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Dr. Anne Dolan

Dr. Katja Bruisch

Ussher Assistant Professor in Environmental History


Research Interests

Dr Katja Bruisch is an environmental historian of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Her current project on the history of peat fuel centers on actors, places and energy sources at the forgotten margins of Russia’s fossil economy. This research underscores the relevance of regional perspectives for writing the history of the fossil fuel age and associated social and environmental changes. Katja is also interested in the history wetland drainage and restoration in modern Europe. 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.

Selected Publications

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

Edited volumes or special issues

  • (co-edited with Nikolaus Katzer) Reconciling Failure and Success: Soviet Elites and the Collectivized Village, special issue, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 65, 3 (2017).
  • (co-edited with Klaus Gestwa) Land, Soil and People: Agricultural Expertise and Power (19th-20th Centuries), special issue, Cahiers du Monde Russe, 57, 1 (2016).
  • (co-edited with Nikolaus Katzer) Bol’shaia voina Rossii: Sotsial’nyi poriadok, publichnaia kommunikatsiia i nasilie na rubezhe tsarskoi i sovetskoi ėpokh, Moscow, NLO (2014).

Journal articles

  • 'Nature Mistaken: Resource-Making, Emotions and the Transformation of Peatlands in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union', 26, 3 Environment and History (2020), pp. 359-382.
  • 'The State in the Swamps: Territorialization and Ecosystem Engineering in the Western Provinces of the Late Russian Empire', Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 68, 3 (2019), pp. 345-368.
  • (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', Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 65, 3 (2017), pp.  401-422.
  • 'The Soviet Village Revisited: Household Farming and the Changing Image of Socialism in the Late Soviet Period', Cahiers du Monde Russe, 57, 1 (2016), pp. 81-100.
  • 'Expertise and the Quest for Rural Modernization in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union: Introduction', Cahiers du Monde Russe, 57, 1 (2016), pp. 7-30.
  • (co-authored with Michael Kopsidis and Daniel W. Bromley) 'Where is the Backward Russian Peasant? Evidence against the Superiority of Private Farming, 1883–1913', The Journal of Peasant Studies, 42, 2 (2015), pp. 425-447.
  • 'Historicizing Chaianov: Intellectual and Scientific Roots of the Theory of Peasant Economy', Jahrbücher für Geschichte des ländlichen Raums (2010), pp. 96-113.  

Book Chapters

  • (co-authored with Liesbeth van de Grift) ‘Reclaiming the Land: The Drainage Paradigm and the Making of Twentieth-Century Rural Europe’, Living with the Land: Rural and Agricultural Actors in Twentieth-Century Europe – A Handbook, Liesbeth van de Grift, Dietmar Müller and Corinna Unger eds, Berlin, DeGruyter (2022), pp. 37-60.
  • 'Knowledge and Power in the Making of the Soviet Village', Governing the Rural in Interwar Europe, Liesbeth van de Grift and Amalia Ribi Forclaz eds, New York, Routledge (2018), pp. 139-163. 
  • 'Herrschaft, Ökonomie und Utopie: Russlands ländliche Räume im 20. Jahrhundert', Über Land: Aktuelle literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Dorf und Ländlichkeit, Magdalena Marszalek, Werner Nell, Marc Weiland eds, Bielefeld, transcript (2018), pp. 285-307.
  • '’Ich habe gesehen, wie Kühe automatisch trinken’: Das ländliche Amerika als Gradmesser russischer Rückständigkeit', Die Zukunft der Rückständigkeit: Chancen - Formen - Mehrwert. Festschrift für Manfred Hildermeier zum 65. Geburtstag, David Feest, Lutz Häfner eds, Cologne, Böhlau (2016), pp. 332-348.
  • 'Populismus, Profession und Politik: Agrarexperten im späten Zarenreich', Eliten im Vielvölkerreich: Imperiale Biographien in Russland und Österreich-Ungarn, 1850-1918, Tim Buchen, Malte Rolf eds, Berlin, Oldenbourg / DeGruyter (2015), pp. 240-260.
  • 'Contested Modernity: A. G. Doiarenko and the Trajectories of Agricultural Expertise in Late Imperial and Soviet Russia', Scientists’ Expertise as Performance. Between State and Society, 1860-1960, Joris Vandendriessche, Evert Peeters, Kaat Wils eds, London, Pickering & Chatto (2015), pp. 99-11


  • ‘Umweltgeschichte: Der Mensch im Moor,’ Mooratlas, eds. Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, BUND, Succow Stiftung (January 2023),
  • Mensch und Moor in der Moderne: Die Geschichte einer komplizierten Beziehung‘, Politische Ökologie, 169, 2 (2022), pp. 32-37.
  • ‘Smouldering past: How a fire event turned me into an environmental historian,’ NiCHE (August 2022)
  • (co-authored with Benjamin Beuerle), ‘Putin's War in Ukraine and Europe's Carbon Democracies: Paying the Price of Half-Hearted Climate Politics’, Energy Humanities and Zeitgeschichte Online (March 2022).
  • (co-authored with Jennifer Keating), ‘History is Abused to Underwrite Politics of Putin’s Russia,’ The Irish Times7 March 2022.
  • ‘Layers of Meaning and Layers of Time in a Former Russian Peat-Mining Region,’ Arcadia: Explorations in Environmental History 39 (autumn 2019).
  • ‘Brennendes Erbe: Staat und Natur in der jüngeren Geschichte Russlands‘, Zeitgeschichte Online (March 2018)

Teaching and Supervision

I teach modern environmental history at all levels of the curriculum. My classes for undergraduates include “Histories and Futures of Climate Change” (HHU22003 co-taught with Dr Timothy Stott); “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 2020, 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 2 to 3:30. 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