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ECSG reading discussion: "Scale," from "Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present"
The Eighteenth-Century Studies Group (ECSG) cordially invites you
to join us as we discuss a book chapter, "Scale, from Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present (2011)
eds. Andrew Shryock (Anthropology, Michigan) and Daniel Lord Smail (History, Harvard)
Light refreshments will be served.
In the chapter "Scale," Stiner et al observe the central place of "J curve" graphs in accounts of modernity. They argue that these iconic graphs -- which represent modernity as a series of unprecedented, exponential increases in phenomena like population growth, energy consumption, and per capita income -- misleadingly shape our understanding of modernity as a radical departure from older and otherwise stabilized forms of life. Challenging this dominant narrative of modernity, Stiner et al turn their attention to the "unexamined left tail on the graph of human history" (Stiner et al 246) and attempt to demonstrate that "deep human history, too, is punctuated by momentous leaps in population, energy flow, efficiency, levels of organization, and degrees of connectivity" (247) in ways that the scalar increases afforded by modernity tend to flatten.
Please contact Adam Sneed (email@example.com) for a copy of the chapter.
This reading discussion is preparation for our upcoming graduate student conference, "The Economy of Scales" to be held March 21-22nd. For more information about the conference, please contact Aran Ruth (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Adam Sneed (email@example.com), or see our conference website: http://www.umich.edu/
Location: 3241 Angell Hall