“The Seven Sorrows of Yunnan: Chinese Famine Poetry and the Global Climate Dystopia, 1815-18″
Presented by: Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Director of Sustainability Studies Initiative in the Humanities, Nicholson Professor of English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Date: Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
Time: 3-4:30 p.m.
Location: Gerber Lounge – 304 EPB
Abstract: As we approach the 200th anniversary of the massive eruption of the Indonesian volcano Tambora, Gillen Wood’s Tambora Project reconstructs on a global scale the most destructive episode of abrupt climate change in the modern historical record. The volcanic sulfate veil produced by Tambora in the period 1815-18 altered global weather patterns, initiating the first global cholera pandemic, while famine, refugeeism and civil unrest threatened hard-hit nations from China to Western Europe to New England. The Tambora period thus offers a powerful historical illustration of the causal web linking climate change and the fate of human societies, reinforcing for us, in the twenty-first century, how climate destabilization can and is shaping world events.
Prof. Wood will also participate in the WorldCanvass program “The History of Sustainability ” from 5-7 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum.