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Humans and the Environment in Medieval Europe: Lessons for Today

February 16, 2020 @ 10:30 AM 11:30 AM

Noah Blan, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Lake Forest College, will speak on the topic, Humans and the Environment in Medieval Europe: Lessons for Today.  How did medieval Europeans think about the environment, and how might they help us view 21st century concerns in a new way?  The scales and technologies that shape modern climate and other ecological crises differ significantly, but many of the same concerns about property rights, resource use, and ecological exploitation also resonated in medieval Europe.  This talk will examine some of the theological norms that shaped interactions between medieval humans and their environments and offer some case studies for thinking through ecological problems that continue to affect humans today.

Noah Blan grew up in east central Illinois and came to the Chicago area for his undergraduate studies.  After completing an MA in History at Northern Illinois University, he went to the University of Michigan, where he earned a PhD in History and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for the Humanities.  At Lake Forest College Noah teaches courses in global and premodern history. He moved back to this area in the fall of 2019 with his wife and five-year-old daughter. Noah’s research combines medieval, environmental, and food history, and has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Early Medieval Europe.

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