International workshop, “Siberia: Infrastructure and Environment”

Berlin, Germany, October 5–7, 2018

For much of its storied history, Sibir’ has figured in outsiders’ imaginations as a wild landscape
to be tamed by humans. From state-driven projects to develop railroads and
telecommunication lines to cinematic and literary depictions of powerful rivers, deep mines,
and virgin forests, Siberia has in many ways been defined by infrastructure and environment.
This interdisciplinary workshop organized by Indiana University will focus on the possibilities,
pitfalls, and unfolding legacies of efforts to understand and remake the environment—both
built and “natural”— of Siberia. In particular, we seek to bridge the environmental humanities
and science and technology studies.

By holding this workshop at Indiana University’s Europe Gateway in Berlin, we aim to better
integrate expertise among European, American, and Russian scholars of Siberia. To this end we
seek papers specifically from scholars based in Europe and Russia.
Examples of possible topics include:

- The social history of a specific landform, such as a mountain, lake, river, or cave
- Development of specific scientific fields in Siberia, such as permafrost science or forestry
- The Soviet space program and biosphere projects in Siberia
- The social effects of water engineering projects
- The development of telecommunications or other systems of long-distance
- Oil and gas exploration and their effects on Siberian communities
- Ethnographic, historical, or literary accounts of roads, railways, bridges, shipping routes,

At the workshop, we will discuss pre-circulated papers of approximately 15 pages (approx. 6000
words), which will be due by September 1, 2018. Please send a brief proposal (up to one page)
describing your project to the Organizing Committee at and The working languages of the workshop will be Russian and English. If
you submit your proposal in Russian, please include an abstract in English.

Deadline for proposals: April 15, 2018.

Decisions will be announced by May 1. Limited travel funds may be available. Graduate
students are especially encouraged to apply.

Organizing Committee: Kathryn E. Graber (Indiana University); Tatiana Saburova (Moscow
Higher School of Economics and Indiana University); and Russell Valentino (Indiana University).
Join our growing research network in Siberian Studies at

This conference is made possible with support from the Russian Studies Workshop, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, and the departments of Anthropology, History, and Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Indiana University