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Countering Colonialities in Studying and Narrating Ukraine’s Environmental Histories, Presents, and Futures 
Tanya Richardson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Iryna Skubii (University of Melbourne)
Anna Olenenko (University of Alberta)
Darya Tsymbalyuk
Claire Campbell (Bucknell University)
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Tanya Richardson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Navigating Conflict, Governance, and Activism
Room 1
Thursday 22 August, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Helsinki
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Short Abstract:

This panel showcases how researchers of Ukrainian environments use oral historical, archival, ethnographic, ecological, and artistic methodologies to challenge colonialities of knowledge and to create narratives that respond simultaneously to planetary ecological crises and the Russian invasion.

Long Abstract:

Scholars and practitioners who study human-environment relations in Ukraine face multiple challenges in creating knowledge that can reach Ukrainian and global audiences and respond to planetary environmental crises. First, they must overcome the marginality of the study of environment in Ukrainian and (Central) East European studies and elaborate epistemological frameworks that challenge multiple colonialities of knowledge that marginalize Ukraine in environmental humanities broadly conceived. Second, they must do this while grappling with the consequences of Russia’s imperialist war against Ukraine which not only devastates environments, but also limits our knowledge by destroying archives and preventing access to places. This situation makes inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary conversations about how to study and tell stories about Ukrainian environments and their relation to global crises particularly urgent.

This panel aims to bring together researchers from different fields who are experimenting with methodologies that combine oral historical, archival, ethnographic, ecological, and artistic research in engaging with Ukraine’s (environmental) histories and their relationship to the present and future. We ask: how do histories structure local environmental relations within the global context of the climate emergency, socio-economic inequalities, and insecurity? Panelists ground their responses in studies of specific events, places, and more-than-human-relations, and in critical reflections on epistemic frames and storytelling strategies that counter imperialism, colonialism, and human exceptionalism. Presentations on topics such as the more-than-human histories of famines, eastern and steppe Ukraine, Transcarpathia and others can enhance understanding of the distinctive aspects of Ukraine’s environmental history and their significance in global environmental histories.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 22 August, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 22 August, 2024, -