Emerging Scholars in the Age of Uncertainty: Goals and Plans of ESEH Next Generation Action Team in 2018–19
In recent years the environmental humanities have evolved in new and exciting directions, due largely to the democratisation of information and new digital communication technologies. Social media channels, smartphones and the ease of online communication have also helped to advertise the ideas of emerging scholars in the growing field of environmental history. Inspired by the success of other academic societies in supporting their early-career members, such as the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE), the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) Grad Caucus and New Scholars network, and the Tensions of Europe Network (ToE), the Board of the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) decided to initiate its own Next Generation Action Team (NEXTGATe), which was established in June 2018. The first tenure of NEXTGATe (2018–2019) consists of six scholars: Roberta Biasillo (Rachel Carson Center, Germany); Elena Kochetkova (Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg, Russia); Tayler Meredith (University of Birmingham, UK); Simone Schleper (Leibniz Institute of European History, Germany) and Erin Spinney (University of Oxford, UK). NEXTGATe’s coordinator is Viktor Pál (Higher School of Economics, Russia), who serves as Assistant to the Board.
This work is an analytical overview of the 8th Biennial ESEH Conference held in Versailles between 30 June and 3 July 2015. The article tells about key presentations made at the conference, main tendencies in ecological history, and perspectives of research in this field.
We now know that the Iron Curtain was not an impenetrable wall but, rather, a porous imaginary boundary through which people, ideas, and goods could travel. This volume is a fresh attempt to look across two blocs to examine variations, similarities, and connections between what we used to call East and West. As editors Astrid Mignon Kirchhof and John R. McNeill explain in the introduction, the volume aims to challenge a traditional question about the East-West divide. It focuses on the environment and its connections to politics, culture, and society.
The idea of North is a multivalent concept. It is geographical, but more than just Arctic; it is both an imagined space and a place of harsh challenges. These challenges resonate with each other across the northern world, shaping different areas of the North in many similar ways. Distinctive northern environments are created as humans adapt to climatic and geographic conditions while simultaneously adapting the landscapes to their own needs with technologies, trade, and social organization. This collection of essays argues that the unique environments of the North have been borne of the relationship between humans and nature. Approaching the topic through the lens of environmental history, the contributors examine a broad range of geographies, including those of Iceland and other islands in the Northern Atlantic, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada, over a time span ranging from CE 800 to 2000. Northscapes is bound together by the intellectual project of investigating the North both as an imagined and mythologized space and as an environment shaped by human technology. The North offers a valuable analytical framework that surpasses nation-states and transgresses political and historical borders. This volume develops rich explorations of the entanglements of environmental and technological history in the northern regions of the globe.
Mastering the North was a long-term problem for the Russian state, which at least from the eighteenth century tried to organize the effective use of its resources. This chapter illustrates two very distinct foreign models employed for the “state colonization” of the Russian North in a formative period between the Great Reform of 1861 and Stalin’s industrialization of 1930s: Norway and Canada. Although the use of the Norwegian model for colonization of the Russian North is relatively well studied, “railway colonization” of 1920s is not that well known,and very few works embrace both imperial and early Soviet periods of colonization.