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Dipesh Chakrabarty

The Climate of History in a Planetary Age

Friday, April 23, 2021, 10:00–11:30am


“The idea of anthropogenic and planetary climate change does not face much academic challenge these days, but the idea of the Anthropocene has been much debated by both scientists and humanist scholars,” Dipesh Chakrabarty writes in his new book, The Climate of History in a Planetary Age (University of Chicago Press, 2021). To fully understand the present moment, he argues, we must make a conceptual shift in the way we orient ourselves to both the global, a human-centric construction, and to “a new historical-philosophical entity called the planet,” which intentionally decenters the human.

At this event, Chakrabarty will join a panel of scholars at the forefront of exploring the implications of the Anthropocene framework for historical research to consider how climate change upends long-standing ideas of history, modernity, and globalization. Discussants include Elizabeth Chatterjee and Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, and Emily Lynn Osborn will moderate the conversation.


Dipesh Chakrabarty is the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is also a faculty fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT) and has a courtesy appointment in the School of Law.

Elizabeth Chatterjee is Assistant Professor of Environmental History at the University of Chicago, focusing on the histories of energy and infrastructure. Her first book, Electric Democracy, will provide an energy-centered history of India’s transforming political economy since independence in 1947.

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson is Associate Professor of British History, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science and editor of the Journal of Modern History at the University of Chicago. With Carl Wennerlind (Barnard College), he is currently completing an intellectual history of scarcity in European thought 1500-2000.

Emily Lynn Osborn is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Chicago.  She is also currently serving as Interim Dean of the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. Her research focuses on gender, statecraft, technology, and the Anthropocene.

This event is free and open to the public; registration is required. Live captioning will be provided. Please email us at if you require any accommodations to enable your full participation.

This event is co-sponsored by 3CT, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studiesand the University of Chicago Press, and organized as part of the University of Chicago’s Environmental Research and Sustainability initiative.