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History 4° Celsius


Oct 21 2020


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Virtual Only

History 4 Degrees Celsius

History 4° Celsius

Author Ian Baucom in conversation with Ranjana Khanna & Achille Mbembe

Join us on Zoom at noon EDT on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, for a public discussion of History 4° Celsius: Search for a Method in the Age of the Anthropocene with author Ian Baucom. He will be joined in conversation by Ranjana Khanna and Achille Mbembe. Moderated by Laurent Dubois.

Free and open to the public. Zoom registration required. This event is co-sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics and the Regulator Bookshop as part of the Community & Scholars series of events.

“Empirically grounded, theoretically nimble and nuanced, generous toward those whose ideas he opposes and yet resolute in his opposition, Ian Baucom develops in this book a powerful, self-reflexive, and original approach to questions of methods in the emergent field of Anthropocene humanities.” —Dipesh Chakrabarty

About the Book

In History 4° Celsius, Ian Baucom continues his inquiries into the place of the Black Atlantic in the making of the modern and postmodern world. Putting Black studies into conversation with climate change, Baucom outlines how the ongoing concerns of critical race, diaspora, and postcolonial studies are crucial to understanding the Anthropocene. He draws on materialist and postmaterialist thought, Sartre, and the science of climate change to trace the ways in which evolving political, cultural, and natural history converge to shape a globally destructive force.

Identifying the quest for limitless financial gain as the primary driving force behind both the slave trade and the continuing increase in global greenhouse gas emissions, Baucom demonstrates that climate change and the conditions of the Black Atlantic, colonialism, and the postcolony are fundamentally entwined. In so doing, he argues for the necessity of establishing a method of critical exchange between climate science, Black studies, and the surrounding theoretical inquiries of humanism and posthumanism.

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Zoom Registration


Ian Baucom

University of Virginia

Ian Baucom is the Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. Previously, he served in Duke University’s Department of English as a professor and as the director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. He is the author…...

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Ranjana Khanna

Duke University

Ranjana Khanna, Professor of English, Literature, and Women’s Studies at Duke University, was appointed Director of the John Hope Franklin Institute in 2018. Khanna is a literary critic and theorist recognized for her interdisciplinary, feminist, and internationalist contributions to the fields of post-colonial studies, feminist theory, literature, and political philosophy.…...

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Achille Mbembe

Achille Mbembe, born in Cameroon, obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, New York (1988-1991), a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in…...

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