2024 Events

The notion of ‘extreme events’ is widely discussed in various disciplines, and is a topic of increasing academic research. Rapid and dramatic environmental and climatic events are particularly prominent in this – including heat waves, volcanic eruptions, droughts, earthquakes, floods, etc. Several of these are forecast to increase in frequency and severity given current anthropogenic climate change, as widely discussed by organisations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [more]
Because they offer deep temporal perspectives, the historical and archaeological records of past cities have potential to make a unique contribution to understanding of urban resilience and urban adaptations to climate change today. I single out two approaches that illustrate the potentials and pitfalls of this kind of past-to-present transfer of knowledge: shocks and persistence. The responses of urban residents and institutions to diverse types of shock is a kind of specified resilience (i.e., resilience to what, who, when, and where), whereas the temporal fates of cities over time—persistence—provides insights on the general resilience of early cities. I explore reasons for the great difficulty in applying past knowledge to contemporary urban settings, particularly the near-complete disjunction between research on past resilience and research on past urbanism. [more]

Genealogies of Anthropocentrism

MPI GEA Colloquia
How did we end up in the Anthropocene? In the human and social sciences, a growing consensus holds anthropocentrism responsible for setting human societies and the Earth System onto a collision course, typically defining anthropocentrism as human exceptionalism in viewing nature and other lifeforms as objects of human mastery and means to human ends. The nature of anthropocentrism and its exact role in driving the Anthropocene are, however, seldom subjected to thorough research. [more]
The conference aims to explore what we know and what we would like to know about cultural dynamics and human-environment interactions in ancient Central Asia and Mongolia. The cross-disciplinary event will bring together local and international scholars with expertise in archaeology, archaeobotany, and palaeoenvironmental sciences in Central Asia and adjacent regions. It will be an excellent venue to present and exchange new research results and to encourage new research projects. [more]
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