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Sustainability Events

The Cultural Functions of Climate

Mike Hulme

  • Professor of Geography, University of Cambridge, U.K.

The idea of climate has always fulfilled important psychological, cultural and political functions. Climate may be understood according to aggregated statistics of weather or apprehended more intuitively, as a tacit idea held in social memory. However defined, “climate” establishes certain expectations about the possibility of stable and meaningful human action in the world. In this talk, Hulme draws upon the environmental humanities — anthropology, literary and religious studies, environmental history and cultural geography — to reflect on the reasons we might need to think differently about climate in the Anthropocene.

Mike Hulme is professor of human geography at the University of Cambridge and one of the most frequently cited authors in the world in the field of climate change. His book, Weathered: Cultures of Climate (SAGE 2016), analyzes how “climate-change” is deployed as an idea in public discourse. Previous books include the widely acclaimed Why We Disagree About Climate Change (Cambridge, 2009). He has held chairs at King’s College London and the University of East Anglia and is the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change.

Co-Sponsors: PLuS Alliance, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Department of English, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Center for Energy and Society, Planetworks, Center for Jewish Studies, Center for Science and Imagination, Spirituality and Sustainability Initiative, Climate Engineering Governance Initiative, and The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, January 11, 2018
6:30 p.m. - Reception
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Environmental Humanities Initiative Lecture