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Dr. Anne Dolan

Dr. Katja Bruisch

Ussher Assistant Professor in Environmental History


Research Interests

Katja Bruisch joined Trinity as an Assistant Professor in Environmental History in 2016, after being a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute Moscow. A historian of modern Russia, Katja is interested in the interplay between social, political and environmental change, particularly in the Russian countryside. Her first book dealt with the relationship between politics, science and the public sphere, and the role played by experts in dealing with the "agrarian question" in late Imperial and early Soviet Russia. In her current project, Katja explores ways to integrate environmental perspectives into the history of the modern Russian economy. Specifically, she traces the transformation of peatlands into hinterlands of industrializing cities and the social and environmental legacies of peat extraction and wetland drainage. Contributing to a more nuanced picture of Russia’s industrialization, this research offers new perspectives on the country’s pathway into the fossil fuel age and highlights the importance of regional perspectives for understanding the spatial and social dimensions of modern energy transitions more generally.

Selected Publications

  • Als das Dorf noch Zukunft war: Agrarismus und Expertise zwischen Zarenreich und Sowjetunion (Cologne: Böhlau, 2014). 

Special issues / edited volumes

  • (Co-edited with Nikolaus Katzer) Reconciling Failure and Success: Soviet Elites and the Collectivized Village, Special Issue at Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 65 (2017) 3
  • (Co-edited with Klaus Gestwa) Terres, sols et peuples: Expertise agricole et pouvoir (xixe - xxe siècles / Land, Soil and People: Agricultural Expertise and Power (19th and 20th Centuries), Special Issue at Cahiers du Monde Russe 57 (2016) 1
  • (Co-edited with Nikolaus Katzer) Bol'shaia voina Rossii: Sotsial'nyi poriadok, publichnaia kommunikatsiia i nasilie na rubezhe tsarskoi i sovetskoi ėpokh (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2014) 

Journal articles and book chapters

  • (Co-authored with Benjamin Beuerle), "Putin's War in Ukraine and Europe's Carbon Democracies: Paying the Price of Half-Hearted Climate Politics," in: Energy Humanities and Zeitgeschichte Online (March 2022).
  • “Layers of Meaning and Layers of Time in a Former Russian Peat-Mining Region,” in: Arcadia: Explorations in Environmental History (autumn 2019), no. 39, open access
  • “The State in the Swamps: Territorialization and Ecosystem Engineering in the Western Provinces of the Late Russian Empire,” in: Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 68:3 (2019), pp. 345-368, open access
  • “Nature Mistaken: Resource-Making, Emotions and the Transformation of Peatlands in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union”, in: Environment and History (2018), doi:
  • “Knowledge and Power in the Making of the Soviet Village,” in: Liesbeth van de Grift and Amalia Ribi Forclaz, eds., Governing the Rural in Interwar Europe (New York, Routledge, 2018), pp. 139-163.
  • “Herrschaft, Ökonomie und Utopie: Russlands ländliche Räume im 20. Jahrhundert,“ in: Magdalena Marszalek, Werner Nell and Marc Weiland, eds., Über Land: Aktuelle literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Dorf und Ländlichkeit (Bielefeld, transcript, 2018), pp. 285-307.
  • (Co-authored with Timur Mukhamatulin) “Coming to Terms with the Village: Stalin’s Death and the Reassessment of Rural-Urban Relations in the Soviet Union,” in: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 65 (2017) 3, pp. 401-422.  
  • "The Soviet Village Revisited: Household Farming and the Changing Image of Socialism in the Late Soviet Period", in: Cahiers du Monde Russe 57 (2016) 1, pp. 81-100
  •  (Co-authored with Michael Kopsidis and Daniel W. Bromley) "Where is the Backward Russian Peasant? Evidence against the Superiority of Private Farming, 1883-1913," in: The Journal of Peasant Studies 42/2 (2015), pp. 425-447
  • "Populismus, Profession und Politik: Agrarexperten im späten Zarenreich," in: Tim Buchen and Malte Rolf, eds., Eliten im Vielvölkerreich: Imperiale Biographien in Russland und Österreich-Ungarn, 1850-1918 (Berlin: Oldenbourg / DeGruyter, 2015), pp. 240-260
  • "Contested Modernity: A. G. Doiarenko and the Trajectories of Agricultural Expertise in Late Imperial and Soviet Russia," in: Joris Vandendriessche, Evert Peeters and Kaat Wils, eds., Scientists' Expertise as Performance. Between State and Society, 1860-1960 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2015), pp. 99-114

Teaching and Supervision

I teach modern environmental history at all levels of the curriculum. My classes for undergraduates include “Humans and the Environment in Modern History” (HHU22002); “The Politics of Nature: Environmentalism in the 20th Century” (HIU34526) and a year-long module on “Empire and Power in Russia from Peter I to Gorbachev” (HIU34013).

Since September 202, I have been the Director of the M.Phil in Environmental History for which I teach "Energy and Power in the Modern World" and coordinate the co-taught module “Methods and Debates in Environmental History”.

As a supervisor, I welcome students working on any aspect of modern environmental history as well as students interested in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

Office hours:
Online, Wednesday 4 to 5:30. Please make an appointment.

Dr. Bruisch on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Room A6.005
Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2

Telephone: +353 1 896 3192