University of Pennsylvania
Monday, April 19, 2021 3:30 pm EDT
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 3:30pm
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Bathsheba Demuth, Assistant Professor of Environment and Society & History, Brown University
The Reindeer at the End of the World: Apocalypse, Climate, and Soviet Dreams
Climate change and other alterations to the Earth caused by human activity are often described in apocalyptic terms: as Armageddon, or the end of the world. Nowhere is this more true than in the Arctic, where the rates of warming are twice that of temperate regions and have been visible for decades. Demuth will explore the Chukchi Peninsula, in far eastern Siberia, a place that has experienced radical changes in the past, first with the founding of the Soviet Union and then with its dissolution. Weaving a story of devoted Bolshviks, Chukchi nomads, and herds of reindeer, she will ask what kinds of narratives suit the empirical experience of radical change, what is lost when we emphasize rupture, and what is gained by paying attention to the ruins left by past ways of living as we face a transformed Arctic – and planet.