Bivar, Dr Venus

Dr Venus Bivar

Tutorial Fellow in History, Associate Professor of Environmental History


Social Media: Bluesky and Twitter @VBivar

Academic background

University of York, Senior Lecturer in Modern History



  • Approaches to History
  • European and World History 4: 1760-1914 (Society, Nation and Empire)


  • Disciplines of History
  • Europe Divided, 1914-1989
  • The Global Twentieth Century, 1930-2003

Dr Bivar welcomes expressions of interest from prospective graduate students in environmental history, the history of economic thought, the history of capitalism, and the history of modern France.

Graduate Papers:

  • Falling for Growth: Capitalism, Ecology and Planetary Limits

Research interests

Dr Bivar’s research and teaching are located at the intersection of environmental, economic, and European history. Her scholarship excavates the histories of major contemporary global phenomena, from the international agricultural trade system and climate change, to the primacy of economics in political life and the centrality of free markets to the liberal democratic state.

While Dr Bivar’s primary point of reference for thinking through these questions is modern France, her research and teaching often transcend national boundaries, following commodities, actors, and ideas as they circulate in global markets. Methodologically, she is a social and cultural historian who uses the experiences of non-elite actors, as well as larger symbolic ontologies, to understand how state-led economic practices determined the shape of everyday life.

Her first book, Organic Resistance: The Struggle Over Industrial Farming in Postwar France (UNC Press 2018), was awarded the J. Russell Major Prize from the American Historical Association, as well as an honourable mention for the Society for French Historical Studies’ Pinkney Prize, and was shortlisted for both the Canadian Historical Association’s Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, and the Council for European Studies’ European Studies Book Award. With this research she traced the transformation of the French agricultural sector from a backward also-ran into a global powerhouse. Driven by state policies to modernise the French economy in the wake of the Second World War, French agriculture abandoned centuries-old methods, upending rural labour systems and the nation’s physical environment, to become one of the most powerful industries in the world.

Dr Bivar is currently working on two new projects. The first, Falling for Growth, examines the influence of economic thought on anthropogenic climate change, while the second, Unsafe Harbour, draws on the tools of political ecology to analyse the history of industrial pollution and economic development in post-war Marseille.

Recent Publications

Bivar, V. Organic Resistance: The Struggle Over Industrial Farming in Postwar France (UNC Press, 2018).