Environmental Humanities Seminar with Tobias Hrynick

Thursday, Feb 22, 2024, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Plimpton Room (Barker Center 133)
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Tobias Hrynick is an environmental and digital historian, who conducted his PhD. training in medieval history at Fordham University. Hrynick specializes in the institutional responses of pre-modern local governments to environmental stress. His previous work has engaged with conflict over hydraulic resources in the thirteenth-century Kingdom of Jerusalem, and with the religious and political rhetoric of landscapes in medieval maps. Hrynick’s current project examines the social responses of medieval wetland communities to successive climate-linked crises, associated with the end of the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Agricultural communities constructed on drained coastal wetlands were some of the densest and most productive rural landscapes in medieval Europe, but their inherent flood-risk and reliance on complex and labor-intensive drainage infrastructure left them acutely vulnerable to the rise in winter storm flooding, and the labor shortage and economic disruptions following the demographic catastrophe of the Black Death. Both in England and in the Low Countries, radical forms of local government were invented to cope with the rising crisis. Hrynick is currently composing a monograph on one particularly distinctive governmental response, in Romney Marsh, Kent, which eventually became the model for wetland drainage throughout England and its empire into the twentieth century. Alex Moore earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, followed by a Ph.D. in Forestry and Environmental Studies from the Yale School of the Environment. Dr. Moore was awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and is currently conducting postdoctoral research at the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University.
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