Technology, Natural Resources and Crises in the Past and Present of Europe and Beyond

From October 21st – 22nd, 2016, an international workshop on ‘Technology, natural resources and crises in the past and present of Europe and beyond’ took place at HSE in St. Petersburg. The event was organized by the HSE Centre for Historical Research, Aarhus Univerisity (Denmark), and Tensions of Europe (TOE), an international scientific network.

The workshop attracted 45 speakers from Russia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Germany, USA and other countries. They spoke on the history of water resources and landscapes, the history of exploitation of natural resources, sustainable development, colonialism, and the history of natural resources in Russia. In addition to traditional sessions, the workshop agenda included a roundtable for young researchers and a general discussion on the concept of ‘crisis’ and the interrelations between the growing exploitation of natural resources and technology.

As part of the workshop, a new Laboratory of Environmental History and History of Technology (LEHHT), headed by Julia Lajus, was created. One of the Laboratory’s tasks is to carry out research as part of the project on the history of natural resources in Russia in the 17th – 20th centuries, supported by the Russian Science Foundation. Its grand opening featured a video conference with the Laboratory's international consultants, Sverker Sörlin, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, and Catherine Evtuhov, Professor at the Columbia University in the City of New York.