First Baltic Conference on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences

RHN 137/2018 | Event

8-9 October 2018, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Academic Center for Natural Sciences, Latvian University, Jelgavas Street 1, Riga, Latvia


First Baltic Conference on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences (BALTEHUMS)

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

October 9

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