Lydia Barnett

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B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D., Stanford University

I am a historian of early modern Europe (1400-1800) with thematic interests in science, religion, and the environment. I am currently writing a book about the emergence of a new field of knowledge devoted to the earth, its climate, its tumultous past and its apocalyptic future during the Enlightenment and against the backdrop of the first age of globalization. More broadly, my research looks at the various ways that people have thought and written and argued about the earth (and what we would now call the environment) in order to ask new questions about science and religion; the dynamics of knowledge-production and of intellectual labor; discipline-building and interdisciplinarity; and the nature of globalization, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and secularization. My work is also driven by a desire to better understand the historical roots of the way we currently talk about the earth, the environment, climate change, and natural disasters.

My general research and teaching interests include: European history, the history of science, environmental history, religious history, the Enlightenment, the Republic of Letters, digital humanities, and transnational, spatial, and global history.