Spring 2024 History GU4373 section 001

Empire and Environment in Eurasia, 1700-

Empire & Environ. in Eura

Call Number 14739
Day & Time
R 2:10pm-4:00pm
1201 International Affairs Building
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Taylor Zajicek
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

The Soviet Union, like the Russian Empire before it, straddled one-sixth of the planet’s landmass. Both powers drew on this territory’s vast resources—organic, mineral, animal, and human—to dominate their neighbors and exert power on the world stage. In the process, they dramatically reconfigured local ecosystems, from Central Asian deserts to Pacific islands. This seminar traces the interaction between empire and environment across three eras: Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet. Its approach is comparative, framing developments in Russia alongside those elsewhere—in China, Europe, and the US. The course asks: How have modern polities transformed Eurasia’s land, water, and air? In turn, how has the natural world shaped the trajectories of diverse imperial projects? And what legacies have these encounters left for today? Topics include settler colonialism, energy transitions, “natural” disasters, warfare, environmentalism, scientific diplomacy, ecocide, climate change, and the comparative footprints of capitalism and communism. While the approach is historical, students will engage materials from across disciplines (alongside films, novellas, and other primary sources) with an eye towards today’s political and ecological dilemmas. The seminar is designed for upper-division and graduate students with an interest in environmental history methods. Previous exposure to Russian and Eurasian Studies is helpful, but not required.

Web Site Vergil
Department History
Enrollment 7 students (15 max) as of 2:06PM Saturday, July 20, 2024
Subject History
Number GU4373
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Note Add to waitlist & see instructions on SSOL
Section key 20241HIST4373W001