Presidential Climate Change and Its Contested Histories

AHA Session 1
Thursday, January 6, 2011: 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Room 207 (Hynes Convention Center)
Gabrielle Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University
Does Global Climate Change Change History?
Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago
Daniel L. Smail, Harvard University , Sanjay Seth, Goldsmiths College and Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, University of Chicago

Session Abstract

Contemporary debates on climate change may be viewed as a clash between different histories of the planet's climate. Those pursuing the so-called "climate justice" position repeat a familiar narrative of the imperial tendencies of  developed Western nations.  Climate scientists on the other hand tell a history that operates on a much larger time-scale and addresses humanity as a whole. The assumptions about human agency are also different in the two narratives. This lecture examines this debate and its ramifications to raise questions about possible implications of this planetary crisis for narratives of human history.

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