Berlin-Brandenburg Colloquium on Environmental History

Jan-Henrik Meyer's picture

Berlin-Brandenburg Colloquium on Environmental History

 

Type: 

Seminar

Date: 

May 17, 2018 to July 12, 2018

Location: 

Germany

Subject Fields: 

Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, German History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

 

Thursday, 17.05.2018          Double-Book Presentation
„Controlling the Environment and State Building “: 
Julia Obertreis (Erlangen) "Imperial Desert Dreams"
Christoph Bernhard (Erkner) "Im Spiegel des Wassers" (In the Mirror of the Water) Comment: Timothy Moss (Berlin)
Moderation: Astrid M. Kirchhof, Jan-Henrik Meyer
Different room: 5009, Friedrichstr. 191-193, 5th floor

Thursday, 24.05.2017         

Julia Mariko Jacoby (Berlin / Freiburg): Prediction for Planning: How Catastrophism Became Part of Japanese Disaster Policy Making 1892-1978

Thursday, 28.06.2017         

Sophie Lange (Berlin): Deutsch-deutsche Umweltpolitik im internationalen und gesellschaftlichen Kontext des Ost-West-Konflikts, 1970-1990 (German-German Environmental politics and policy in the international context of the cold war 1970-1990)

Thursday, 05.07.2018         

Birgit Müller (Paris): Clashes of Cultures of Protest. Anti-Nuclear Activism at the Czech - Austrian Border

Thursday, 12.07.2018         

Frederik Schulze (Münster): Environment and Knowledge. Large Dams in Latin America in the Twentieth Century

 

Place:                                                 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Friedrichstraße 191-193, Eingang Friedrichstr., Lift in den 4. Stock, Raum 4026.

Time:                                                18:00 (c.t.) – 20:00 Uhr

Contact:                                       

Astrid M. Kirchhof astrid.m.kirchhof@geschichte.hu-berlin.de

Jan-Henrik Meyer j.h.meyer@hum.ku.dk

 

 

Thursday, 17.05.2018          Double-Book Presentation
„Controlling the Environment and State Building “: 
Julia Obertreis (Erlangen) "Imperial Desert Dreams"
Christoph Bernhard (Erkner) "Im Spiegel des Wassers" (In the Mirror of the Water) Comment: Timothy Moss (Berlin)
Moderation: Astrid M. Kirchhof, Jan-Henrik Meyer
Different room: 5009, Friedrichstr. 191-193, 5th floor

Books discussed:

Julia Obertreis: Imperial Desert Dreams.

Cotton Growing and Irrigation in Central Asia, 1860-1991 (= Kultur und Sozialgeschichte Osteuropas /Cultural and Social History of

Eastern Europe; Bd. 8), Göttingen:

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2017

 

 

 

Christoph Bernhardt: Im Spiegel des Wassers. Eine transnationale Umweltgeschichte des Oberrheins (1800-2000) (= Umwelthistorische Forschungen; Bd. 5), Köln / Weimar /

Wien: Böhlau 2016

 

 

Der Zusammenhang von Wasserinfrastrukturpolitik und staatlicher Herrschaft ist ein seit langem diskutiertes Thema historischer Forschung. Die beiden Bücher untersuchen diese Frage für das 19. und 20. Jahrhundert am Beispiel der russländischen und sowjetischen Imperiumsbildung in Zentralasien einerseits und der Staatsbildung im Zeitalter des Nationalismus am Rhein andererseits. Im Fokus stehen die Planung und Umsetzung von Großprojekten wie die Korrektur des Rheins zum Zwecke der Landgewinnung und die Erschließung der Hungersteppe in Usbekistan mit dem Ziel der Ausweitung des Baumwollanbaus. Gravierende ökologische Folgen wie die Verlandung des Aralsees und die langfristig wachsende Hochwassergefahr am Rhein stellten die vielfach positiv konnotierten Modernisierungsprojekte in Frage. Aus den empirischen Analysen werden Schlussfolgerungen für neuere Theoriedebatten gezogen, etwa zum high modernism. Auf diese Weise werden die Bedeutung und die langfristigen Linien einer auf Umweltbeherrschung gegründeten staatlichen Hegemonie und gesellschaftlichen Modernisierung in unterschiedlichen politisch-kulturellen Kontexten sichtbar.       

 

Thursday, 24.05.2017          Julia Mariko Jacoby (Berlin / Freiburg): Prediction for Planning: How Catastrophism Became Part of Japanese Disaster Policy Making 1892-1978

Although the goal of precisely predicting an earthquake eludes seismologists to this day, and is deemed impossible by some, earthquake prediction has been a crucial field of seismology in earthquake prone countries, especially Japan. The Japanese government set earthquake prediction as a research goal as soon as it began to assume disaster preparedness as its duty with the establishment of Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee in 1892. Roughly twenty years later, in 1905, Imamura Akitsune became the first seismologist to use catastrophic scenarios to try to influence policy makers with regard to disaster preparedness – without success.

Earthquake prediction in Japan reached its peak with a large-scale research project implemented in 1965, shortly after the Basic Disaster Countermeasures Law had systematized disaster preparedness in 1961 by stipulating local planning against disasters. These efforts culminated in the Large-Scale Earthquake Countermeasures Act in 1978, an unprecedented preparedness plan that followed scientists’ discussions about a presumed megaquake near the densely-populated southern coast of Japan.

The development of earthquake prediction was closely linked to the establishment of state-driven disaster preparedness in Japan, which heavily relied on planning and technocratic solutions. Policy makers needed scientists not only to warn the public but to assess the location and severity of potential earthquakes. In return, scientists tried to influence policies by drawing out catastrophic scenarios. A long-term perspective on Japanese earthquake prediction can add a layer to the discussion of how catastrophism became a tool to influence environmental policy making.

Short Bio:

Julia Mariko Jacoby is Predoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. Her PhD project, Disaster Preparedness in Japan and Global Transfer of Knowledge, 1890-1970, analyzes the impact of natural disasters on Japanese society and the implementation of strategies against them, and thus traces the development of the modern disaster preparedness system in Japan, setting it into the context of global expert knowledge production and circulation of disaster related knowledge.

She received an M.A. from the University of Freiburg in Modern and Contemporary History, Latin and Geology in 2013 and conducted her fieldwork for her PhD based at the University of Osaka from 2015 to 2017. She has an article forthcoming on theEstablishment of Tsunami Preparedness in the Pacific in the Japanese Shigaku Zasshi.

Sophie Lange (Berlin): Deutsch-deutsche Umweltpolitik im internationalen und gesellschaftlichen Kontext des Ost-West-Konflikts, 1970-1990 (German-German Environmental politics and policy in the international context of the cold war 1970-1990)

Abstract:

„Umweltschutz ist keine Einbahnstraße“ ist eine Phrase, die sich öfters in den Quellen wiederfindet. Dass Umweltprobleme, wie Luft- und Gewässerverschmutzung auch ideologische Grenzen im Zeitalter des Ost-West-Konfliktes ohne Hindernisse passieren, ist offensichtlich. Die Frage ist, wie gingen beide Seiten damit um? Anhand des deutsch-deutschen Beispiels wird zum einen der Umgang mit Umweltschutz und deren Eingang in die Umweltpolitik zwischen den verschiedenen Systemen beleuchtet. Als Fallbeispiele dienen hier neben dem Gewässerschutz (Werra, Elbe) und der Luftverschmutzung auch der Umgang mit dem Müll. Zum anderen will das Dissertationsprojekt damit versuchen eine Betrachtung deutsch-deutscher Geschichte zu schreiben, die Asymmetrien, Parallelen und vor allem Wechselwirkungen zwischen Bundesrepublik und DDR berücksichtigt. Diese Geschichte einer Art von Umweltdiplomatie ist zudem in die internationalen und auch gesellschaftlichen Entwicklungen einzubetten.

 

Kurzbiographie:

Sophie Lange, seit 2016 Doktorandin an der Humboldt-Universität. Sie arbeitet zu dem als wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft am Berliner Kolleg Kalter Krieg und Referentin an der Gedenkstätte Stasi-Gefängnis Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. Ihr Thema, "Deutsch-deutsche Umweltpolitik im gesellschaftlichen und internationalen Kontext des Ost-West-Konflikts, 1970-1990", trug sie bereits zu Teilen auf verschiedenen, auch internationalen Konferenzen in Wien, Berlin, Chicago und Genf vor. Neben Tagungsberichten und Blogartikeln, die sie verfasste, ist dazu zuletzt der Artikel "Umweltschutz über Grenzen. Die Umweltvereinbarung von 1987" erschienen.

 

 

Thursday, 05.07.2018          Birgit Müller (Paris): Clashes of Cultures of Protest. Anti-Nuclear Activism at the Czech - Austrian Border

Abstract:

What is the impact of mental borders on the cooperation of European citizens mobilising against the construction of nuclear power stations? This conference looks at interactions and interdependences between Czech and Austrian anti-nuclear activists and analyses their different forms of political action, focussing on the transmission and re-interpretation of forms of political action across borders, on the perception of risk and political responsibility and the expectancies linked to the idea and practice of a (European) democracy. It analyses the perceptions of the nuclear problem by Czech and Austrian movements through the visual material they are using in their campaigns and the reception that certain foreign symbols, colours and slogans received in the Czech Republic. The difficulties that Austrian and Czech cross-border anti-nuclear activism encounters in finding a common discourse and symbolism of action throws light on the complexities of transnational advocacy networks in action.

 

Short Bio:

Birgit Müller (PhD Cambridge 1986) is research director at the IIAC/LAIOS, CNRS/EHESS in Paris. Her current research explores how farmers, soils and seeds make out in the new global conjunctures of climate smart agriculture — the private and public agricultural policy making by states, corporations and a large array of international governmental and non-governmental organisations. She sets out to understand local quotidian farming practices, as they wrestle with supra-local processes and discursive practices that connect local life-worlds in two farming settings in Canada and Nicaragua that all seem to oppose. Among her books: Disenchantment with Market Economics. East Germans and Western Capitalism (2008), The Gloss of Harmony. The politics of policy making in multilateral organisations (2013). For more information see: https://ehess.academia.edu/BirgitM%C3%BCller

 

 

 

Thursday, 12.07.2018          Frederik Schulze (Münster): Environment and Knowledge. Large Dams in Latin America in the Twentieth Century

Abstract:

My research project aims at studying the construction of large dams within the framework of Latin American developmental policy during the Cold War. For these modernizing efforts, the exploitation of natural resources was crucial. Since the 1960s, Latin America became the most important arena of global dam construction with the largest dams ever built, due to geographic conditions and technological appropriation, enabled by entanglements between Latin America, the United States and Europe. Large dams in Latin America had also a symbolic function and promised social modernization through technology and systematic planning. However, the destruction of the environment led to a decline of this imagery. By the end of the 1970s, dams triggered considerable resistance by the civil society.

 

Short Bio:

Frederik Schulze is an assistant professor in Assistant Professor (wissenschaftlicher Assistent) for Latin American History at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, where he works on a postdoctoral research project on “Environment and Knowledge. Large Dams in Latin America in the Twentieth Century”. His PhD thesis “Emigration and failed colonial discourses. ‘Germanness’ in southern Brazil” from Free University Berlin received the Friedrich-Meinecke-Prize in 2014. It was published „Auswanderung als nationalistisches Projekt. ‚Deutschtum‘ und Kolonialdiskurse im südlichen Brasilien (1824–1941)“ in 2016 with Böhlau.

Recent Publications: „‘Auslandsdeutschtum' in Brazil (1919–1941). Global Discourses and Local Histories“, in: German History 33,3 (2015), S. 405–422; „Von verbrasilianisierten Deutschen und deutschen Brasilianern. „Deutschsein“ in Rio Grande do Sul, Brasilien, 1870–1945“, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 41,2 (2015), S. 197–227.

Contact Info: 

Astrid M. Kirchhof astrid.m.kirchhof@hu-berlin.de

Jan-Henrik Meyer jhmeyer@gmx.de

Contact Email: 

jhmeyer@gmx.de

URL: 

http://static-curis.ku.dk/portal/files/195520015/BBC_Sommer_18_final_180424.pdf