Aula des Naturhistorischen Museums Basel, Augustinergasse 2
Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Dr. Corey Ross: "Water and Power in the Age of Empire – and Beyond"
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a handful of European states presided over the largest trans-continental empires the world had ever known, together covering well over a third of the global land surface. Yet this epoch-making land-grab encompassed not only magnificent rainforests, parched deserts, and teeming savannahs, but also many of the world’s largest lakes, mightiest rivers, greatest wetlands, and most prolific coastal seas. This lecture highlights the importance of controlling water – the single most important natural resource for human activity – in the exercise of imperial power. It recounts how new ideas and technologies transformed human engagements with water in many parts of the world, and how aquatic nature was reshaped in the process. It argues that the attempt to control water was both a central realm of imperial power as well as a challenge to it. Finally, it suggests that imperial approaches to water were by no means confined to empires, that they persisted long after formal empires had ebbed away, and that the legacies still shape our problematic dealings with this finite but indispensable resource.
Please register here to participate in the event.
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