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Dipesh Chakrabarty

The Climate of History in a Planetary Age

Friday, October 22, 2021, 5:00-6:30pm CT

Zoom / Social Science Research Building 122


This is a hybrid event, and registration via the link above is required for both in-person and virtual participation.

Please join us for a New Book Salon with 3CT fellow Dipesh Chakrabarty in celebration of his recent monograph from the University of Chicago Press, The Climate of History in a Planetary Age. Here, Chakrabarty is joined by Neil Brenner, Adom Getachew, Andrew Ollett, and Jennifer Pitts. 3CT co-director Lisa Wedeen is the moderator.

For the past decade, historian Dipesh Chakrabarty has been one of the most influential scholars addressing the meaning of climate change. Climate change, he argues, upends long-standing ideas of history, modernity, and globalization. The burden of The Climate of History in a Planetary Age is to grapple with what this means and to confront humanities scholars with ideas they have been reluctant to reconsider—from the changed nature of human agency to a new acceptance of universals.

Chakrabarty argues that we must see ourselves from two perspectives at once: the planetary and the global. This distinction is central to Chakrabarty’s work—the globe is a human-centric construction, while a planetary perspective intentionally decenters the human. Featuring wide-ranging excursions into historical and philosophical literatures, The Climate of History in a Planetary Age boldly considers how to frame the human condition in troubled times. As we open ourselves to the implications of the Anthropocene, few writers are as likely as Chakrabarty to shape our understanding of the best way forward.

Dipesh Chakrabarty holds a BSc (physics honors) degree from Presidency College, University of Calcutta, a postgraduate Diploma in management (considered equivalent to an MBA) from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a PhD (history) from the Australian National University. He is currently the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College. He is also a faculty fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT) and has a courtesy appointment in the School of Law.

This event is organized by 3CT and co-sponsored by the Seminary Co-op Bookstore and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

Please note: This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.