Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies


All times Central Standard Time.

 Download the program.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

9:00-9:15am | Opening Remarks by University of Texas at Austin Faculty

  • Welcome by Daina Ramey Berry, Chairperson of the History Department and Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History

; and Miriam Bodian, Director of the Institute for Historical Studies, and Professor of History.
  • Land Acknowledgement
 by Luis Cárcamo-Huechante (Mapuche), Director of the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS).
  • Introduction to the "Climate in Context" conference by co-conveners Erika M. Bsumek, Associate Professor of History, and Megan Raby, Associate Professor of History.

9:15-11:00am | Session I. Emerging Perspectives: A Graduate Student Roundtable

  • "An Upwelling of Stone: Climate Change and Infrastructure Agendas in Early Modern India"
    Jonathan Seefeldt, University of Texas at Austin

  • "Cultivating Parasitism: Early Modern Insect Crops and the Limits of Commodification"
    Diana Heredia-López, University of Texas at Austin
  • "Skiing in Variable Conditions: Climate Adaption, Profitability, and Repercussions"
    Jesse Ritner, University of Texas at Austin

  • "Drafting Blueprints: Critiquing the Past to Fight Climate Injustice Today"
    Micaela Valadez, University of Texas at Austin

  • "African Americans, Slavery, and the Long History of Environmental Degradation in the Cotton South"
    Brooks Winfree, University of Texas at Austin

  • Comments: Mary E. Mendoza, Pennsylvania State University

1:00-2:30pm | Opening Keynote Address

"The Reindeer and the End of the World: Apocalypse, Climate, and Soviet Dreams"
Bathsheba Demuth, Brown University

3:00-4:30pm | Session II. Historicizing Climate
Megan Raby (Chair), University of Texas at Austin
  • "Beyond Numbers: Knowing Typhoons in Late Imperial China"
    Clark L. Alejandrino, Trinity College Hartford
  • "The Anthropocene and Epistemological Colonialism: The 18th-Century Spanish American Origins of Humboldt’s Global Histories of the Earth and Climate Change"
    Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, University of Texas at Austin
  • "Measuring Climate by Proxy"
    Melissa Charenko, Michigan State University and Institute for Historical Studies Fellow
  • "Degrees of Vulnerability: Why We Need a Feminist History of Climate Science"
    Deborah Coen, Yale University

5:00pm |  Virtual Reception: All panelists welcome for informal discussion.

Friday, April 23, 2021

8:00-8:15am | Welcome Remarks

David Mohrig, Associate Dean for Research, Jackson School of Geosciences, 
University of Texas at Austin

8:15-9:45am | Session III. Contextualizing the Climate Crisis
Tracie Matysik (Chair), University of Texas at Austin

  • "Gathering Clouds over Petropolis: A Prolegomena"
    Christopher Sellers, Stony Brook University and Institute for Historical Studies Fellow
  • "Skin and Fuel: Some Episodes from the Fossilization of Whiteness"
    Andreas Malm, Lund University
  • "The Cene Scene: Modernization Myths, Navajo Coal Development, and the Making of Arizona"
    Andrew Curley, University of Arizona
  • "States of Second Nature"
    Victor Seow, Harvard University

10:15-11:45am | Session IV. Practicing What We Preach: A Roundtable

Erika M. Bsumek (Chair), University of Texas at Austin

  • "We Use the Living Earth to Make Our Histories"
    Andrea Gaynor, University of Western Australia

  • "Rural Black Social Life in the Chesapeake After the 1933 Great Hurricane"
    J. T. Roane, Arizona State University
  • "Louisiana: Race, Justice, and the Ecological Legacies of the Plantation Economy"
    Justin Hosbey, Emory University
  • "Writing History into the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report"
    Paul N. Edwards
    , Stanford University

  • "Isn’t all Environmental Humanities 'Environmental Humanities in Practice'?"
    Dolly Jørgensen, University of Stavanger

12:00-1:30pm | Working Lunch for all Panelists

2:30-4:00pm | Session V. Going Public with Climate History: A Roundtable

Joan Neuberger (Chair), University of Texas at Austin

  • "Specific Constraints for a Universal Challenge: Navigating Resources and Space to Create a History of Climate Science Exhibition"
    D. O. McCullough, American Philosophical Society Library and Museum
  • "When Will It Be Over? Water, Flood, Toxics, and the Duration of Colonial Legacies in Philadelphia"
    Bethany Wiggin
    , University of Pennsylvania

  • "Indian Ocean Current"
    Prasannan Parthasarathi, Boston College

  • "Modeling Virtual Angkor: An Evolutionary Approach to a Single Urban Space"
    Tom Chandler, Monash University

, and Adam Clulow, University of Texas at Austin

4:15-4:30pm | Concluding Remarks

- Erika M. Bsumek, University of Texas at Austin

- Megan Raby, University of Texas at Austin

4:30-6:00pm | Closing Keynote Address
- Naomi Oreskes, Harvard University