Patrick Anthony: Terrestrial Enlightenment: Ruin and Revolution in an Eighteenth-Century Climate Crisis

29.11.2022, Vortrag, DHI London, online

Some scholars and scientists identify the Enlightenment as an inflection point in the Anthropocene, a geological age in which humans act as a planetary force. My talk suggests that this inflection point was characterized not only by new means and scales of environmental exploitation, but also by the emergence of climate politics. The naturalist Georg Forster provides a helpful itinerary through this time, from his study of Saxon hydraulics in the wake of the flood of 1784 to his death in Paris during the Terror of 1794. On either side of the Rhine, resource management and disaster mitigation constituted political power.

Patrick Anthony received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2021. He is currently a DAAD PRIME Fellow at LMU Munich and the University of Cambridge and is working on a global social history of Alexander von Humboldt’s science as it developed through extractive industries in Prussia, Mexico, and Siberia.

This lecture will take place as a hybrid event at the German Historical Institute London (GHIL) and online via Zoom. In order to register for this event, please follow this link to Eventbrite.


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