Environmental History Lab – Seminars

Upcoming Seminars

Wednesday, October 6, 4:30pm
An ‘Under’ World of Practices: Romano-British Religious Cults in the Severn Valley

The Environmental History Lab of the Program in Medieval Studies invites you to join us for the first EHL seminar of Fall 2021. This is a virtual seminar via Zoom.


Dr. Janet E. Kay, Associate Research Scholar, Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University
Avner Goldstein ’21, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Boston College

Q&A and discussion to follow presentation.
Registration is required for this event. Please register at this link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Past Seminars

Tuesday, October 6, 13:30
Seminar 1: Lessons from the past? Terms of the debate and some examples

Hugh Elton (Ancient Greek & Roman Studies, Trent University), John Haldon (History, Princeton) and Adam Izdebski (Max-Planck-Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena)
General introduction and a case study: How does an empire reconfigure itself? Rome and Byzantium, 5th – 8th centuries CE

Lee Mordechai (Hebrew U Jerusalem) and Merle Eisenberg (National Center for Socioenvironmental Synthesis, Annapolis)
How do pandemics affect early medieval societies?

Tim Newfield (History & Biology, Georgetown U) and Dr. Annelise Binois (University of Copenhagen)
The societal impacts of livestock plagues

Watch the video.

Tuesday, October 13, 13:30
Seminar 2: Risk Management and Historical Theory

Luke Kemp (Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, U Cambridge)
Participatory Pasts and Fuzzy Futures: Tools to View History as a System

Steven Hartman (University of Iceland)
UNESCO’s Principles for Sustainability Science as Guidelines for Formulating Qualitative Scenario Storylines (QSS) and Collaborative Conceptual Modeling (CCM)

Watch the video.

Tuesday, October 20, 13:30
Seminar 3: Managing Risks: Some Farmers’ Perspectives

Benjamin Trump (US Army Corps of Engineering R & D Center)
Using History to Understand Current Challenges with Resilience and Systemic Risk

Edda Fields-Black (Dept of History, Carnegie Mellon University), Travis Folk (Folk Land management, Inc.) and Daniel Hanks (Clemson University, Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation)
Queen Rice: modeling human and natural systems of historic rice fields in the Gullah Geechee corridor in the face of climate change and sea level rise

Watch the video – Part 1.
Watch the video – Part 2.

Tuesday, October 27, 13:30
Seminar 4: Failing Strategies 1

Tom McGovern (Hunter College CUNY)
Success and Failure in the Norse N. Atlantic: Origins, Pathway Divergence, Extinction and Survival

Eric Cline (Dept. of History, George Washington University)
After 1177 BCE: Resilience, Resistance, and the Relevance of the Rebirth of Civilizations for Today’s World

Watch the video.

Tuesday, November 3, 13:30
Seminar 5: Failing Strategies 2

Emmanuel Kreike (History Dept., Princeton)
Tsunamis, El Nino, and War on Aceh, Sumatra

Thayer Patterson & Miguel Centeno (Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies)
Are all unhappy systems alike? Finding Patterns in Historical Collapses

Watch the video.

Tuesday, November 10, 13:30
Seminar 6

General team discussion focused around key themes (to be agreed and circulated to speakers, chairs etc.) – what have we learned and where do we go from here?

Watch the video.

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