University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Amitav Ghosh Fall 2020 Seminar: “Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene”

October 30, 2020

Register here

As the impact of climate change intensifies, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Indian Ocean region, with its fast-accelerating economies, its innumerable oil and gas producers, its collapsing ecosystems, its vulnerable yet rapidly-increasing populations, and its swiftly-expanding carbon footprint, will be the theatre in which the future of the world will be decided. How will the ongoing changes affect the material and cultural lives of the region’s peoples, who are simultaneously drivers and victims of climate change? Many of the world’s major zones of conflict are already clustered around the Indian Ocean, and the region is also the theater of many accelerating arms races. How will these developments affect the global balance of power? What lessons might past climatic shifts offer for the future? These are some of the issues that will be discussed over the four two-hour sessions of this workshop. 


October 30: Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene


  • Markus Vink, “Indian Ocean Studies and the New Thalassalogy,” Journal of Global History, 2, pp 41-62.
  • Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, “The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature,” Ambio, 36:8, Dec 2007 (publication of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement, part I, “Stories” University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Climate and Capital: On Conjoined Histories,” Critical Inquiry, 41:1, 2014, pp 1-23.
  • Elizabeth Deloughrey, “Toward a Critical Ocean Studies for the Anthropocene” English Language Notes, 57:1, April 2019
Homer Statue
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm