Transcending Nature: the Anthropocene and Environmental History of Northern Eurasia

Timofey Rakov's picture
Call for Papers
May 1, 2020
Russian Federation
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Humanities, Russian or Soviet History / Studies

The beginning of the XXI century will be called ‘the epoch of ecology’ by the future generations of historians. Wildfires, floods, increasingly warm winters and rainy summers have caused a tempestuous debate on the role of humanity in connection with environmental change. In this regard, the comparatively new term of the ‘Anthropocene’ has received widespread recognition and, as it seems, will be adopted as an official term at the 36th World Geological Congress in India in 2020 to denote the current geological epoch. The present-day situation in the sciences looks paradoxical: as Bruno Latour points out, the environmental issue is not purely scientific anymore. It is more than ever a matter of social struggle and controversy as well as political bargaining to ratify new interpretations of nature policy.

This means that the study of the environment can no longer be left to the sciences alone, but must be tackled interdisciplinarity. In order to understand its complex entanglements, the environment becomes a legitimate field of interest for scholars of the social sciences and humanities as the Anthropocene stands for an epoch that no longer allows the thought divide between nature and culture. The aim of the summer school is to collect ideas on the Anthropocene in Northern Eurasia and to discuss similarities and differences with the other regions.

The formation of a new language for the epoch of Anthropocene is impossible without the study of specific cases in their relationship with up-to-date approaches of the environmental humanities. As a result, the goal of the summer school is to discuss the idea of a North Eurasian Anthropocene, its similarity and differences from other regional variations and anthropocenic developments elsewhere in the world. To accomplish this, it is necessary to combine regional case studies and the general theoretical framework.

At the school, we are going to discuss various aspects of the environmental humanities:

 Key approaches of environmental humanities,

 An environmental history of Northern Eurasia,

 Global and regional dimensions of the Anthropocene.

We welcome applications from historians, philosophers, anthropologists or sociologists. However, applications must not necessarily have their disciplinary background in one of the listed disciplines as the program is open to all graduate students and early career researchers, whose interests lie in the field of environmental humanities and for those who are interested in the understanding of the environment through a humanities perspective. We suppose that the participants intensively read texts on environmental studies and then discuss them during the summer school.

Please send your application by May 1, 2020, to including a draft of your presentation for the school (700 – 1000 words) and CV.

Reimbursement of travel expens- es and accommodation is possible for some participants. Please indicate whether you need compensation for your travel.

Contact Info: 

Tyumen State University,




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