COURSE MEETS ON ZOOM TUESDAYS 4-5:30 PM ET
This course is offered courtesy of the Environmental Humanities Program at Yale. The rise and fall of civilizations can be attributed to many different factors, but historical narratives rarely incorporate the impact of climate change on global history. Civilizations such as ancient Egypt provide an abundance of information about the intimate connection between environmental stress and the “collapse” of human societies. How do our perspectives change when we consider that climate was a factor in the fates of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Babylon and indeed most of the complex societies of the pre-modern world? The central argument in this short course will be that a deep and broad examination of human societies and climate change over the last 10,000 years, since the end of the last ice age, gives us valuable insight into our current circumstances. We will examine what and how we know about past climate change and specific societies which will allow us to discuss the variety of complex responses to different scales of climate change in our contemporary times. This course will be held online.