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CHE | Historians and the Sixth Extinction
February 17 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Historians and the Sixth Extinction
Speaker: Kyle Harper, Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty and Professor of Classics and Letters, University of Oklahoma
Presentation: 4-5:30 p.m.
Reception: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The Sixth Extinction is the popular name for the ongoing human-driven biodiversity crisis. The name evokes the biggest mass extinctions in the geological record and proposes that humans are responsible for massive declines in biodiversity, on par with past episodes of geological catastrophe. But what is the history of this crisis? When does it begin? Historians have not often engaged the concept of the Sixth Extinction directly, despite the importance of contributions from environmental history, animal history, and other related subfields. This talk will explore these themes and suggest how historians might contribute to our understanding of this enormous contemporary challenge.