Exploring Russia's Environmental History: Lake Baikal
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 4:00pm to 6:00pm
CERES welcomes David Moon from the University of York and Catherine Evtuhov of Georgetown University to talk about their recent visit to Lake Baikal in Siberia as part of an international project entitled ‘Exploring Russia’s Environmental History and Natural Resources’ funded by the Georgetown Environment Initiative and the Leverhulme Trust. In late July and early August 2015, a group of 16 specialists in the humanities, social and natural scientists from Russia, USA, Canada, Australia, Romania and the UK spent 10 days taking part in a series of academic workshops and exploring key locations around the lake, including the Barguzinskii zapovednik (established in 1916 to protect the sable), the Ushkanyi islands (home of the unique nerpa or fresh-water seals), Olkhon Island, and the cities of Ulan-Ude and Irkutsk. As well as Baikal’s natural beauty, they also witnessed a lake shrouded with smoke from forest fires around its shores following several months of drought and heat wave: testament to the earth’s changing climate.
David Moon is Anniversary Professor in the Department of History at the University of York, UK. He is lead investigator of a Leverhulme International Network: ‘Exploring Russia's environmental history and natural resources.' He works on Russian and transnational environmental history. His most recent book, The Plough that Broke the Steppes: Agriculture and Environment on Russia’s Grasslands, 1700-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2013) was awarded the Alexander Nove Prize for the best book in Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet studies by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies. He holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2015-17) for his project: The Amerikan Steppe: Russian Influences on the Great Plains. He is currently in Washington, DC, to conduct research in the National Archives and Library of Congress.
Catherine Evtuhov has been teaching in the History Department at Georgetown since 1992. Her interests lie at the intersection of ideas, culture, and society in Russia, ranging broadly over the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. She has published the first translation of Russian philosopher Sergei Bulgakov’s Philosophy of Economy: The World as Household (1912; Yale University Press, 2000), a work of social theory based deeply on the relation of human beings and nature; and her most recent book, Portrait of a Russian Province: Economy, Society, and Civilization in Nineteenth-Century Nizhnii Novgorod (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), delves into the ecology of ravines, rivers, and forests and contemporary scientific thinking about them. At present, Dr. Evtuhov is involved in an international collaborative project, with colleagues from the US, UK, and Russia, seeking to establish and broaden the field of Russian environmental history.
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