Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Zoom: https://lafayette.zoom.us/j/99110972886
Bathsheba Demuth

Lecture by Bathsheba Demuth, Brown University

Climate change and other alterations to the Earth caused by human activity are often described in apocalyptic terms: as Armageddon, or the end of the world. Nowhere is this more true than in the Arctic, where the rates of warming are twice that of temperate regions and have been visible for decades. This talk turns to the history of the Chukchi Peninsula, in far eastern Siberia, a place that has experienced radical changes in the past: first with the founding of the Soviet Union and then with its dissolution. Weaving a story of devoted Bolsheviks, Chukchi nomads, and herds of reindeer, it explores what kinds of narratives suit the empirical experience of radical change, what is lost when we emphasize rupture, and what is gained by paying attention to the ruins left by past ways of living as we face a transformed Arctic - and planet.

Demuth is an environmental historian specializing in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Demuth’s interest in northern environments and cultures began when she was 18 and moved north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon. There she mushed huskies, hunted caribou, fished for salmon, tracked bears, and learned to survive. In the years since, she has studied Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America, exploring how the histories of people, ideas, places, and non-human species intersect.

Sponsored by: 
History and REES

Contact information

Jeremy Zallen