EnviroThursday - "Avoiding Air Pollution in Early Modern London"

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM
Thursday Sep 28, 2017
Olin-Rice Science Center 250

Speaker:   Dr. Will Cavert, Assistant Professor, History Dept., University of St. Thomas

Two centuries before the industrial revolution's "dark Satanic mills" polluted the air and water of British cities, London was the first and only city in the world to suffer from continual serious air pollution. Caused by coal burning, the smoke of London produced a surprising set of responses. From the 16th to the 18th centuries Londoners objected to their smoky urban environment in ways that foreshadowed, and yet profoundly differ from, modern environmental movements. Among their strategies for dealing with coal smoke were temporary escapes from urban space, a response that helped make the polluted city endurable, but in ways that were both profoundly socially unequal and also did nothing to reduce London's ever-worsening air pollution.

Dr. Will Cavert is a historian of Britain during the early modern period, c. 1500-1800, with research interests in urban and environmental history. He is the author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press

Refreshments provided.

This event is for: Students, Staff, Faculty and Public

Sponsored By: Environmental Studies

Categories: Front Page Events, Lectures and Speakers and Campus Events