Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

AHA Session 115
Friday, January 3, 2014: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Thurgood Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park)
Carla Gardina Pestana, University of California, Los Angeles
After the Crisis: The Nature of a Global Pivot
Lauren A. Benton, New York University
Global Warming, the Ruddiman Thesis, and the Little Ice Age
Daniel Headrick, Roosevelt University
Why This Time? Contexts for Creative Destruction
Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia
Geoffrey Parker, Ohio State University

Session Abstract

Geoffrey Parker’s new book, Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2013) makes the case for a worldwide climate crisis.  Its subject matter and the implications of the argument for our own day are obvious, and the book will likely garner a great deal of attention.  It is therefore fitting that scholars take the opportunity of the next annual meeting to explore the arguments offered by Parker.  This panel, intended to elicit discussion, will call upon the expertise of four scholars who will offer responses to the book.  Respondents include three historians: Lauren Benton, who researches the comparative history of empires; James McCann, historian of the Upper Nile Valley; Julia Adeney Thomas, a scholar of Japanese history and the environment; and a climatologist: Mark Cane, known for his work on the impact of El Niño and other climate variability on human activity.  After brief presentations by each of these scholars, Geoffrey Parker will reply.  Much of the session will be given over to discussion arising from the presentations and from the audience’s questions.  The organizer of the panel, Carla Gardina Pestana, will serve as its chair.

Here is a link to the book:

We anticipate that numerous meeting attendees--across a variety of fields and periods--will be interested in a discussion of this timely issue.

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