New grant - Natural Resources in the History of Russia: Economic Institutes, Communities of Experts, and Infrastructures Tags: grant Julia Lajus Russian Science Foundation HSE Russia

A team of researchers led by Professor Julia Lajus of the Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg (HSE Spb), has been awarded a large grant for their project entitled:

Natural Resources in the History of Russia: Economic Institutes, Communities of Experts, and Infrastructures 

The full team is: Julia Lajus, Alexandra Bekasova, Marina Loskutova, Margarita Dadykina, Elena Korchmina, Elena Kochetkova and PhD students Ekaterina Kalemeneva and Vassily Borovoy (HSE Spb); Andrei Volodin (Moscow State University); Alexei Kraikovski  (European University at St Petersburg); Anastasia Fedotova (Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg). 

The project will make a significant contribution to the growing international scholarship in environmental history from a European as well as a global perspective. The environmental history of Russia will be analysed within an interdisciplinary framework incorporating a range of fields from across the humanities and social sciences. The project involves analysis of economic institutions, the activities of the expert community, and the development of infrastructures. The project comprises individual case studies of s , formed by major chronological periods , and the focus will be on lesser known historically significant natural resources (forests , water, fisheries , minerals ) over the period from the seventeenth century to the end of the Cold War in the late twentieth century.

The new knowledge obtained as a result of joint work of researchers specializing in the field of economic, environmental and technological history, will significantly improve the understanding of the interaction of people and nature in the past and will be useful in the development of informed decisions in the field of environmental management in the present.

The project is a very good example of what can be termed the ‘usable past’ i.e. knowledge and understanding of the past which has a practical relevance for addressing contemporary problems.

For the announcement on the website of the Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg (in Russian), please see:

For more details (in English) please see:

CFP - Environment and Health in History Tags: conference health Finland

Conference on


3–4 November 2016

University of Oulu, Finland

The interaction between health and the environment is a central theme to both environmental and medical history. The importance of the interaction has been implicitly acknowledged, and sometimes explicitly explored, in, for instance, the histories of hospitals, sanatoriums and other medical institutions, drugs and medication, the relationships between chemicals and other pollutants, ecosystems and human health, food and nutrition. Historians of disease have inspected the role of the environment (animals, plants, climate) in giving rise, facilitating and/or controlling epidemics, as well as the changing conceptions of the relationship between health and the environment. The intricate and dynamic interplay between the environment and health is a burgeoning field of research in environmental history and environmental humanities. A host of complex subfields such as environmental health, gender and social vulnerability have been integrated into their studies. In environmental philosophy, vital values like human and ecosystem health, symbiotic interactions and biodiversity have been seen as important basic values for the common good of humans and nature.

Our two-day workshop seeks to explore the environment, health, and their points of contact in historical contexts. We invite individual papers, sessions and posters on any theme, topic, or period related to the history of the environment or medicine and health, and especially welcome papers exploring the intersection of the two themes. Presenters with background in environmental and medical humanities, medicine or environmental sciences, and environmental philosophy and philosophy of values are also welcome, providing there is a historical perspective in their presentations. Topics to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • healing or recreational environments
  • dangerous or toxic environments
  • (the concept of) environmental disease
  • disease and environmental change
  • disabling environments
  • waste and light and noise pollution
  • food and nutrition
  • architecture, housing and health
  • history of medical thought and practice
  • history of environmental thought
  • occupational health
  • the impact of fossil fuels on the environment and health 
  • health and other vital values
  • aesthetics of nature and human wellbeing
  • mental health and experience of nature
  • diseases as environmental risks

The keynote speakers are:

Professor Teemu Ryymin, University of Bergen (Norway)

Associate Professor Dolly Jørgensen, Luleå University of Technology (Sweden)

Please email a max. 300-word abstract and a short CV by 19 June 2016 to Workshop Organisers (heini.hakosalo(at) or (esa.ruuskanen(at) Successful applicants will be notified by 14 August 2016. Registered participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. The conference is free of charge.

Information on the conference will be made available on the home page of the History Department at the University of Oulu, at

The workshop is organised by the Age of Adjustment research groups Limits of Adjustment: History of Medicine and Health and Manipulating Nature: Case Studies in Environmental History, Science and Philosophy.

Heini Hakosalo, PhD, Academy Research Fellow (history of science and ideas), University of Oulu

Esa Ruuskanen, PhD, Academy Research Fellow (history), University of Oulu

New Book : Disrupted Landscapes - State, Peasants and the Politics of Land in Postsocialist Romania
Category: Books
Tags: book Dorondel Romania landscape

Image of book Disrupted Landscapes

State, Peasants and the Politics of Land in Postsocialist Romania

Stefan Dorondel

Disrupted Landscapes : BERGHAHN BOOKS : Oxford, New York : Independent Publishing Since 1994

“This is clearly the best study on the environmental history of Romania published to date. It is a paragon of vivid, illustrative, and intimate local history combined with an international outlook.” · Joachim Radkau, Universität Bielefeld

“Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Disrupted Landscapes takes a broad view of the transformations taking place in rural Romania in the first part of the 2000s. It presents one of the most finely granulated pictures of the workings of power in rural settings.” · Diana Mincyte, New York City College of Technology

The fall of the Soviet Union was a transformative event for the national political economies of Eastern Europe, leading not only to new regimes of ownership and development but to dramatic changes in the natural world itself. This painstakingly researched volume focuses on the emblematic case of postsocialist Romania, in which the transition from collectivization to privatization profoundly reshaped the nation’s forests, farmlands, and rivers. From bureaucrats abetting illegal deforestation to peasants opposing government agricultural policies, it reveals the social and political mechanisms by which neoliberalism was introduced into the Romanian landscape.

Stefan Dorondel is a Senior Researcher at the Francisc Rainer Institute of Anthropology Bucharest. He holds doctorates in History and Ethnology from Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania, and in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University Berlin. His publications include the co-edited volume At the Margins of History: The Agrarian Question in Southeast Europe (2014).

Series: Volume 8, Environment in History: International Perspectives

Subject: Environmental Studies, Postwar History

Area: Central/Eastern Europe


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