Eurasian Environments: Nature and Ecology in Eurasian History


Eurasian Environments: Nature and Ecology in Eurasian History

September 16-17, 2011
** Final ** Program
(August 20, 2011)
All panels will meet in Room Pfahl 240
Blackwell Hotel

This conference has been very generously funded by the following organizations at Ohio State: the Mershon Center, Office of International Affairs, Department of History, College of Humanities, Center for Slavic and East European Studies, Middle Eastern Studies Center, and East Asian Studies Center. We extend our very deep appreciation for their support.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

  • CESS Opening Reception (All are invited!), 5:30-7:00pm, Pfahl Hall, 2nd floor (light food, cash bar) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

  • 8:00am Light Breakfast available in meeting room
  • 8:15am-8:30am Welcome to the Conference

I. Water and the Environmental Transformation of Central Asia (8:30am-10:15am)

Chair and Commentator: Nicholas Breyfogle (Ohio State)

  1. Julia Obertreis (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg), "Soviet Irrigation Policies in Central Asia under Fire: the Ecological Debate in the Turkmen and Uzbek Republics, 1970-1991"
  2. Maya Peterson (Harvard), “‘Native’ Rice, American Cotton, and the Struggle for Water in Central Asia under Russian Rule.”
  3. Christian Teichmann (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), “Changing Tides on the Oxus: The Lower Amu Daria, 1920s to 1940s “

II. Land, Rocks, Soil, and the Eurasian Environment (10:30am-12:15pm)

Chair and Commentator: Christopher Otter (Ohio State)

  1. Andy Bruno (Northern Illinois University), “Reusable Rocks and Soviet Pollution: The Case of Khibiny Nepheline.”
  2. Pey-Yi Chu (Princeton University), "Adapting to 'Permafrost Country': The Soviet Encounter with Frozen Earth."
  3. Mieka Erley (UC-Berkeley), "The Metaphorics of Soil in Eurasia and the Legacy of Justus von Liebig."

12:15pm-1:30pm: Lunch Provided in Meeting Room

III. Understanding and Controlling Nature (1:30pm-3:15pm)

Chair and Commentator: Douglas Weiner (Arizona)

  1. Ian Campbell (UC Davis), "Ambivalence and Imperial Knowledge: Geographies of the Kazakh Steppe, 1845-1860s."
  2. Randall Dills (Louisville), “Unceasing Vigilance: Engineers, Professionalism and a Path to Modernity in the Russian Empire, 1809-1878”
  3. Mark Sokolsky (Ohio State), "Explorations in Tiger Country: Travelers, Scientists, and Settlement and in Russian Primorye"

IV. Roundtable Discussion (3:30pm-5:15pm)

“Eurasian Environmental History in a Global Perspective: Future Directions for Study and Contributions to the Field” (open discussion for all participants)

Dinner: EE participants will join the CESS Dinner and Plenary Address (Peter Perdue)

6 pm: Plenary Address, "When Central Eurasia was not Central: Strange and Familiar Parallels, 1350-1750," Blackwell Ballroom
7:30 pm Conference Banquet, Cash Bar (Blackwell Ballroom)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • 8am  Light Breakfast available in meeting room

V. Steppe Environments (8:30am-10:15am)

Chair and Commentator: John Brooke (Ohio State)

  1. Sarah Cameron (Yale), “Changes in a Hungry Land: Nomads, Settlers and the Ecology of the Kazakh Steppe, 1870-1916”
  2. Marc Elie (CNRS Centre d'études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CNRS-EHESS)), “Desiccated Steppes: Droughts, erosion, climate change, and the crisis of Soviet agriculture, 1960s-1980s”
  3. David Moon (University of Durham), “Planting Trees in Unsuitable Places: Russian Steppe Forestry, 1696-1850”

VI. Fruits of the Waters (10:30am-12:15pm)

Chair and Commentator: Brian Bonhomme (Youngstown State)

  1. Stephen Brain (Mississippi State University), "Collectivizing the Ocean: The Environmental History of the Pomor."
  2. Nicholas Breyfogle (Ohio State),” A Revolution for the Fish? The Politics and Culture of Fishing in Lake Baikal”
  3. Ryan Jones (Idaho State), "Red Spouts: Animals, History, and Hunters in the Literature of Russian Whaling"

12:15pm-1:30pm: Lunch Provided in Meeting Room

VII. Infrastructure, Development, and Environment (1:30pm-3:15pm)

Chair and Commentator: Erika Monahan (University of New Mexico)

  1. Megan Dean (Stanford), "Inter-Imperial Flows: The Development of Trabzon and the Russo-Ottoman Frontier"
  2. Paul Josephson (Colby College), "The Environmental Costs of Soviet Arctic Development: The Russian Northwest"
  3. George Lywood (Ohio State), “The First Crimean Excursions: Scholarship, Enlightenment, and Nature, 1876-1914.”

3:15pm-3:30pm Concluding Comments

3:30pm-5:15pm CESS Presidential Roundtable “Central Asia in World History”

Dinner for EE Participants (6:30 pm, Taj Mahal Restaurant,