EHL Seminar 6
From Sarah Porter
Tuesday, November 10
John Haldon (History, Princeton)
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?
Past answers to current concerns: Approaches to understanding historical societal resilience
The Climate Change and History Research Initiative (CCHRI)
Environmental History Lab
of the Program in Medieval Studies
How did environmental and climatic changes, whether sudden high impact events or more subtle gradual changes, impact human responses in the past? How did societal perceptions of such changes affect behavioral patterns and explanatory rationalities in premodernity? And can a better historical understanding of these relationships inform our response to contemporary problems of similar nature and magnitude, such as adapting to climate change? Our initiative The Climate Change and History Research Initiative (CCHRI) has been working on these issues for four years now, and – as our publications show - we have made considerable progress in developing strategies to enable palaeoscientists, archaeologists and historians to talk to one another and resolve issues of scale. One of our main foci has been to think about the ways in which socio- environmental asymmetries with different degrees of socio-political complexity and population density precondition the potentials for inherent resilience under environmental stress. By analyzing historical societies as complex adaptive systems, we also contribute to contemporary thinking about societal-environmental interactions in policy and planning.