The final BALTEHUMS program

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email