For the first time worldwide, this collection brings together analyses of the last two centuries of historical change around the shores and drainage basin of Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake. The main focus of the narrative is the Northern Ladoga region, which was a Finnish administrative area between 1812 and 1944. After the Second World War, the entire shoreline of Lake Ladoga was incorporated into the northeast part of Russia’s border region, the Autonomous Republic of Karelia and the Leningrad Province.
The main theme uniting this collection is how the relationship between humans and nature is shaped by industrialization and modernization in society. Other key issues include protecting nature and perspectives on particular places and times, which are reflected in the methodological and thematic choices made in this volume.
The research framework set by the editor, Professor Maria Lähteenmäki, is the new lakefront history (Finn. uusi rantahistoria), focusing on approaches to environmental, economic and sensory history of lakes. To draw broad conclusions, on the one hand, the multilevel changes on the lakefront cannot be understood without knowledge of the history of the wider drainage basin, and awareness of the geopolitics of the region and the climate changes. On the other hand, the human relationship to natural waters has changed significantly in 200 years. Thinking in terms of economic benefit has gradually given way to principles of sustainable development. Lake Ladoga is also being redefined from a spatial perspective, as nationalist ownership of the region is coupled with global concern about the state of Europe’s largest lake.Book Details
The man of blue landscapes describes the life and work of the Finnish geographer Johannes Gabriel Granö (1882–1956), whose career also reflected Finland’s development as a modern state. Granö was a scientific explorer, writer, a pioneer of Finnish photographic art and a professor of geography at the universities of Tartu (Estonia), Helsinki and Turku. In Estonia he applied scientific method to the study of local history and from Tartu brought the tradition of urban research. Granö spent much of his youth in Omsk in western Siberia, where his father worked as a priest among displaced and deported Finns and Estonians. From 1906 to 1916 Granö made an expedition to Mongolia and the Altai mountains, but his fieldwork remained unfinished when the 1917 revolution broke out; the area was then closed to Western scholars for 70 years. Among Granö’s most important works are the classic travel book Altai, vaellusvuosina nähtyä ja elettyä (‘The Altai, seen and experienced during my years of travel’, 1921) and his methodological masterpiece Puhdas maantiede (‘Pure geography’, 1930). In it Granö outlined a theory of landscapes, and the book was a pioneering work ahead of its time: landscape was examined in terms of the relation between human beings and their environment, as the sum of all the senses.Book Details