Thursday, February 7, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Student Union Memorial Center, Sabino Room
If “the Anthropocene” suggests a rupture of the Earth System where our future looks nothing like our past, how should historians respond? Julia Thomas addresses this important issue by considering why many scientists find “the Anthropocene” a compelling concept; showing how this concept challenges history’s disciplinary assumptions; and demonstrating how historians, through self-reflection on their practices, might contribute to understanding “the Anthropocene” as humanity’s broadest historical context. Using the example of early modern Japan, she proposes a new form of critical history as we move from modernity’s promise of freedom and abundance to the more modest but essential goal of sustainability with decency.
About Professor Julia Adeney Thomas:
Julia Adeney Thomas investigates concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, the impact of the climate crisis on historiography, & photography as a political practice. Her book, Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology, received the John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association in 2002 & her essay on wartime memory in Japan, “Photography, National Identity, & the ‘Cataract of Times:’ Wartime Images and the Case of Japan” in the American Historical Review received the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians’ Best Article of the Year Award in 1999.
Before joining the history faculty at Notre Dame, Julia taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Wisconsin. She has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Bielefeld (Germany), the University of Bristol (U.K.), the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, the Universität Heidelberg, & the University of Michigan as well as a member of the University of Wisconsin Humanities Institute,the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
For more information CONTACT: East Asian Studies (520)-621-7505 or eas.arizona.edu