The scientific exploration of the Russian Far East by German speaking researchers in the 18th and 19th centuries

Organizer: Erich Kasten

From June 8-11, 2012, a workshop was held by Erich Kasten on the research history of the Russian Far East in which participated Marie-Theres Federhofer (Tromsø/Norway), Peter Schweitzer (Fairbanks/USA), Erki Tammiksaar (Tartu/Estonia) und Michael Dürr (Berlin).

Since the 18th century, researchers and scientists have traveled the peninsula of Kamchatka and other coastal regions in the Russian Far East. Many of them were of German or German-Baltic origin and had been commissioned by the Russian government to perform specific tasts. Their exhaustive descriptions and detailed reports are still considered some of the most valuable documents on the ethnography of the indigenous peoples of that part of the world. These works inform us about living conditions and particular ways of natural resource use at various times and provide us with valuable background information for current assessment from various historical, literary, ethnological and natural science perspectives.
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The discussions centered around transnational science relations and the vibrant mutual knowledge transfer between the academic communities of Berlin, the Baltic countries and Saint Petersburg during those centuries. The results of this seminar had been summarized in an edited volume in 2013. » more

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