[H-verkko] CFP: Bellies, Bodies, Policey. Embodied Environments between Catastrophes and Control

agricola at utu.fi agricola at utu.fi
Ke Tammi 15 08:40:10 EET 2014

Agricolan artikkelipyyntöihin on lähetetty uusi ilmoitus:
Bellies, Bodies, Policey. Embodied Environments between Catastrophes and Control

Joint conference of the Institutes of History at Tallinn and Tartu University

KAJAK (Estonian Centre for Environmental History)


September 10-11, 2014 Tallinn

September 12, 2014 Tartu



Verena Winiwarter: "The body moves, though slowly, towards desire." (Theodore

Roethke). Sensitive and toxic bodies in environmental history


„Environmental history goes through the belly“, said once Donald Worster,
but not only that. The balance between the human bodies, their basic functions
and needs (including spiritual), and the well-being of other life forms is a
central issue of societal and environmental resilience. As such, it has always
been an object of regulation and control on one hand, or a measure of
catastrophes on the other. Bodies have always been both – physical realities
and metaphors, objects of desire and of control. They produce and consume,
devour and get consumed, feel and think but also exert calculated control over
other human and non-human organisms. The failure to manage the needs of
societies and environments results in catastrophes, the consequences of which
are measured first and foremost through and by bodies.

In our joint conference we are linking different approaches toward the topic
within and beyond the discipline of history:

1.      Bodies as sources of

a)      food, energy, economy: producing and devouring bodies, bodies as
work force, work force as a contested resource. Dead bodies as a source of waste
or raw material;

b)      power (politics, demography, war): how politics manipulates human
and animal bodies as resource in warfare; political regimes and rhetorics about
organisms, reproduction and health;

c)      knowledge: methodological aspects of archaeology, medicine,
anthropology, demography and other disciplines that use bodies as a source


2.      Vulnerable bodies between resilience and catastrophes:

a)      Endangered bodies: humans and animals in the face of famine, frost,
heat, pathogens, crop failure, war and climatic change.

b)      Balancing bodies: factors of resilience, striking a balance between
the needs of the body, soul and environment in changing circumstances.

c)      Dissemination of new knowledge, technologies and organisms
(species) to increase resilience.

3.      Controlling the bodies:

a) Police ordinances concerning food, clothing, work power, health and
sexuality: regulations concerning public health, the spread of diseases,
surrogates and food additives; bodies as objects belonging to the state.

b) Religious regulations: taboos, education, social disciplining.

c) Medical regulations: how health and diseases were defined?

d) Individual systems of controlling the body: internalisation or resistance
against regulations.


In the first days of the conference in Tallinn we will discuss general and
methodological questions, while we will continue in Tartu with a more focussed
view on early modern Baltic Sea region. Discussing the impact of police
ordinances and environmental phenomena we aim to bring new aspects to the master
narratives of different social phenomena (e.g. famine, serfdom, social
disciplining etc).

The working language of the conference will be English in Tallinn and English or
German in Tartu. You have 20 minutes for your presentation and 10 minutes for
discussion. Please send an abstract (300 words) and your CV to Ulrike Plath
plath at tlu.ee and Mati Laur mati.laur at ut.ee. Deadline for application is April
15th. We will inform you about the acceptance of your presentation by the
beginning of May. There is no conference fee, but participants are expected to
cover their travel costs to Estonia. Travel and accommodations costs within
Estonia will be covered partly.



Funded by:

European Society for Environmental History (ESEH)

Estonian Research Council

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media / Germany

Tallinn University 

Ilmoituksen lähetti: Pauli Heikkilä <heikkila at ut.ee>
Ilmoitus vanhentuu: 16.4.2014