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40th Public lecture of the Irish Environmental History Network – Dr Peter Peregrine

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The 40th Public Lecture of the Irish Environmental History Network will be presented by Dr Peter Peregrine of Lawrence University. This lecture will take place at 6pm, Monday 3rd September 2018, in the Swift Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. This lecture will be entitled “Exploring Social Resilience to Climate-Related Disasters: The A.D. 536 Atmospheric Event”. Dr Peregrine is Professor of Anthropology at Lawrence University.

Something terrible occurred in June A.D. 536.  The sky darkened, the weather cooled, and for the next 18 months a “dust veil” hung over much of the Northern Hemisphere.  The climate did not recover from this event for nearly five years, and by that time many societies had experienced profound disruption.  But not all.  Indeed some societies flourished in the aftermath of this catastrophe.  The question I ask is whether those societies that flourished after the A.D. 536 event shared characteristics that provided resilience.  While there is a vast literature on resilience to disaster, two major hypotheses are of particular interest to me.  The first is that the impact of disaster is in part socially created; that is, societies build structures (both social and physical) that exacerbate the impact of disaster.  The second, and somewhat the reciprocal of the first, is that more “flexible” structures (again, both social and physical) are more resilient to disaster than “rigid” structures.  In previous research I have shown that polities in which leaders allow citizens to actively participate in decision-making are more resilient to catastrophic climate-related disasters than those in which leaders exclude most citizens from decision-making.  I hypothesize that the same will hold true for those societies that were more resilient to the atmospheric event of A.D. 536.  I provide an overview of the theoretical background for this hypothesis, the evidence supporting it from previous research, and preliminary data from my current project on the A.D. 536 atmospheric catastrophe.

Campus Location Swift Lecture Theatre
Accessibility all levels
Room Swift Lecture theatre
Event Type Lectures and Seminars
Type of Event One-time event
Audience Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost Free
Contact Name Richard Breen
Contact Phone 0892296870
Contact Email breenri@tcd.ie
Link www.eventbrite.ie

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