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Forschungsstelle für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte

Debjani Bhattacharyya

Professor for the History of the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is a geo-biophysical marker indexing anthropogenic transformation of the Earth. The Chair for the History of the Anthropocene combines a study of environmental transformation, climate history, with the history of geological and economic transformation. This stratigraphical marker denoting epochal change is not just a scientific concern, but it also affects political, social, economic, and juridical aspects of human and non-human life on this planet. Research focuses on rethinking the categories of the human, the planet, environments, climate, resource-extraction, knowledge economies and non-human lives. Writing Anthropocene history creates both challenges and new lines of inquiry into some of the basic tenets of the discipline: chronology (deep time vs recorded human time), archives (traditional archives vs the earth’s crust), and scale (region vs the planet). Studying the historical dynamics that led to the current planetary condition demands new models of doing history that are both multi-temporal and multi-scalar yet anchored in social histories and linguistic traditions of particular regions, while remaining attentive to the geopolitical ramifications of climate change.

Research Focus:
Anthropocene and history; environmental transformation and its contemporary manifestations; climate history and historical climatology; legal history of environmental change; British Empire, South Asia; the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.



Weiterführende Informationen

Debjani Bhattacharyya


Office RAE 219
University of Zurich
Forschungsstelle für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte
Rämistrasse 64
8001 Zurich

Email: debjani.bhattacharyya [at]
Tel.: +41 (0)44 634 36 60


Location RAE

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