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New Perspectives on the Little Ice Age

Sat, April 13, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Union A

Session Submission Type: Roundtable


The Little Ice Age, a period of climatic cooling that endured, by most definitions, from the thirteenth through the nineteenth centuries, has recently attracted great interest from environmental historians. This session gathers five environmental historians, all of whom have authored major publications in climate history, to discuss the most exciting areas of research into the Little Ice Age. Dagomar Degroot, author of "The Frigid Golden Age: Climate Change, the Little Ice Age, and the Dutch Republic, 1560-1720," will describe new work on societal resilience and adaptation to the Little Ice Age. Anya Zilberstein, author of "A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America," will emphasize the importance of discourses of climate in the age of empire. Tim Newfield, author of groundbreaking work on climate change and medieval disease, will survey best practices in multidisciplinary work and highlight the complexity of relationships between cooling and epidemic disease. Ruth Morgan, author of "Running Out? Water in Western Australia," as well as other publications on the Little Ice Age in Australia, will focus on relationships between climate and colonialism in the southern hemisphere. John Brooke, author of "Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey," will describe the insights provided by combining scientific and humanistic disciplines in writing truly big history. All of these historians have approached climate history in distinct ways, which should make for a lively conversation.

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