“Socialist Environmentalism” YouTube footage of the summer school keynote at Russia’s newest environmental humanities center

Per invitation by the University of Tyumen (Russia) I have given a public online talk “Socialist Environmentalism in Cold War Hungary”, at 16:10-17:20 (GMT +3) on 30 July 2020 via Zoom.

The talk was featured as one of the three talks provided for participants of the  «Transcending Nature: the Anthropocene and environmental history of Northern Eurasia»: summer school at the University of Tyumen, Tyumen (Russia), 27 July – 2 August 2020.

The summer school was organized by Russia’s newest environmental humanities hub – Center ′′Human, Nature, Technologies′′ of Tyumen State University – led by Andrei Vinogradov.

The talk now may be accessed via the YouTube link below:


Research Project YouTube channel up to 5,000 views since January 2020

Since January 2020 I began to post videos on my research project “Pour me a Cold One: Cold War History of Beverage Containers” with the Kone Foundation   and personal interests on YouTube.

I saw this morning in the Studio app that my tube  channel produced 5,000 views since January 2020, which gives a sense of satisfaction and feeling useful via talking about history.

Learning by making, my first camera was a 20 euro Russian Digma that I replaced and now and I got a decent Canon cam and a couple of sticks and stands for better shots. Making videos is lot of fun and hope to get better in it.
A researcher needs to get out of the comfort zone such as not talking to colleagues and students but to a blinking red light and a camera lense.

Check out my footage on Soviet sodas, archives, and buildings I like and subscribe when you wish!




Baikal: The Soviet answer to Pepsi Cola

In 1972 Pepsi Cola production began in the USSR in Moscow, Leningrad, Novorossiysk, Kiev, Tashkent and Tallinn. Sealed containers with beverage concentrate came to the USSR. A little time passed, and Pepsi became a very popular, and scarce. In order to supply the public and show the superioritiy of communism the USSR developed a “retaliatory strike”. Soviets started making their own drink, not superior to Pepsi in taste,and more healthy for the consumer’s health. Soon, the new product was officially registered as Soviet receipe and brand and put on sale. The new drink was called Baikal. It included, water, citric acid, carbon dioxide sugar, various natural essential oils and extracts of medicinal herbs. #boldmakers Koneen Säätiö – Kone Foundation

Socialist Environmentalism

I was invited to give a ZOOM talk at the «Transcending Nature: the Anthropocene and environmental history of Northern Eurasia»: summer school at the University of Tyumen, Tyumen (Russia), 27 July – 2 August 2020. Here is the short teaser of my lecture. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=_CSX7aS2BH0

Essence of history research is disappearing

I am drinking Russian tea from Kuban (Krasnodar). It is a unique tea, since tea plantation is only recently renewed in the Russian Federation. I drink this tea to understand Russia better. Cultural immersion is one of the methods I use to understand cultures when I research. This may sound strange in a world when historical science is forced to comply with requirements of impact factor and citations maths. However, cultural immersion and immersion with the landscape were in the heart of the Annales school, an eminent French scholarly movement that gave birth to my beloved discipline of practice: environmental history. I hope not to give up ideals of Bloch, Braudel, Duby, le Goff, Ladurie.

CfP: Environmental history day of Finland / Suomen ympäristöhistoriapäivä, 12.05.2020, Helsinki

Call for Papers 
Environmental history day of Finland 
Suomen ympäristöhistoriapäivä
Environment in History and the Importance of the Environment for Finnish History Scholarship
Ympäristö historiassa ja ympäristön merkitys suomalaiselle historiantutkimukselle
Helsinki University Humanities Programme, Environmental Humanities Hub
Helsingin yliopiston humanististen tieteiden ohjelma, Humanistisen ympäristötutkimuksen keskus
Call for Papers  (Suomeksi englanninkielisen version jälkeen)


Changes in the environment and human-environment relationship have played a central role in history. Environment have had and still has a profound impact on historical study. A great deal of scholarship has been written in Finnish universities addressing the history of climate, landscape, water, air, urbanization, and technological networks not only in relation to Finland’s history but on a wide range of international and global contexts.

The first Finnish Environmental History Day aims to showcase the eminent environmental history scholarship written in Finnish universities, including wide range of topics with Finnish as well as international foci. The Finnish Environmental History Day pursues to foster discourse and provide a chance for networking among the scholars working on environmental history in Finland, or working on a Finnish environmental history topic abroad. The organizers wish to invite scholars at all career stages to submit their proposals. The Finnish Environmental History Day is hosted by the Helsinki University Humanities Programme, Environmental Humanities Hub.

The 2020 Finnish Environmental History Day welcomes papers on all topics. Papers on the following themes are particularly likely to be included into the program:

– Finnish environment between the East and the West

– Lakes, sea, rivers, forests, bogs, wetlands, rural areas and the city

– Relationship of humans and animals

– Politics, economy, technology, institutions and the environment

– Environmental crises in societies

– The role of the environment in liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes

– International/transnational discourses and conceptualizations of environmental policies


The organizers wish to receive primarily proposals for written presentation but also accept proposals for oral presentations. The language of the presentations can be either in Finnish or in English.

To apply please send your max. 300 word abstract and short CV in English or Finnish to the organizers by March 1, 2020, to the following email address: viktor.pal@helsinki.fi 

Accepted speakers will be notified by March 15. Organizers will provide lunch and coffee during the meeting. Speakers are kindly asked to fund their trips to Helsinki.

Additionally, the participants have a chance to take part to a self-financed social dinner right after the conference ca. 17:00.


Organizers would like to express their gratitude to the generous funding by the Helsinki University Humanities Programme and venue provided by HELSUS, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Sciences.

Call for Papers

Ympäristön muutoksilla sekä ihmisen ja ympäristön suhteella on keskeinen rooli historiassa ja historian tutkimuksessa. Suomalaisissa yliopistoissa on kirjoitettu erinomaista tutkimusta ilmaston, maiseman, veden, ilman, kaupungistumisen ja teknologisten verkkojen historiasta Suomessa, mutta myös monenlaisissa kansainvälisissä ja globaaleissa konteksteissa

Ensimmäisen Suomen ympäristöhistoriapäivän tavoitteena on esitellä suomalaisissa yliopistoissa tehtyä korkeatasoista ympäristöhistorian tutkimusta, jonka aiheet kattavat laajasti niin suomalaisia kuin kansainvälisiäkin teemoja. Lisäksi Suomen ympäristöhistorianpäivä pyrkii tarjoamaan mahdollisuuksia verkostoitumiseen ja keskusteluyhteyksien syntymiseen ympäristöhistoriallisten aiheiden kanssa työskentelevien tutkijoiden välillä Suomessa ja ulkomailla. Järjestäjät toivottavat eri uravaiheissa olevat tutkijat tervetulleiksi esittelemään tutkimuksensa. Suomen ympäristöhistorianpäivän järjestää Helsingin yliopiston humanististen tieteiden ohjelma, Humanistisen ympäristötutkimuksen keskus.


Vuoden 2020 Suomen ympäristöhistoriapäivä toivottaa kaikki aiheet tervetulleiksi. Erityisesti kuitenkin seuraavia aiheita käsittelevillä esityksillä on suuri mahdollisuus päästä mukaan ohjelmaan:

– Suomalainen ympäristö idän ja lännen välillä

– Järvet, meri, joet, metsät, turvesuot, kosteikot sekä maaseutu ja kaupunki

– Ihmisen ja eläimen välinen suhde

– Politiikka, talous, tekniikka, instituutiot ja ympäristö

– Ympäristökriisit yhteiskunnissa

– Ympäristön rooli liberaaleissa demokratioissa ja autoritaarisissa järjestelmissä

– Kansainväliset/ ylirajaiset ympäristöpoliittiset diskurssit ja käsitteet


Järjestäjät toivovat ensisijaisesti kirjallisia esityksiä, mutta hyväksymme myös suullisia esityksiä. Esitysten kieli voi olla joko suomi tai englanti.

Lähetä maksimissaan 300 sanan abstraktisi ja lyhyt ansioluettelosi järjestäjille 1. maaliskuuta 2020 mennessä seuraavaan sähköpostiosoitteeseen: viktor.pal@helsinki.fi

Hyväksymisestä ilmoitetaan 15. maaliskuuta mennessä. Järjestäjät tarjoavat lounaan ja kahvin tapahtuman aikana. Osallistujia pyydetään ystävällisesti rahoittamaan oma matkansa Helsinkiin.

Lisäksi osallistujilla on mahdollisuus osallistua omakustanteiseen päivälliseen heti konferenssin jälkeen n. kello 17:00.

Järjestäjät haluavat kiittää Helsingin yliopiston humanistisen ohjelman rahoitusta ja tapahtumapaikkaa HELSUSissa.


Finnish Environmental History Day 2020 Organizing Committee

Suomen ympäristöhistoriapäivän 2020 järjestelykomitea

Mikko Saikku, head of the committee, University of Helsinki

Atte Arffman, University of Jyväskylä

Pasi T. Ihalainen, University of Jyväskylä

Matti O. Hannikainen, University of Helsinki

Risto-Matti Matero, University of Jyväskylä

Viktor Pál, University of Helsinki

Paula Schönach, University of Helsinki

Esa Ruuskanen, University of Oulu