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Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies pres.

EIHS Lecture: Ecology and Empire on the Yellow River

Ruth Mostern, University of Pittsburgh

“A Map of the Lower River,” Zheng Penghe “A Map of the Lower River,” Zheng Penghe
“A Map of the Lower River,” Zheng Penghe
This presentation introduces Ruth Mostern’s work on the imperial and ecological history of the Yellow River, a five-thousand-year history of the relationship between people, water, and sediment. Her work reveals how gradual changes (for instance in climate and population) intersect with sudden cataclysms (such as wars and floods). Interweaving the history of the river’s moist floodplain with that of the erosion zone hundreds of miles away, it demonstrates how social and political transformations can have unintended ecological consequences very far from the locations where they transpire. This research combines maps and timelines with historical documents, archaeological information, and environmental science.

Ruth Mostern is associate professor of history and director of the World History Center at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern: The Spatial Organization of the Song State (960-1276 CE), the coeditor of Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers, and the principal investigator for the World-Historical Gazetteer, a digital ecosystem for sharing information about historical places.

Free and open to the public.

This event is part of the Thursday Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
“A Map of the Lower River,” Zheng Penghe “A Map of the Lower River,” Zheng Penghe
“A Map of the Lower River,” Zheng Penghe

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