'Historical research in the time of the Anthropocene: can climate data help us read the past (and, if so, how)?' with Prof Nicola Di Cosmo

09 May 2024

Portrait of Professor Patricia Clavin

with Professor Patricia Clavin
Professor of Modern History

Patricia Clavin’s research explores how economic and social issues took on as much importance as familiar concerns of border protection and weapons’ control in European and global order. Patricia holds the statutory chair in Modern History in the His...

Over the past few decades historians have investigated paleoclimate data seeking answers to long-standing questions in the premodern world that may be linked to climate variability.

At the same time, scientists have sought to find in historical knowledge keys to better understand the impact of climate on societies. Have these collaborations enhanced our understanding of climate’s role in shaping the human past?

In this talk, Professor Di Cosmo, Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies in Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, will examine the results yielded by interdisciplinary research on climate and history, and the issues they raise in terms of methodology, theoretical assumptions, and the general goals of a climatic “turn" in historical research.

This was a joint event with the Oxford Martin Programme on Changing Global Orders, the Oxford Centre for European History and the Oxford Centre for Global History.