Time in environment: methodological implications of narrating

Intensive graduate seminar

“Time in environment:
methodological implications of narrating”
March 26th-28th, 2013, Tallinn and Sagadi

The course will be held in conjunction with the conference “Time in Environment and Environmental History” (March 25th-26th, Tallinn)

Organizer: Estonian Center for Environmental History (KAJAK)
In co-operation with the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts (GSCSA, University of Tartu) and Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (Germany)

The seminar is centered around time- and environment-related methodological problems. The seminar consists of individual tasks and group-works that are meant to apply the theoretical ideas presented in the lectures of the conference “Time in Environment and Environmental History” in research practice. The aim of the seminar is to draw attention to the specifics of time as a methodological tool of research and narration; to the temporal diversity of different environmental processes and phenomena; to the challenges related with the need to model the temporal processes in the environment.

Initial program

March 26 (Tallinn University, Institute of History)

17.00 Verena Winiwarter (Alpen Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria) “The Anthropocene” – a useful concept to understand the present by looking at the past?

March 27 (Sagadi hostel)

9.00 Departure from Tallinn to Sagadi

10.15 Welcome coffee

10.30 Session led by Hannes Bergthaller (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan)
Narrative Form and Social Order: Contextualizing Environmental History

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Session led by Kati Lindström (University of Tartu; KAJAK, Estonia)
Scaling Time: Different Temporalities and Time Scales in the Environment and the Meta-Level.

16.00 Coffee

16.30 Session led by Dolly Jørgensen (Umeå University, Sweden)
Is all narrative about change over time?

18.30 Dinner

20.00 Sauna

March 28 (Sagadi hostel)

8.30 Breakfast

9.00 Session led by Frank S. Zelko (University of Vermont, USA; Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Germany) & Kieko Matteson (University of Hawaii; Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Germany)
Exploring Environmental History in a Big History Context: Theory, Praxis, Prognostication

11.00 Coffee

11.30 Summing up

13.00 Lunch

14.00 A nature walk in Lahemaa National Park

16.00 Departure from Sagadi

17.00 Back in Tallinn

Seminar Leaders

Kieko Matteson was born and raised in Vermont and with family ties in Hawai’i, she developed an early interest in environmental history while hiking and birding in New England and the U.S. West. Later stints in France and Finland led her to explore the history of natural resource conservation and land use in Europe. Her 2008 dissertation, “Masters of their Woods: Conservation, Community, and Conflict in Revolutionary France” was awarded the American Society for Environmental History’s Rachel Carson Prize and Yale’s Henry A. Turner Prize in European History. Dr. Matteson is currently finishing a book on forest politics and policy in Revolutionary France, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in late 2013. Prior to joining the History Department, Dr. Matteson served as the Executive Director of the World History Association. She is currently an assistant professor of Modern European and Environmental History at the University of Hawai’i and is spending the first half of 2013 as a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.

Frank Zelko’s research focuses on the history of environmentalism, and he is the author of a book on the history of Greenpeace (Oxford University Press, 2013). His current project examines the role that holistic ecological thought has played in mitigating the disenchantment of modernity. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, he received his PhD from the University of Kansas in 2003 and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC and three years as an assistant professor at the University of Queensland. Zelko is now an associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Vermont and is currently a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.

Hannes Bergthaller is an associate professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Chung-Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan. His monograph Populäre Ökologie on the literature and cultural history of modern environmentalism in the US appeared in 2007 (in German); the essay collection Addressing Modernity: Social Systems Theory and US Cultures (co-edited with Carsten Schinko) was published in 2011. He has published articles on a range of subjects including US literature; ecocritical theory; environmental literature, film, and photography. His primary research interests are ecocriticism, US literature and cultural history, and social systems theory. He is a founding member of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and the Environment (EASLCE), as whose president he currently serves.

Kati Lindström has worked mostly with the environmental history and landscape perception of the East Asian inland seas area, with the special attention to the pre-modern landscapes of the central Japan. Her personal interest has been focused on the interface of private experience and large-scale processes in landscape perception and management, as well as the role of some historical landscapes in the present nationalist discourse and their impact on environmentalist discourse and protection policies. Currently working as a researcher in the University of Tartu, she is also one of the founding members of KAJAK, the Estonian Centre of Environmental History in Tallinn. She has completed her doctoral studies in the Kyoto University, Japan, and University of Tartu, Estonia. The investigation in Japan has mostly been carried out under the auspices of the Neolithisation and Modernisation: Landscape History of the East Asian Inland Seas Rim Project at Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Kyoto, Japan), for which she acted as a sub-leader.

Dolly Jørgensen is the project coordinator and a researcher at Umeå University, Department of Ecology & Environmental Science. She is an environmental historian with wide-ranging research interests, spanning from medieval forestry practices to aquatic ecosystems created by the modern offshore oil industry. She is currently working on a project about the role of history in the reintroduction of mammals in Europe, focusing on the beaver in Sweden and the UK and lynx in UK. She is the founder and web manager for the Medieval Environmental History Network: http://medievaleh.org

Verena Winiwarter is professor of Environmental History at the Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies of Klagenfurt University in Vienna. Since 2003 she is head of the Centre for Environmental History of the Institute for Social Ecology in Vienna. Her numerous publications encompass themes from antiquity to the recent past, centred on agro-ecosystems and their history, with a special interest in the history of soils and conceptual issues of interdisciplinary work. She is the author, with Martin Knoll, of the first German textbook for environmental history, Umweltgeschichte. Eine Einführung (UTB Böhlau, 2007).

Requirements for participation

Interested graduate students (maximum 15) can apply for the seminar by sending a letter of motivation (ca 100 words) to ktkdk@ut.ee by January 25th. You will be notified of your participation by the 5th of February. Students are expected to participate in the conference “Time in Environment and Environmental History” preceding the seminar from the 25th to the 26th of March in Tallinn and do preparatory reading in order to participate in the seminar workshops. Extra credits are awarded for an oral or poster presentation at the conference “Time in Environment and Environmental History”.

ECTS points will be awarded on the following conditions:
2 ETC participation in the seminar and conference
+ 2 ETC participating in the conference with a presentation or a poster presentation

Participation in the course is free of charge; the accommodation and travel costs of the students of GSCSA will be reimbursed.

The language of the seminar and conference is English.
The seminar venues:
Tallinn University, Institute of History: http://www.tlu.ee/?CatID=2827&LangID=2
Sagadi hostel: http://www.sagadi.ee/accommodation/hostel-1

The event is supported by the European Union through the European Social Fund (Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts), by Estonian Science Foundation Grant No 9419 (Estonian Centre for Environmental History), and by Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (Germany).