Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Chernobyl resources

David has prepared a brief, preliminary bibliography of works on Chernobyl. It is available at http://www.york.ac.uk/media/history/russianenvironment/chernobyl/Chernobyl%20bib%20brief.pdf . Please send further suggestions for important works - in any language - to history-russenv@york.ac.uk.

You can also find links to the BBC article "Chernobyl: A field trip to no man's land" on the work of Canadian Scientist Tim Mousseau and the film "Radioactive Wolves" on the Resources section of the website (http://www.york.ac.uk/history/research/majorprojects/russiasenvironmentalhistory/#tab-7).

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Book "Four Fields" by Tim Dee, 2013

Network Partner Jonathan Oldfield recommends the book "Four Fields" by Tim Dee, 2013
(Jonathan Cape: London)

"The author reflects on 4 fields – one of which is a prairie field (Montana) and one in the Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl’ (the other 2 are in Cambridgeshire, UK and southern Africa). 

The Chernobyl essay reminded me of some of the themes raised by Kate Brown during the St Petersburg workshop on the Krasin."

The following review in the New Statesman is useful: http://www.newstatesman.com/books/2013/09/four-fields-tim-dee-troublesome-boundary-between-human-and-natural

Monday, 21 October 2013

Prof David Moon presents Network to Leverhulme Trust workshop

On Friday 18 October, David Moon made a brief presentation on the network at a workshop on 'Leverhulme Trust research funding', addressed by Professor Gordon Marshall, the Director of the Leverhulme Trust. This took place in the Humanities Research Centre at York University.

Book review of "Heart-Pine Russia: Walking and Writing the Nineteenth-Century Forest."

Read Network member Prof David Moon's review of:

Jane T. Costlow, Heart-Pine Russia: Walking and Writing the Nineteenth-Century Forest. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013


Friday, 18 October 2013

More photos from the Solovetskii Islands and St Petersburg

Ion Voicu Sucala is a Ph.D. student at the University of Glasgow researching “The selection of the organisational elite in Communist Romania”. He is a visiting researcher with the Network and has published many of his photos from the recent Network trip to St Petersburg and the Solovetskii Islands on his blog http://argo-traveller.blogspot.co.uk

In particular his photos from the Solovetskii Islands can be found at
http://argo-traveller.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/solovki-islands-august-2013.html and

and his photos from St Petersburg are at http://argo-traveller.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/st-petersburg-august-2013.html

More photos from the trip can be found on the Network website at http://www.york.ac.uk/history/research/majorprojects/russiasenvironmentalhistory/solovkigallery/

St Petersburg - photo by Ion Voicu Sucala

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Nicholas Breyfogle's Blog on the Solovki trip

Network Partner Prof Nicholas Breyfogle from Ohio State University has created the blog Enironment–Water–History: Explorations in Ecological History which features a series of posts on the Network's recent trip to St Petersburg and the Solovetskii Islands. You can find it at https://u.osu.edu/breyfogle.1/

To the Blockade Stickleback
The shelling has fallen silent and the bombing too,
But, to this day, praise is sounded
To the blockade little fish
That helped the people to survive
                        — M. G. Aminova
                        –plaque erected for the 300-year anniversary of Kronstadt.

Photo by Nicholas Breyfogle

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Field Trip to the Solovetskii Islands - August 2013

Monastery on Solovki - photo by Abi Sutton
In August, Network partners and invited specialists participated in a field trip to the Solovetskii Islands in the White Sea. These islands have a unique flora and fauna and have been inhabited since pre-history, hosting, among others, a fishing community, an Orthodox monastery and the first Soviet labour camp (gulag). The islands are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offer rich materials to investigate the relationship between state, society, culture, religion and nature, and the role of science and technology, in Russia’s Arctic region.

The programme for the trip, together with essays and photos by participants, can be found at:

Thursday, 22 August 2013

International Network Established

We are delighted to announce that The Leverhulme Trust has awarded an International Network Grant to the University of York for a project led by Professor David Moon entitled :

Exploring Russia’s Environmental History and Natural Resources

The network will comprise specialists from York and Glasgow universities in the UK, Georgetown and Ohio State universities in the USA, and the European University and Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg, Russia.

The network’s activities will revolve around a series of annual workshops/field trips to specific locations: the Solovetskii Islands in the White Sea; the Chernobyl’ exclusion zone in Ukraine; and Lake Baikal in Siberia. The project will combine field work in these locations with conventional historical research in order to enhance our understanding of the history of Russian scientific research, exploitation of natural resources, environmental disasters, and nature conservation.

By adding field work to conventional historical research we will enhance our understanding of the history of Russian scientific research, exploitation of natural resources, environmental disasters, and nature conservation.

The network will run for three years beginning July 2013.

Members of the network team after a preliminary meeting and workshop on the historic icebreaker Krasin (which was built on the river Tyne in 1916) in St Petersburg in March 2013.