ABOUT THIS BOOK
A kaleidoscopic rethinking of how we come to know the earth.
This book brings the history of the geosciences and world cosmologies together, exploring many traditions, including Chinese, Pacific, Islamic, South and Southeast Asian conceptions of the earth’s origin and makeup. Together the chapters ask: How have different ideas about the sacred, animate, and earthly changed modern environmental sciences? How have different world traditions understood human and geological origins? How does the inclusion of multiple cosmologies change the meaning of the Anthropocene and the global climate crisis? By carefully examining these questions, New Earth Histories sets an ambitious agenda for how we think about the earth.
The chapters consider debates about the age and structure of the earth, how humans and earth systems interact, and how empire has been conceived in multiple traditions. The methods the authors deploy are diverse—from cultural history and visual and material studies to ethnography, geography, and Indigenous studies—and the effect is to highlight how earth knowledge emerged from historically specific situations. New Earth Histories provides both a framework for studying science at a global scale and fascinating examples to educate as well as inspire future work. Essential reading for students and scholars of earth science history, environmental humanities, history of science and religion, and science and empire.