Climate History Network

A network of interdisciplinary scholars studying past climate change

New studies explore social context of natural disasters

St Elizabeth FloodThe journal Environment and History has recently published a special issue devoted to historic floods in medieval and early modern Europe. In an editorial introduction, historian James Galloway explains that studies examining environmental disasters have multiplied since the 1980s in the kind of history that seeks connections between the human and non-human worlds. Increasingly, natural disasters are not perceived as unavoidable transgressions on society – “acts of God” – but, instead, as a product of a particular society. Natural catastrophes are, in fact, “social phenomena” located at the intersection of a society’s unique pattern of vulnerability and resilience in its relationship with the nonhuman world. The papers in the latest issue of Environment and History reconstruct past natural disasters, consider the interactions between them and past societies, and measure the relevance of such research in an era particularly prone to environmental catastrophe. Read more


About D Degroot

I am an assistant professor of environmental history at Georgetown University. My research explores flexibility and resilience in the face of climate change across the early modern world. I am the co-administrator of the Climate History Network, and the administrator of For more about my work, visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 9, 2013 by in In the News.
%d bloggers like this: