools in order to critically rethink forests in society, past and present, as well as to understand unfolding sustainability challenges.

The History of Environmental Thought (Advanced level, 7.5 ECTS)

(course given in Swedish)


Summer course 2019 "Kiruna, Norrland, and the World"