The article discusses the Soviet fate of Cubism after WWII.
is chapter examines the diering opinions between industrial and scientic institutions over the use of the waters of Lake Baikal in the context of Soviet development policies in Siberia, beginning in the 1950s. It argues that institutions and people experienced Baikal as a place of contradiction, clearly illustrating that Soviet industry posed the risk of harm to the natural environment. In dierent professional layers of Soviet society, Baikal became an arena of conict over water (and nature more broadly) and the lake’s own, natural ability to purify chemical waste discharged into the waters. Employing new archival sources, such as institutional and individual correspondence and reports, this chapter discusses the role of Baikal in the interplay between industry and environment at the institutional level and contributes to the scholarship on Soviet postwar environmental history.
This book offers new perspectives on the environmental history of the lands that have come under Russian and Soviet rule by paying attention to ‘place’ and ‘nature’ in the intersection between humans and the environments that surround them
The formation of the travel and tourism industry in the Russian Empire was a prolonged process. Along with the development of a vast transportation network, the spread of rail services and the introduction of new railway tariffs in 1894, the number of travellers in the Russian Empire increased by the beginning of the twentieth century. All those people required reliable information, instructions and advice on how to organise and complete their journeys, which they increasingly found in tourist guidebooks. Guidebook authors and publishers helped them master the fears arising from the uncertainties of travel. Being a highly contested rhetorical resource, authors, compilers and publishers of guidebooks debated, negotiated and constantly changed the Trans-Siberian ‘landscapes of transportation’. By analysing travel guides on Siberia as complex artefacts and focusing on the transportation landscapes as a historical phenomenon, we hope to shed more light on the complex intersections of mobility, transport technologies and environment in the Russian Empire at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. We argue that in the process of (re)making railway landscapes—which we consider as a material stage on which actions took place—perception of these landscapes was shaped by the natural environment in the process of its transformation, by transportation technologies and infrastructure, by services and conveniences, comfort and safety.
This paper outlines the complexity of interactions between Russian Orthodox monasteries and fish resources of the Russian North in the White and Barents Sea basins. The authors consider the complete cycle of monastic fishing activities as a complex of routine practices of an organizational, managerial, and commercial character. They demonstrate that the monks developed the organizational structure and management system that crucially contributed to the transformation of traditional fishing practices into the market-oriented exploitation of the natural resources of the White and Barents seas.
We now know that the Iron Curtain was not an impenetrable wall but, rather, a porous imaginary boundary through which people, ideas, and goods could travel. This volume is a fresh attempt to look across two blocs to examine variations, similarities, and connections between what we used to call East and West. As editors Astrid Mignon Kirchhof and John R. McNeill explain in the introduction, the volume aims to challenge a traditional question about the East-West divide. It focuses on the environment and its connections to politics, culture, and society.
Since the nineteenth century, access to and the development of natural
resources became an important element of national and international politics. Resource
security emerged as an issue vital to national security; and resource competition and
crises gave rise to international tensions as well as to technological innovation and new
modes of transnational cooperation. This paper discusses ongoing collaborative research
activities in the Tensions of Europe network. Three broader themes are presented: (1)
perceptions and constructions of resources, resource crises, and resource futures; (2)
globalized resource chains and environmental transformation; and (3) managing crises:
technologies, expertise, and the politics of natural resources.
How can we walk the talk of sustainability on a daily basis in our working environments? How can we interpret the concept of sustainability within the academic sphere and widen its scope? How can we build more sustainable careers? This notepad reflects on the condition of early-career environmental historians in Europe and beyond, introduces visions for the field, and suggests concrete action in order to build a more inclusive academic environment.
Focusing on the accelerated use of limestone as a building material in Russia, and government sponsored scientific studies of widespread limestone deposits throughout the nineteenth-century, this contribution investigates the process of transforming common rocks into measurable and valuable natural resources indispensable for actualizing industrial development on a national scale. Special attention is given to the production of a new body of expert knowledge on the specific properties, qualities and practical uses of raw stone materials, to the actors involved in producing this knowledge, and to their crucial role in forming a scientific support system for the mining and construction industries, which gradually developed an institutional hierarchy in its own right. One of the important points of the article is, on the one hand, to show that scientific engagement with the material was closely interrelated to ‘resource nationalism’ policies that became an influential driving force of material sciences institutionalization on the national scale. On the other hand, it is argued that the international circulation of knowledge, technics, and standardization of testing procedures also greatly influenced that process.
From the second half of the XIX century, public gardens and boulevards have become an integral part of provincial Russian towns. They played an aesthetic and sanitary-hygienic role in urban space, being, in fact, green oases in a dusty and noisy town. However, in the XX century, the functional purpose of town gardens has changed: the recreational component is being replaced by the cultural and entertainment one, which became dominant in the Soviet period. This article considers the process of urban space greening in the provincial town of Cherepovets as an example of this process and transforming the functions of the town garden. It also presents the analysis of everyday practices of using urban flora by the population of Cherepovets. The methodological basis of the work is urban environmental history. The research is based on archival and office materials, official statistics, and periodicals. Soviet power kept the tradition of new blocks greening, that formed in the pre-revolutionary period. At the same time, the entertainment and leisure functions of the recreation park supplanted the recreational function, and everyday practices of the town residents showed a dismissive and utilitarian attitude towards the town green spaces. It was due to the peculiarities of urbanization in the city. In the conditions of the constantly expanding town space and the influx of rural population, green spaces could not prevent the degradation of the natural environment, which led to the destabilization of the ecological situation in Cherepovets and prevented the sustainable development of the city.
This paper presents the first findings of a research investigation into understudied aspects of the touristic use of St. Petersburg’s cultural heritage, notably the development of the ‘Maritime Capital of Russia’ as a tourist brand. We argue that the effectiveness of this imaginary ‘Maritime City’ entails a complex approach based on the concept of ‘Maritimity’. Through this perspective we consider the numerous maritime heritage sites of the city as a dynamic playground for the cultural play of heritage consumption. Using guidebooks as a key historical source, we demonstrate how and why touristic representations of St. Petersburg’s maritime past have been transformed, and explore the link between the general development of the country between 1980 and 2003 and the maritime element in the vision of St. Petersburg as a tourist destination.
The concept of “blue growth,” which aims to promote the growth of ocean economies while holistically managing marine socioecological systems, is emerging within national and international marine policy. The concept is often promoted as being novel; however, we show that historical analogies exist that can provide insights for contemporary planning and implementation of blue growth. Using a case-study approach based on expert knowledge, we identified 20 historical fisheries or aquaculture examples from 13 countries, spanning the last 40–800 years, that we contend embody blue growth concepts. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that blue growth has been investigated across such broad spatial and temporal scales. The past societies managed to balance exploitation with equitable access, ecological integrity and/or economic growth for varying periods of time. Four main trajectories existed that led to the success or failure of blue growth. Success was linked to equitable rather than open access, innovation and management that was responsive, holistic and based on scientific knowledge and monitoring. The inability to achieve or maintain blue growth resulted from failures to address limits to industry growth and/or anticipate the impacts of adverse extrinsic events and drivers (e.g. changes in international markets, war), the prioritization of short-term gains over long-term sustainability, and loss of supporting systems. Fourteen cross-cutting lessons and 10 recommendations were derived that can improve understanding and implementation of blue growth. Despite the contemporary literature broadly supporting our findings, these recommendations are not adequately addressed by agendas seeking to realize blue growth.
This paper focuses on official Soviet attitudes towards ‘ecological crisis’ and the rhetoric developed to address it. It analyses in particular the discussions in the Soviet Union that followed the publication of the Club of Rome report Limits to Growth (1972). It contributes to the better understanding of the debate around resource scarcity in a framework of so-called ‘ecological crisis’ as it was conceptualized in the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. It is based on the analysis of writings by the Soviet geophysicist Evgenii Fedorov (1910–81) who was among the few Soviet members of the Club of Rome and thus had direct access to contemporary Western scholarship. The paper explores how such rhetoric accepted and reconceptualized the notion of crisis for use in both domestic and international environmental politics and the associated advancement of technology as the most effective remedy against resource scarcity. Fedorov largely built his ideas on Soviet Marxism and Vladimir Vernadsky’s concepts, which preceded the current notion of the Anthropocene. In addition, his experience in nuclear projects and weather modification research –– both more or less successful technocratic projects – gave him some kind of assurance of the power of technology. The paper also provides some comparison of the views of the problem from the other side of the Iron Curtain through a discussion of the thoughts of the leftwing American environmentalist Barry Commoner (1917–2012), which had been popularized for the Soviet public by Fedorov.
This article examines Comecon’s scientific-technological cooperation via the lens of the so-called ‘direct contacts’ of Soviet industrial and research institutions and specialists. It emphasizes two particular questions: the place of institutional and technological inequality in the attempt to integrate socialist Europe; and the motivations of Soviet research and industrial institutions. The paper studies from a local perspective the way in which regional integration was to provide modern technologies to help both the bloc and the Soviet technological system beat the West. It demonstrates that technological integration of the bloc was complicated by institutional inequalities on the local level that contradicted the design and bureaucracy of cooperation that had initially been based on the principle of equality. As a result, in many cases, cooperation was not an opportunity for mutually beneficial technological development, but a formalized necessity and a source of individual benefits. It gave Soviet specialists motivation to see better techniques and higher working and living standards, which sometimes became an important incentive for cooperation.
In the last third of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, capitalism and industrial development caused an increasing anthropogenic load on Russian nature. The residents of cities and towns were the first ones who experienced the effects of environmental contamination, and over 25 thousand of Novgorod inhabitants were among them. The article is devoted to the analysis of urban pollution and sanitation in Novgorod, which was a small town of the Russian Empire with 17–27 thousand population. The article explained that a small city had problems with water and soil pollution by domestic wastes. The research made it possible to identify the causes of the origin of urban sanitation in a small Russian city. It is essential for understanding the place of small cities of late modern times in urban environmental history. The source base consisted of materials of the funds of the state archives of the Russian Federation, periodic press, record-keeping documentation, and statistics.
It has been noted that under the COVID19 pandemic, museums started to cultivate
virtual connections with isolated audiences via online exhibitions. The question is,
however, what audiences do with art now that museum spaces are physically inaccessi-
ble and what (if any) kind of sociality virtual accessibility to art might produce.
This article explores the networking activities of Count Nikolai Rumiantsev and Adam von Krusenstern, his close collaborator. The visionary Russian statesman and the celebrated navigator were deeply involved in northern exploration. They funded and organized a circumnavigating voyage by the brig Rurik in 1815–18, with the explicit goals of searching for a northern passage between Eurasia and North America and conducting a series of scientific investigations in the Bering Strait region. This private exploratory enterprise profoundly influenced the exchange of information and reconfigured both local and global networks of knowledge. Based on an analysis of private correspondence, printed accounts and journal articles related to the Rurik’s expedition, this study sheds light on how this transnational network of actors emerged and functioned, and how it promoted a lively circulation of information about exploration in the Bering Strait region in the 1810s–1820s. I argue that a complex interplay of geopolitical and intellectual competition, with exchanges, collaborations and coordination among various actors (e.g. patrons, navigators, scholars, entrepreneurs and publishers), stimulated further research on the global ocean’s northern spaces and laid the foundations of marine science.