The RT proposes a new focus on some European rivers – Rhine, Danube, Thames, Rhône, Seine, Loire, Tagus, Po, Vistula, Volga, Don – considering their whole basins. Rivers are a constitutive ingredient of political interactions, economic transactions and cultural models. How do they offer an opportunity for interaction between a scientific investigation and a humanistic approach developing a multidisciplinary and international network of scholars?
Participants will consider economic reports; juridical sentences; diplomatic correspondence; scientific texts; ceremonial codes. The Rhine in Germany – that Febvre considered a model of boundary – as the Danube across the Empire and the rivers of Poland; the system of rivers and canals in France (Seine, Loire and Rhône) and the navigation project of Tagus between Spain and Portugal; Po in Italy as inter-regional crossway; Vistula as an element in the creation of economic and social networks; Russian rivers as macro-regional systems and as boundaries between Europe and Asia…all of them contributed to forge a kind of osmotic identity, in the past as well as today. The approach is multifocal: panelists will consider, as disciplines and methodological points of view, institutional history, environmental history, cultural history, geography and cartography. With deep roots in history, the perspective is also close to the ecologic politics of nowadays Europe. It will be also considered the possibility to create a website to host the scientific results of our network and investigations.