The final BALTEHUMS program

BalticRR : September 21, 2018 13:27

First Baltic Conference on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences (BALTEHUMS)

October 8-9, 2018

Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Academic Center for Natural Sciences, Latvian University

Jelgavas Street 1, Riga, Latvia


October 8

10.00-12.00   Session 1.

1-1. Forum discussion: What is the contribution of environmental humanities to the sustainability and climate change debate

Convenor and moderator: Viktor Pál, University of Helsinki

Discussants: Dorothee Cambou, University of Helsinki; Parker C. Krieg, University of Helsinki; Julia Lajus, Higher School of Economics; St. Petersburg; Ulrike Plath, Tallinn University; Mikko Saikku, University of Helsinki; Inna Sukhenko, University of Helsinki.


1-2. Posthuman environments

Chair: Lauren Elizabeth LaFauci

Cecilia Åsberg, Christina Fredengren

Storying exposure: Chemical waste, toxic embodiment, and feminist environmental humanities in the Baltic Sea

Sarah Bezan

Skin/Screen: The Enfleshed Fossils of Julius Csotonyi’s Interactive Murals

Christina Fredengren

Checking in with Deep Time: intragenerational justice and care around the Baltic Sea

Igor Rodin

Tactility as subjectivization / material resistance as event


1-3. From undernourishment to calamities: Problems in feeding population in the Baltic Sea rim in the 18th and 19th century

Panel convenor: Timo Myllyntaus

Chair: Priit Raudkivi

Timo Myllyntaus

Categories of nutrition shortages and population crises:  Failures of food supply in 19th century Finland

Piotr Miodunka

Famines in 18th century Poland: Social or environmental causes?

Kersti Lust

Responding to crop failures in a manorial society: The case of post-emancipation Livland

Antti Häkkinen

The Great Famine of the 1860’s in Finland: A man-made disaster?

Aappo Kähönen

Political aspects of the Finnish famine 1867–1868 in comparative perspective


12.00-13.00   Lunch


13.00-14.30    Session 2.


2-1. Mediated Green: modern environmentalism, politics and media

Chair: Tarmo Pikner

Jenni Karimäki

Children of the silent revolution – Finnish green road from protest to pragmatism

Lona Päll

The (hyper-)mediatization of an environmental conflict: Case study of Haabersti white willow

Līna Orste

Disposability of plastics through the perspective of Zero Waste lifestyle


2-2. Baltic region in the long-term

Chair: Christina Fredengren

Vladas Žulkus, Algirdas Girininkas, Linas Daugnora, Miglė Stančikaitė, Jolita Petkuvienė, Mindaugas Žilius, Tomas Rimkus, Nikita Dobrotin

People of Mesolithic-Neolithic and the Baltic Sea: relict coasts and settlements underwater and on the coast

Junzo Uchiyama

Neolithisation allergy? Comparative perspectives on hunter-gatherer archaeology of the Baltic and Northeast Asian regions

Elena Salmina, Sergey Salmin

Archaeological research as a method of obtaining historical and environmental information (on the example of medieval Pskov study)


2-3. Engineering water at the Baltic Sea

Chair: Loreta Zydeliene

Izabela Spielvogel, Jaroslaw Pilarek

Civilization of nature – architectural development of selected Baltic Spas at the turn of the 19th and 20th century

Alexey Kraykovskiy, Julia Lajus

The Baltic Sea in the environmental, technological and cultural history of St. Petersburg.

Michael Ziser

Water falls: Hydropower and the modern idea of history


14.30-15.00     Coffee break


15.00-16.30     Session 3.


3-1. Workshop. Engaging with digital research infrastructures: Opening doors for Geohumanities

Convenors: Vicky Garnett, Piraye Hacigüzeller, Eliza Papaki

Discussants: Vicky Garnett, Piraye Hacigüzeller, Eliza Papaki, Linda Kaljundi, Anda Baklane


3-2. Ecocriticism and the imagined worlds

Chair: Ene-Reet Soovik

Madeleine Ida Harke

Romanticizing the Untamed: Medievalism and the Relationship Between Humans and Wild Environments in the Child Ballads

Elle-Mari Talivee, Marianne Lind

Birds and plants in the poetry of Marie Under

Kadri Tüür

Ecocriticism in Estonia: a short introduction


3-3. Post-nuclear lives and narratives

Chair: Per Högselius

Siarhei Liubimau

‘Nuclear’ urbanism re-scaled: A knowledge infrastructure lens

Aleksandra Brylska

What can we call nature? The role of humanities in new approaches toward environment

Inna Sukhenko

What is new in new nuclear criticism? Post-Chernobyl perspective


16.30-17.00    Coffee break


17.00-18.30  Session 4


4-1. Ecological awareness in teaching and research

Chair: Kristine Abolina

Philipp P. Thapa

Ecotopianism as a connecting idea: embedding ethics in the environmental humanities

Alin Olteanu

An ecological theory of learning: The semiotic contribution to ecology

Artis Svece

Paradox of ecological awareness


4-2. Plants and People

Chair: Ulrike Plath

Riin Magnus, Heldur Sander

Urban trees as social disruptors: the case of the Ginkgo biloba specimen in Estonia

Lauren Elizabeth LaFauci

Herbaria 3.0: A Citizen Humanities Project at the Plant-Human Interface

Liisa Puusepp

Urban landscapes – an oasis for bees


4-3. Transnational and global formation of landscapes (until 19.00)

Chair: Dan Tamir

Simo Laakkonen

Landscapes of war: Global environmental impacts of the Second World War

Per Högselius, Kati Lindström

Cold War coasts: The transnational co-production of militarized landscapes

Martin Schröder

“Sowing the oil” – Rural space, (human) resources and national wealth in Venezuela

Kristīne Krumberga

Birds in trenches: the greening of militarization and militarizing habitats for landscape conservation





9.30-11.00   Session 5


5-1. Roundtable. From drops to a sea:  Individuals, communities, protection policies and environmental crises.

Convenor and moderator: Kati Lindström

Discussants: Aet Annist, Elgars Felcis, Sara Jones, Katie Ritson


5-2. Advancing Baltic climate history: Creating a new module in Euro-Climhist

Panel convenor: Ulrike Plath

Panel chair: Julia Lajus

Ulrike Plath, Heli Huhtamaa

Euro-Climhist and how to create a Baltic Module

Priit Raudkivi

Was the weather important? The perception of the environment of the 18th century in Livonia.

Kaarel Vanamölder, Krister Kruusmaa

Storms around Riga in the mid of the 19th century


5-3. Represented environments

Chair: Linda Kaljundi

Tõnno Jonuks, Atko Remmel

Forest in Estonian national narrative and identity politics

Ene-Reet Soovik

Multispecies city in Soviet Estonian poetry

Janis Matvejs

Visual representation of cities: Riga and Bangkok in movies under the military regime


5-4. Shaping and enlightening the landscapes before 20th century

Chair: Riin Magnus

Pauls Daija

Popular enlightenment and environmental history in Livonia and Courland

Heldur Sander

Nothing happens on its own: Gardener Adam August Heinrich Dietrich – an environment designer and nature explorer

Vykintas Vaitkevicius

Studies into the past and modern culture of Lithuania: the case of sacred springs


11.00-11.30  Coffee break

E-1. Posters and provocations


Anatole Danto

For an eco-anthropological approach to changes affecting fishing communities in the eastern Baltic

Baiba Prūse, Andra Simanova, Raivo Kalle, Ieva Mežaka, Agris Brauns, Dainis Jakovels, Jevgenijs Filipovs, Inga Holsta, Signe Krūzkopa, Renata Sõukand

Habitat alteration as one of the drivers of the change in wild plant uses



Jesse Peterson

Short provocation with an exhibition: eutrophication, algae blooms, and dead zones in the Baltic Sea

Jason Mario Dydynski

Stand up. Too ugly for the ark: The Role of Aesthetic Perception in Animal Conservation


E-2. Flash and Academic Speed Dating

Chair: Ulrike Plath

Flash presentations:

Hannes Palang

Péter Vigh

Academic Speed Dating: Find a person and talk to them! Each pair gets five minutes to quickly introduce themselves. Then all pairs are reshuffled. With some luck, you will get to know 10 new scholars who work on or in the environmental humanities and social sciences of the Baltic region. You can continue your conversations during the lunch break!


12.30-13.30   Lunch


13.30-15.30    Session 6


6-1. Roundtable. The Value of Interdisciplinary in Environmental Research

Convenor: Aistė Balžekienė

Discussants: Aistė Balžekienė, Alin Olteanu, Florian Rabitz, Audrone Telesiene, Mihkel Kangur


6-2. Animal encounters

Chair: Junzo Uchiyama

Dan Tamir

Human vs. Mosquito: An environmental periodization of the 20th century

Anita Zariņa, Dārta Treija & Ivo Vinogradovs

Beastly encounters: bison’s return to the Latvian ethnoscape

Daiva Vaitkevičienė

Sacred Relationship: Interaction between Humans and Wild Animals in a Traditional Lithuanian Farmstead


6-3. Transforming, identifying of and identifying with landscapes

Chair: Guntra Aistara

Sławomir Łotysz

Progress or nature? Dilemmas around the planned amelioration of Polesie marshes in Poland’s Second Republic

Kristine Abolina


Anu Printsmann

Prichudye – how identity is expressed in landscape

Dace Bula

Living Next to the Port: Eco-narratives, Local Histories and Environmental Activism in the Daugava Delta


6-4. Roundtable. Potato and the Environment: Agrarian societies searching for survival strategies. 

Organiser: Timo Myllyntaus

Chair: Timo Myllyntaus

Discussants: Piotr Miodunka, Pauls Daija, Antti Häkkinen, Jan Kunnas, Timo Myllyntaus


15.30-16.00     Coffee break


16.00-18.00    Session 7.


7-1. Ethics of care and commemoration

Chair: Philipp Thapa

Aiste Bartkiene, Renata Bikauskaitė, Diana Mincytė

Environment, emotions and embodied care: Twisting the concept of environmental citizenship

Andrius Kulikauskas

Environment as spiritual capital. An argument for restoring Vilnius’s oldest Jewish cemetery.

Allan Kährik

Pastor as a social entrepreneur – entering the bridge building process between pastors behavioral and geographical environment

Aleksandra Ubertowska

Ecological art in post-genocidal spaces. Seeking a new form of commemoration


7-2. Entanglements, sustainability and degrowth

Chair: Anita Zariņa

Tarmo Pikner

Encountering of degrowth and associated publics

Elgars Felcis

Bridging traditional knowledge and novelties for sustainability transformations through permaculture

Guntra Aistara

Networking diversities: Making mosaic landscapes and organic sovereignties in post- socialist Latvia

Florian Rabitz, Alin Olteanu

The epistemology of environmental studies. The reflexive turn in environmental research


7-3.  Historical perspectives on sustainability and environmentalism

Chair: Ivo Vinogradovs

Loreta Zydeliene

‘Useful, harmful and neutral’: the perception of wildlife and the rise of the conservation movement in interwar Lithuania

Linda Kaljundi

Environmentalist in form, nationalist in content? Nature and nationalism in late Soviet Estonian culture

Kati Lindström

Econationalism, environmental justice or orientalism: Challenges in contextualising late Soviet environmentalism in Estonia




Dr. Kati Lindström, ESEH Regional Representative for the Baltic States, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Dr. Anita Zariņa & Dr. Kristīne Abolina, University of Latvia

Dr. Kadri Tüür, Prof. Ulrike Plath & Linda Kaljundi, Tallinn University

Dr. Anda Baklāne, Latvian Library


We are thankful for support:


University of Latvia

Estonian Centre for Environmental History (KAJAK), Tallinn University

European Society for Environmental History (ESEH)

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

National Library of Latvia

Rachel Carson Centre (RCC)

Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences


Downloadable program:  BALTEHUMS Program FINAL

Deadline for WCEH extended to October 1st

ESEH : September 10, 2018 10:06

After the tragic loss of Brazil’s National History Museum in a devastating fire earlier this month, the planning committee for the World Congress of Environmental History in Florianopolis has decided to extend the deadline for proposal submissions to October 1.

More details on this decision here:

Proposals can be submitted via this portal :


Funded 3-year PhD position in the Environmental Humanities (Norway)

ESEH : September 7, 2018 11:10
The University of Stavanger, Norway, is recruiting PhD student to work with Prof. Dolly Jørgensen on a funded research project “Beyond Dodos and Dinosaurs: Displaying Extinction and Recovery in Museums”. The PhD position is a well-paid 3-year research position, with an optional 4th year if teaching obligations are added. The position is available from January 2019.
 The application deadline is September 30, 2018
More detail on this position can be found at this address:

Workshop – Common Territories: Tools vs. The Capitalocene

esehadmin : August 23, 2018 14:14

The  Spanish University Network for Environmental History (RUEDHA – Red Universitaria Española de Historia Ambiental) will held its biennial meeting, entitled Common Territories: Tools vs the Capitalocene, on November 8-9, 2018 in Granada, Spain. The English version of the programme is below, for Spanish please see here.


Turku Book Prize 2019

ESEH : July 11, 2018 21:54

The European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC), are pleased to announce the call for entries for the 2019 Turku Book Prize in European Environmental History that they jointly sponsor every two years.

With the purpose of identifying and encouraging excellent, innovative, and well-written scholarship in the field of European environmental history, the prize is worth €3,000 and will be awarded at the Tenth Biennial ESEH Conference to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, in August 2019. This prize rewards authors and books that are European and therefore does not compete with other environmental history prizes that recognize work relating to other parts of the world.

Criteria: Entries must be

  • single-authored monographs
  • original work recognizable as European environmental history
  • published in 2017 or 2018;
  • received by 31 January 2019.

Applicants must submit three copies* of the book by mail to the Rachel Carson Center at the address below, as well as a digital copy (preferably a PDF file) to If the book is published in a language other than English, please include a one-page English summary.

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Turku Book Prize
Leopoldstrasse 11a
80802 München

*For some publication models (e.g., print on demand, open access), it may be difficult to supply three hard copies of the book. In this event, please contact for advice.

The committee consists of:

Jane Carruthers (chair), University of South Africa, South Africa
Eva Jakobsson, University of Stavanger, Norway
Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, Germany
Stefan Dorondel (Board representative), Institute of Anthropology, Bucharest, Romania
Marianna Dudley, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

A downloadable version of this announcement is available here.

2019 Conference Call for Papers

esehadmin : June 23, 2018 08:10

ESEH_2019_varviline_logo 10th Biennial European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) Conference

Boundaries in/of Environmental History

Tallinn, Estonia, 21 to 25 August 2019

Hosting institution: Estonian Centre for Environmental History (KAJAK), Tallinn University

The European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) is pleased to invite proposals for sessions, individual papers, roundtables, posters and other, more experimental forms of communicating scholarship for its 2019 biennial conference.

Boundary studies is a rapidly growing field of interdisciplinary research that is increasingly relevant in historical research, for example, through studies on trans­national or migration histories, global and colonial environments, relations of humans and animals or technical systems. After a successful conference in Zagreb where we tackled boundaries as contact zones in between, we would like to turn inwards and address the phenomenon of boundaries as internal processes. An environmental historian negotiates constantly the boundaries of its own field and others, but also the boundaries between humans and non­humans, environment and technology, bodily and external, local and global. None of these boundaries are fixed, but constantly redrawn and challenged. Boundary zones mediate the contacts with other areas and act as filters for innovation, where difference and similarity need to be constantly negotiated and enacted.

Highly relevant for environmental history are ecological boundaries that create various possibilities and affordances by their sheer existence but that can in their turn be re­drawn by human activities; or geographical boundaries that create different contact zones, facilitate or complicate communication and migration of humans and non­human nature. All these different boundaries may coincide with current administrative boundaries but most often they do not and are differently practiced by humans and non­human agents. Often, the boundaries can shift or change their character. A river or sea that once was a connecting path for boats, now means an obstacle for those crossing a terrain in a petrol­-powered vehicle. An infinite object such as our planet can become a bounded and finite phenomenon. An external technical system such as nuclear power plant can become infused with our bodies through radiation.

Our particular interest lies in trans­national co­-formation of environments, ecological niches, cross­overs, hybrids, migration; boundaries as mechanisms for creating new possibilities, opening up new channels for information exchange, facilitating coexistence of different groups, both humans and other species. The concept of boundary is also appropriate for bringing attention to the inherently interdisciplinary nature of environmental history and highlighting methods of participatory and activist research.

Possible topics to be discussed under the umbrella concept of boundaries, include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Hybridisation, transcorporeality, post­-humanism and more­-than-­human histories;
  • Industrial and agricultural impact on environment and biocultural diversity,
  • Envirotechnical systems, nature protection, resource use;
  • Environmental justice, colonialism and global environments, migration, conflicts, environmental legacies of wars, health and disease;
  • Planetary boundaries and the Anthropocene, temporal and spatial boundaries in historical climate and climate change, ecosystem boundaries;
  • Inter-­ and trans­disciplinary, transnational and cross­-regional environmental histories of Europe, environmental humanities and popular culture;
  • Boundaries in time: new chronologies in environmental history;
  • Crossing boundaries in/of scientific knowledge: pedagogical challenges of teaching environmental history.

The conference also accepts papers on environmental history that do not fall under the umbrella topic of boundaries.

Diversity policy:

The conference covers all periods and all areas of the globe and is open to scholars from all disciplines and backgrounds. In order to strengthen diversity at the conference, we are giving preference to panels where the presenters come from different regions within or beyond Europe, different institutions or different disciplines. We also encourage the presenting teams to observe gender and age balance and to use emergent scholars as session chairs, in order to provide better visibility to younger generations of historians. Graduate students will be offered a special reduced fee.

To diversify the forms of presentation, we encourage submission in formats that introduce a clash of perspectives, interpretations, or methodologies. For example,

  • Formats permitting a joint discussion of a single theme or book as a part of the panel session.
  • Formats that allow sharply focused commentary from the audience early on.
  • Formats in which a single, major paper, primary source material, film, or book is the subject of attention and on which other papers and all the commentary are focused.
  • Panels in which participants present one another’s work rather than their own.
  • Roundtables that examine teaching in the field or that explore innovative approaches to teaching a particular subject.

Each person can be a primary presenter in only one panel, roundtable, or other session proposal, but can also serve as a chair or commentator in a second session proposal. The conference language is English; no submissions in other languages will be accepted. All proposals will be reviewed by the ESEH Program Committee.

All proposals should be submitted through our online submission system (see links under each submittal type below). The deadline for submittals is October 31, 2018.

Questions about proposals should be directed to the Head of the Programme Committee, Prof. Finn Arne Jørgensen, University of Stavanger, through the email

For more information about the conference and the venue, visit

Download a copy of the ESEH 2019 CFP as a pdf file.

Proposals will be accepted in the following categories:

1. Sessions

Sessions are 3 papers of 20 minutes each or 4 papers of 15 minutes each. Other formats (debate panels, roundtables) should be submitted under the Roundtable or Experimental session categories. Session proposals will include a session title and session abstract of 200-300 words; list of contributors and a chair; and individual paper titles and abstracts of 200-300 words each. Session proposal may also include a commentator/discussant in place of the fourth paper. Nevertheless, all sessions should include sufficient time for general discussion.

Submit a session proposal

2. Individual papers

Contributors may also submit individual papers of max. 20 minutes, which will be combined into sessions of three to four papers in case of acceptance. However, scholars should take note that the scientific committee has a certain preference for session submissions, and that it cannot guarantee thematic coherence for the resulting sessions. Paper proposals are to consist of an abstract of 200-300 words.

Submit an individual paper proposal

3. Roundtables

Scholars can also propose 90-minute roundtables, which differ in form and goal from regular paper sessions. Roundtables are panels ranging from 3-6 people and a chair who speak to a common question or theme. Successful roundtables involve interaction between the panelists, the active involvement of the chair in shaping the conversation, and ample time for the audience to interact with the panel and pose questions.

Submit a roundtable proposal

4. Posters

Poster proposals will include an abstract of 200-300 words. Poster session will have a designated area for display, but a special plenary session will held for all authors of posters to present their research in 2 minutes time per poster. The Environment & History Poster Prize sponsored by The White Horse Press is awarded to the best poster (€100 award) and the 2nd place poster (€50 award).

Submit a poster proposal

5. Non-conventional sessions

We welcome proposals for non-conventional sessions through which proponents wish to experiment with creative formats, such as hands-on workshops, tool demonstrations, and open discussion forums. To submit a proposal for a special session, please provide a 300-400 word abstract, describing in details the activity. Please include in the proposal any special logistical request you might need.

Submit a non-conventional/special session


Call for Papers: Dynamics and Resilience in Socio-Environmental Systems

ESEH : June 11, 2018 20:18

REPORT(H)A –  The Portuguese Network of Environmental History invites panels, papers, and posters submission for its 3rd meeting on “Dynamics and Resilience in Socio-Environmental Systems”.

Deadline for submission November 15, 2018.

More details on the website of REPORT(H)A:

Job: Full Professorship in Environmental History

ESEH : June 11, 2018 20:10

The  University of Freiburg invites applications for a Full Professorship for Economic, Social and Environmental History:


Call for Expressions of Interest to Host ESEH biennial conference in 2021

ESEH : May 16, 2018 09:31

The European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) invites expressions of interest from scholars who would like to host the biennial conference of the Society in 2021. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2019. Below the text of the call with further details:

Job: One-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Environmental Humanities (USA)

esehadmin : March 13, 2018 15:22

Announcing one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Environmental Humanities at the University of Texas at Arlington (U.S.) sponsored by The Seed Box, hosted by Linköping University (Sweden) and, funded by the Swedish grant agencies Mistra and Formas. The fellowship will be part of the The SeedBox’s Research Cluster, “Deep Time, Deep Earth, Deep Waters,”

Deep Time, Deep Earth, Deep Waters – The Seed

Our current environmental challenges are deeply impacted by a common view of natural resources as unlimited, prioritized for human use, and thoroughly instrumentalized.

Preference will be given to transdisciplinary proposals focusing on the blue (aquatic) humanities, with topics concerning oceans, rivers, or other bodies of water. The fellowship will be funded at $60,000 USD, with benefits and a generous research and travel budget. The postdoc fellow will be expected to present one public talk and one workshop and participate in a monthly research cluster on the environmental humanities. The fellowship runs from September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019. This is an international postdoctoral fellowship—anyone may apply. Completion of PHD must be between Jan. 2016-July 2018. Please send one email with the following application materials: a c.v., a five-page research proposal including a list of deliverables, a 20-30 page writing sample, and a letter, by April 15th 2018, to both Stacy Alaimo, and Chris Morris,  Please have two confidential letters of recommendation emailed directly to Alaimo and Morris.

The University of Texas at Arlington is located between Dallas and Ft. Worth, in a culturally diverse region, with many museums, music venues, and restaurants.  The state of Texas has extraordinary natural areas such as Big Bend National Park, the Hill Country around Austin, and the Gulf Coast.  UTA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Additionally, the University prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. A criminal background check will be conducted on finalists. UTA is a tobacco free campus.

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