International workshop on History of Global Climate Change : Water, Ecology, De-forestation, Agriculture, Politics and the Management of Nature, March 22-23, 2007, Department of History, Jadavpur University under the UGC-DRS Special Assistance Pr
International workshop on History of Global Climate Change : Water, Ecology, De-forestation, Agriculture, Politics and the Management of Nature, March 22-23, 2007, Department of History, Jadavpur University under the UGC-DRS Special Assistance Programme
This two-day international workshop aims to bring together approximately 20 leading scholars sharing a common interest in the environmental history to deliberate on the subject. In keeping with the thrust area of the research programme of the Department under the UGC-SAP, the present workshop will make an attempt to address the broad areas of environmental concern in human societies across the globe and the complex patterns of the human- nature relationships by focusing on the history of climate change.
At the beginning of the twentieth century a major chunk of scientists believed that climate of the world had been essentially constant over at least five thousand years. In the next 100 years this assumption fell through. The possible effects of past climatic shifts on human activities are yet to be explored. Historians have paid little attention to this aspect until in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is urgent for the historians to understand that climate history is central to the recently unfolding sub-discipline of environmental history. It is also intimately connected with history of waters in more ways than one. Earth’s hydrological cycle - the sun-powered movement of water between the sea, air, and land - is an irreplaceable asset that human actions are now disrupting in dangerous ways. Although vast amount of water reside in oceans, glaciers, lakes, and deep aquifers, only a very small share of Earth’s water - less than one -hundredth of 1 percent - is fresh, renewed by the hydrological cycle, and delivered to land. That precious supply of precipitation - some 110,000 cubic kilometers per year - is what sustains most terrestrial life. Like any valuable asset, the global water cycle delivers a steady stream of benefits to society. Rivers, lakes, and other freshwater ecosystems work in concert with forests, grasslands, and other landscapes to provide goods and services of great importance to human society. The nature and value of these services can remain grossly underappreciated, however, until they are all destroyed or gone.Climate history calls for an in-depth understanding of the inter connections between water resource on the one hand and deforestation, rainfall, river flows, soil erosion, climatic change, global warming, draught, famine, and various natural calamities on the other.
Climatic change through a long duree period and its impact on the rise or decline of civilizations are now worth looking into. Rising or falling temperatures, monsoon behaviour, melting of snow on the mountains, rising sea levels, more powerful storms and cyclones in recent times may have a message to convey regarding the interactions of the humans with the natural world. In South Asia and the Asia Pacific in particular, climate had been central to the growth or prosperity of human civilizations. It was most crucial to rice production or settled agriculture. We are aware how the change of climate and decline of monsoon in Northwestern India possibly led to the fall of the Indus Valley Civilization.
There is little disagreement among the scholars engaged in Environmental History that history of climate is important to the discipline. The proposed International Workshop on the History of Climate organised by a University History Faculty is the first of its kind and it will address some of the fundamental questions most relevant to the very discipline of Environmental History.
Abstracts of papers to be presented at the seminar must relate to the panel themes listed below. The papers may kindly be sent to my email address before the deadline of January 7, 2005. Those participants who would like to receive acceptance letters for applying to funding agencies must send their abstracts with address details as soon as possible and advise me about the need of such letters. Only high quality papers presented at the seminar will be accepted for publication in an edited volume.
I extend to you a warm invitation to attend this prestigious workshop. However, no travel grants will be offered to the participants.
Sessions will include (this is subject to change)
1) Inaugural Session
2) Does History of Climate Matter?
3) Climate, Forestry, conservation, land-use, water resources and waterways, rivers, dams, the politics of water
4)Natural calamities -flood, rainfall, cyclone, tsunami draught and other environmental disasters
5)Climate: A Comparative Study of Asia and the Wider
For further information and registration please contact:
Professor Ranjan Chakrabarti, Department of History, Jadavpur University Kolkata 700032 (India), Telefax 91-33-24146962 (O), 91-33-24146136 (O) Email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
The UniversityJadavpur University has been accredited the Five Star (the highest) status by the University Grants Commission. It is one of the top five universities in India with an impressive track record since 1955. The university has been also identified as a potential centre of excellence by the University Grants Commission. It is located in Kolkata, the capital of the state of West Bengal. Kolkata is well connected by both railroad and air. The Netaji Subhas Chandra International Airport in Kolkata is well connected with all the major cities of Asia, Europe and the United States. The participants, in most cases, will be accommodated in the University Guest House.
Professor Ranjan Chakrabarti
Department of History
India Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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