We are very pleased to announce that our speaker for this year’s William Matthews Memorial Lecture at Birkbeck will be Professor Kellie Robertson from the University of Maryland.
The lecture and drinks reception will take place on Thursday 11th November, 6-9 pm, in the Clore Lecture Theatre.
Book here now – places will be limited due to social distancing:
‘Yesterday’s Weather: Climate Change and the Arc of History’
Professor Kellie Robertson, University of Maryland
Most discussions about climate science throw us into a contingent and potentially cataclysmic future. We look ahead to how different the world will be in a decade or a century, given the inevitable effects of a warming environment. This talk turns this habit of perception on its head; instead, it looks back to medieval and early modern accounts of climate crisis, arguing that such narratives are equally important for envisioning the environmental consequences of our current attitudes toward climate. Where do the stories we tell about weather come from? How do they continue to influence us? Returning to these premodern stories is just as urgent as modeling our meteorological future, because today’s patterns of perception were set in place long before the moment when humans started influencing the environment on a global scale, long before the advent of the era that geologists have dubbed the Anthropocene, a period beginning with the Industrial Revolution and in which human activity has become the dominant driver of change in the earth’s ecosystems. Listening to these earlier stories about the vagaries of weather will help us not only to understand better how we view natural disasters and climate change today but also, more importantly, to envision more equitable and capacious environmental futures.
Clore Lecture Theatre
Huxley Building, Imperial College London
180 Queen’s Gate