Helsinki Environmental Humanities Month

Online and Live Events of the Helsinki Environmental Humanities Month, November 2021. Supported by HELSUS

1 November 2021, MON, 14:00-16:00 (Helsinki), 

Building Communities of Academics and Stakeholders to Address Climate Change

With Prof. Em. Carole Crumley, Executive Director of the History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE), University of North Carolina/ Uppsala University

Marine archaeologists and historical ecologists can find much common ground in the race to mitigate climate change and catastrophic disruptions in both the Earth system and for humanity.  The talk will examine shared professional origins and an expanding common toolbox.  In dialogue, we can explore the means by which our mutual understandings can be transmitted to stakeholders, managers, and policy makers. 


2 November 2021, TUE, 11:00-12:30 (Helsinki), 

Consumption Disparity, The Elephant in the COP26 Room. Speaker: Prof. David Ness, University of South Australia

COP26 aims to agree on GHG emission reduction targets to limit temperature rise to 1.5o. However, if attention remains completely focused on renewables and energy efficiency, this ambition is unlikely to be achieved. (...)  the talk will explain ways and metrics by which resource disparities may be rebalanced. This necessitates a ‘shrinking’ in demand and consumption by wealthier, well-endowed societies of the Global North, making better use of what they have, while the deprived of the South may ‘expand’ their services, shelter, and infrastructure. A conceptual model will be presented, seeking to enable a social foundation for all within an ecological ceiling.


2 November 2021, TUE, 19:00-20:30 (Helsinki), 

Listening to Atmospheric Encounters - An evening on high altitudes 

by HAB artists Noora Sandgren and Till Bovermann

in SOLU Space

HAB artists Noora Sandgren and Till Bovermann warmly welcome you to an evening in high altitudes. Listening to Atmospheric Encounters will introduce the current exhibition by the HAB group at our SOLU Space - Atmospheric Encounters - and then invite for a listening session with Till Bovermann.


5 November 2021, FRI, 16:15- (Helsinki),

Black Belt Sketches: Ecology and Identity in the American South, Fulbright Bicentennial Inaugural Lecture by Mark Hersey, Mississippi State University, University of Helsinki

Although it is hardly one of North America’s most celebrated landscapes, the physiographic Black Belt of the American South offers an uncommonly productive place to explore the historical intersections of nature and culture. Drawing on examples from the region’s environmental history over the longue durée, this talk explores the often-surprising junctures of land use, race, and poverty in the Black Belt. In doing so, it calls attention to the ways in which cultural identities have been cobbled onto and read out of the material world and aims to spur an appreciation for the landscapes of ostensibly ordinary places.


9 November 2021, TUE, 15:30-17:30 (Helsinki), 

Hunting for Hope: New Perspectives on the History of Game and Fish Management Online Workshop 

Historians have devoted a great deal of attention to the history of hunting and fishing. Yet, as this session shows, many of the assumptions that have driven those histories merit investigation. This session thus unites five papers that reframe the history of game and fish management in new ways, despite offering divergent approaches to the subject.

Erki Tammiksaar assesses changes in the lake’s fish population over time, connecting those shifts to a number of factors, including climate change. Victoria Peemot centers her attention on the 1917 Finnish Geological Expedition to Uriankhai. Anastasia Fedotova explores the reasons for the preservation of European red deer during the long nineteenth century. Drew Swanson focuses to the cultural construction of hunting regulations in the USA. Mark Hersey looks at consequences of wildlife management in the US, the ways in which efforts to preserve wildlife took a distinctive regional form. Chair: Mikko Saikku


16 November 2021, TUE, 13:00-14:30 (Helsinki), 

Reconceptualizing China’s Environmental Challenges Online Seminar 

Moderator: Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies

In this seminar, we seek to examine China’s environmental challenges from new perspectives. Alicia Ng will delve into China’s soil pollution regulations and circular economy efforts through the bioremediation of electronic waste pollution. Eero Suoranta will explore how Han Song’s short story Submarines (2014) uses science fictional estrangement to ask questions related to the Anthropocene and alienation from nature in a contemporary Chinese context. Dušica Ristivojević will turn to China’s presence in Serbia, a country in Europe’s periphery, looking at Chinese investments in dirty industries and the numerous local responses to them. 


17 NOVEMBER, WED, 18:00-19:30 (Helsinki), 11:00-12:30 (New York)

Eco-Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: A Reading and Conversation. Featuring Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Joseph Bruchac, Cheryl J. Fish, Juan Carlos Galeano, Hanna Ellen Guttorm, and Mary Newell.

This session features contributors to the recent anthology of poetry and commentary, Poetics for the More-Than-Human World. Six scholar/poets/artists will read from recent poetic works representing a diversity of voice, place, and connections between human and non-human communities at this time of imminent danger pressing for change. There will be time for conversation. 


19 November 2021, FRI , 14:00-15:30 (Helsinki), 

Polluted Histories, Clean Futures? Opposing Scenarios for an Electronic Waste Circular Economy in China

Online talk by Alicia Ng, University of Helsinki

How does China’s polluted past and present inform it’s cleaner, more sustainably-minded future(s)? Are there other ways of engendering more sustainable thinking for wastes and pollution beyond normative ideas of the circular economy? This presentation discusses the past, contemporalities, and futures surrounding the environmental issue of electronic waste and the pollution alleviation method of bioremediation in China. China has been the recipient of the majority of the world’s electronic waste, and has overtaken the US as the biggest e-waste producer. Pollution from e-waste has been an environmental and human health issue in e-waste towns such as Guiyu and Taizhou, and soil pollution there still detrimentally affects local communities.


23 November 2021, TUE, 14:00-15:30 (Helsinki), Porthania 244, HELSUS Lounge (also on ZOOM)

Storying with Land: Tracing Environmental and Societal Changes in the Sayan and Altay Mountains, Inner Asia

Talk by Victoria Soyan Peemot

This research project explores stories of land in the Sayan and Altay Mountains, Inner Asia. Since the beginning of the twentieth century the region has been controlled, subsequently, by the Qing Empire, Russian Empire, and Soviet Russia. Currently the region is situated between Mongolia, Russia, and China. As a starting point, I draw on the archive of the 1917 Finnish Geological Expedition to Uriankhai (currently—the Tyva Republic, Russia). As the second temporal frame for comparative studies, I investigate community-homeland relationships and circulation of land stories in present-day Russia at the intersection of the state’s mining regulations and politics of memory. I investigate the potential of landscapes in keeping, sharing, and ensuring continuity of human-nonhuman stories.


24 November 2021, WED, 16:00-18:00 (Helsinki), 

Energy(and)Storytelling Online Workshop

Since the rise of debates on climate changes and environmental changes within academia and beyond, energy related issues have been integral to communicating the transformation of value paradigm of the energy dependent society.  Responding to energy humanities’ agenda in debating energy storytelling and energy narratives for translating the energetic history, interpreting our energy dependable present and predicting the energetic future, this online event intends to use ‘ energy storytelling’ as a starting point to discuss the contemporary multidisciplinary perspectives on using stories, narratives in highlighting the critical role of energy in shaping our energy dependence.