Climate and Agriculture in Roman Italy (Duncan Keenan-Jones)

Recently, climatic reconstructions have started to become available at sufficiently fine resolution to allow their detailed comparison with the historical record (e.g. Cook et al., 2015; Sigl et al., 2015). Some, such as Harper (2017), have argued strongly that favourable climatic conditions fostered Rome’s expansion through improved agricultural yields, while others are less certain (Haldon et al., 2018). Detailed climatic reconstructions of Central and Southern Italy are lacking, however. This paper will relate an up-to-date synthesis of climate in Central/Southern Italy in the first millennium BCE and CE. It will consider the relationship between agriculture, climate and farm size during Rome’s rise and decline. It will also explore possible links between rainfall and flooding variability and drainage and reclamation works carried out in this area.

Imagination in a crisis or a crisis of imagination? (Simone Thornton)

In this talk I approach the current ecological crisis from the perspectives of Indigenous philosophies and ecofeminism. Weaving these philosophies together into a narrative of epistemic responsibility, I gesture towards education as a site of possible epistemic reframing. I argue that imagination plays a crucial role in this work, partly to envision alternative futures, and partly to correct a lack of imagination inherent in the ‘business as usual’ mode of education which, more often than not, fails to acknowledge its role in perpetuating destructive systems of human organisation.


Room 212 Sir Llew Edwards Building (14)