The Future of Wild Europe Conference: Read back

Postgraduate and Early-Career Researcher Conference

University of Leeds, UK
12–14 September, 2016 (inclusive)

What is the future of the wild in Europe? Wildness is a key theme across many European societies, an idea often used to separate nature from cultures. Places, people, processes and objects have all been described as wild, yet the meanings, values and locations of ‘the wild’ in Europe have changed over time, and will continue to evolve. Some have seen the confinement of the wild into its proper place as a defining feature of European civilisation. Alternatively, moves to re-wild Europe argue that humans should loosen their control over nature in order to let the wild back in, an assertion that preserves a nature-culture dualism. This interdisciplinary conference will explore the meaning, place and value of ‘the wild’ within the Europe of today and the future.

Questions that will be explored include: What places, things and processes might be considered wild in Europe now and going forward? How can past explorations of the wild be used to understand how we might relate to wildness in future? What and where is the legacy of past wildness? How have ideas of wildness changed through time? How have societal and demographic shifts contributed to an urban and suburban, as well as rural, apprehension of the wild? How might ideas of wildness help humans understand and cope with cultural, social, economic and environmental risks? How can these ideas be applied in modern conservation? What value does the wild hold for Europe as a whole, and for European states and citizens/non-citizens individually?

The conference is organised along four interwoven themes:

  • The wild and memory
  • Wildness and risk
  • Wastelands/wildlands
  • Wild Europe

Confirmed senior participants include: Dr Liz DeLoughrey (Department of English, UCLA), Prof Marcus Hall (Environmental Studies Group, University of Zurich), Dr Dolly Jørgensen (History of Technology and Environment, Luleå University of Technology), Nadya Vangelova (Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, Bulgaria), Prof Britt Kramvig (Institute for Tourism and Northern Studies, UiT The Arctic University of Norway), Thierry Lefebvre (IUCN France, Evolutionary Biology), Dr Jamie Lorimer (School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford), Christoph Promberger (Equus Silvania, Romania) and Professor Libby Roben (Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University), Jean-Michel Cousteau, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (of Iceland), Charles Foster (Oxford University)



09.00 – 17.00    Field trip outing to Scar Close rewilding site in Yorkshire

08.30            Registration and coffee
09.00            Welcome and introductions │ Graham Huggan
09.15            Opening keynote │ Jamie Lorimer: “What is the wild, and who decides? Specifying rewilding through a history of Heck cattle”
10.30            Morning panel sessions
Session 1: Visions 1 [Chair: Jonathan Carruthers-Jones] ● Alejandro Reig │ Between Mallorca and Kanaimá: Domesticative nature interpretation and the wildfires of agriculture
● Sarah Elizabeth Yoho │ The Wild in a Bottle: Questions of Social Value in Follow the Wine Ethnography
● Valentina Gamberi │ An anthropomorphic dilemma: a phenomenological insight of the human/nonhuman symbiosis

Session 2: Perspectives on Rewilding 1 [Chair: Vikas Lakhani] ‘Rewilding’ the Southern Carpathians: exploring the local and global narratives framing the ‘bison comeback’ in Romania
Clare Bissell

Scratching the Surface: Exploring contemporary understandings of rewilding in rural England
Miranda Strubel

An agent based model to assist policy makers considering re-introduction of Eurasian Lynx to Scotland
Ian Philips

12.30                  Lunch
14.00                  Afternoon panel sessions
15.30                  Coffee
16.00                  Rewilding roundtable: Britt Kramvig, Thierry Lefebvre, Christoph Promberger, Nadya Vangelova (chaired by Steve Carver)

08.30                 Coffee
09.00                 Morning keynote: Dolly Jørgensen
10.30                  Morning panel sessions
12.30                  Lunch
14.00                  Afternoon panel sessions
17.00                  Literature in discussion: TBC

08.30                 Coffee
09.00                 Morning Keynote: Libby Robin
10.30                  Morning panel sessions
12.30                  Lunch
14.00                  Film event (chaired by Marcus Hall)
19.00                  Closing keynote: TBC


Registration and CFP

The Call for Papers for this event closed on 22 April. However, a limited number of spaces are available for non-presenters to attend. If you are interested in attending, please email co-convenors Dr George Holmes (g.holmes [at] and Dr Roger Norum (r.norum [at]

Travel and accommodation

The Future of Wild Europe will be held in University of Leeds School of Music, 4 Cavendish Road, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom. The University is located close to Leeds city centre, just a short bus or taxi journey (or a 20-minute walk) from the Leeds train station. Directions to the University can be found here. The School of Music is on the East side of the campus (see map).

Getting to Leeds

By Air:

Leeds is served by two airports: Leeds Bradford and Manchester. Regular flights are available from a large number of European cities, as well as cities further afield. Leeds Bradford airport is approximately 7 miles away from the University, so easily commutable by taxi. There are also bus services between the airport and Leeds city centre (details here). There are direct (and indirect) rail services between Manchester airport and Leeds (1hr 15min), as well as between London Kings Cross and Leeds (2hr 30min).

By Train:
Leeds is well-connected by rail, with a fast connection to London via the East Coast line. Details of train information and timetables can be found at National Rail Enquiries.

By Road:
Leeds is linked to the M1 and M62. If you are using satellite navigation our address details for the main entrance to our site (close to the School of English) are as follows:

University of Leeds
Woodhouse Lane

(NB: The street listing can appear as Cavendish Road in some navigation systems)

Parking on campus is limited, and available on a first come, first served basis. The charge is £5.00. Please come to the main entrance by the Parkinson Building.

Parking for disabled “blue badge” holders is available on campus for visitors. If you are a blue badge holder you are advised to enter the campus via the main barrier on Woodhouse Lane to show your badge. You can then be directed to the nearest available disabled parking bay to the area you are visiting. Blue badge holders do not need to pay to park on campus.

There are various council- and privately owned car parks close to the university, as well as on-street metered bays. Free on-street parking is not available in the centre of Leeds. In general, we would advise delegates to use public transport if at all possible, as parking can be difficult in Leeds city centre on a Friday and Saturday.


Staying in Leeds

Leeds has many options for accommodation, many of which are in the city centre and a 20-minute walk from the university. We recommend the following, in order of preference and accessibility to the conference venue. This list is by no means exhaustive, but should give you a guide to what’s available.

Storm Jameson Court – A modern collection of hotel-style halls of residence on the campus of Leeds University close to the conference and food venues. Rooms £40 per night. This is the closest accommodation venue to the conference, and we recommend you book a room here ASAP as availability is very limited.

Premier Inn Leeds City Centre Arena – Very close to the University, with solid rooms from £29 per night.

Ibis Leeds Centre – Close to the University campus and reasonably priced (from £40 per night), particularly if booked in advance.

Travelodge Leeds Centre – Further from the University than the Ibis, but well-located for exploring the city centre and not far from Leeds train station. Rooms from £19 per night.

Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre – Fairly close to both the university campus and the city centre, with rooms in the region of £70 per night.

The Queens – Attractive four-star hotel in a great city centre location, literally next door to the train station. Prices are variable, from £60 per night for a single room if booked in advance.

Park Plaza – A smart four-star option opposite the train station and overlooking city square. From around £70 if booked well in advance.

Quebecs – Boutique hotel in the city centre, very close to the train station. A more luxurious option, prices here start at £85 per night if booked well in advance.

The Met – Four-star, grade II listed hotel close to the train station. Rooms currently booking for September from £80 advance for room only.

There are also several hotels and B&Bs in the Headingley and Hyde Park areas close to the University. These are variable in quality, but often very reasonably priced. You can find a list of some of these here.



For questions information about the conference, please get in touch with co-convenors, Dr George Holmes (g.holmes [at] or Dr Roger Norum (r.norum [at]


Posted by : Roger Norum

Posted At : 4:35 pm

Posted On : 29th April 2016

Posted In : Events, News, News & Events

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