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Staff photo Janina Priebe

Janina Priebe

I am a Senior Research Assistant in Environmental History, with a focus on global environmental issues, sustainability, and natural resources from a historical perspective. 




Works at

Senior research assistant at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Units: History of Science and Ideas
A, Humanisthuset, HF130 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

Since 2020, I am a senior research assistant in environmental history, and I focus my research on global environmental issues, sustainability, and natural resources from a historical perspective. 

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.

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.

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

Coming in fall 2021: 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); Fall 2019; Spring 2021

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); Fall 2020

(In Swedish)


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