CIDRAL Public Lecture: Paul Warde: 'The Invention of Sustainability, 1500-1870: The Early Modern History of a Modern Idea'
|Dates:||10 October 2018|
|Times:||16:00 - 18:00|
|What is it:||Lecture|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public, Post 16|
This event is part of CIDRAL's 2018 Autumn Programme.
Dr Paul Warde (Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge) will deliver a public lecture entitled 'The Invention of Sustainability, 1500-1870: The Early Modern History of a Modern Idea'.
The idea of sustainability as a goal for society took hold in the 1970s in the English language. What does it mean to take a concept of our time and apply it to earlier periods? This paper argues that first we must examine what is particular about a concept in its own time. Only then can we usefully examine how the thinking of the past may be interrogated through our current concerns. We will examine how ‘sustainability’ debates across the early modern period were shaped by the development of the state, expectations of the future, new techniques of measurement, and changes in scientific understanding. It is argued that above all – then and now – thinking about sustainability helps define a field of political argument and difference, and that the history of environmental thought is more contested than is commonly presented.
Travel and Contact Information
Samuel Alexander Building