Environment as Imaginative Force: Nature and Culture in Southeast Europe and the Middle East

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response: Learn how the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies is working under the current operational posture at ucis.pitt.edu/creees/covid.

8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Event Status
As Scheduled

Environmental history and nature-writing have captured both scholarly and public interest as evidenced by the number as well as the quality of recent publications. The proliferation is doubtlessly the result of the urgency of the climate crisis and environmental destruction and social, political, and cultural anxieties stemming from them. Within the academy especially, research on environmental history is flourishing; scholars have been examining new themes and possibilities for studying environmental change and its complex entanglements with the human world. In the last several years, scholars have expanded the scope of environmental research, which now ranges from narratives centering on various environments and topographies such as rivers or permafrost to animal farming in the context of twentieth-century politics and the role of technology such as photography in making nature an important part of colonialist discourse.

This symposium aims to gather scholars whose work touches on different aspects of the cultural and social history of the environment in Southeast and East Europe and the Middle East. Broadly conceived, the region forms a part of the former Ottoman domains and the historical treatment of the region has been overwhelmingly through the lens of political history and top-down approaches. In recent years, though, a number of historians embraced environmental approaches, producing in turn excellent studies on a range of topics, from climate history and its impact on societies to empire and resource management, particularly of water. Inspired by this scholarship, the symposium seeks to emphasize the environment as a powerful discursive force at the intersection of cultural, religious, and intellectual history. Therefore, its core concern is to explore and formulate new questions, themes, and approaches regarding the role of the environment in shaping different imaginaries as well as modes of belonging and identity, of history and cultural and political categories and hierarchies.

Virtual event
Event Type
Contact Email
Contact Phone
Add to My Calendar