Undoing the Discipline: History in the Time of Climate Crisis and COVID-19

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Amanda Power

Iva Peša

Eiko Honda

Published Mar 31, 2021

Abstract












COVID-19 gives a fresh urgency to research trajectories around climate and environment in historical research. We use examples from African, Japanese, and medieval European environmental history to chart new ways to mobilise collaborative research into the planetary past in academic and public discussions. Our main points are, first, that COVID-19 has underlined the entanglements between human and planetary life, which historians must better account for. Secondly, it is pertinent to decentre knowledge production. COVID-19 and climate crisis are both global phenomena. Yet patterns of knowledge production that propose ‘universal’ frameworks and solutions obscure highly unequal power relations. We call for more plural histories - in time, space, and species - to confront the complex crises of our times.













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