Decolonizing the teaching of world history

Beyond Europe's Cold Winters: Globalizing the Little Ice Age

The Little Ice Age isn’t usually a topic that we think about when decolonizing history, but I recently posted an essay about why we should be teaching it more in our world history classes and some ways to do so. Many of the links on this resource page are also discussed in that essay. The links here include a few things that are more focused on Europe, but I have also tried to focus on other regions of the world. If you have further resources that help to understand how the Little Ice Age affected regions beyond Europe, please share them with me.

Last updated: 2 February 2019

Articles and Websites

Geoffrey Parker’s “Lessons From the Little Ice Age” – good introduction to the arguments that Parker develops more fully in

Dagomar Degroot’s “How the Dutch Prospered in the Little Ice Age…” – good introduction to the arguments that Degroot develops more fully in

Dagomar Degroot’s “Did the Spanish Empire Change Earth’s Climate?” – a rich discussion of the current debate about how much the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century, and the resulting Great Dying, contributed to the Little Ice Age.

“Picturing the Little Ice Age” – a short blog post about some of the Northern European images related to the Little Ice Age.

Amitav Ghosh’s “The Coming Climate Crisis” – Ghosh more explicitly discusses how the scholarship of Parker and Degroot shapes how we can think about climate change today.

The Little Ice Age Volcanoes and Crises In the Pre-Modern World – a syllabus for a course by Dagomar Degroot.

The Environmental History Of the Little Ice Age – another syllabus by Degroot.

The Little Ice Age: History of Climate-Induced Crisis in Europe and East Asia – a short blog post from Hyeok Hweon Kang that compares some of the consequences of the Little Ice Age in China and Europe.

Climate Change’s Fatal Synergy – another blog post from Hyeok Hweon Kang that focuses on Korea.

The Little Ice Age: Heterogeneity of Impact and Japan’s Success Story? – Hyeok Hweon Kang discusses how the Little Ice Age affected Japan in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Little Ice Age Severity In South-Asia 1600-1700 A.D. – one of the few articles I’ve found that talks about how the Little Ice Age affected Mughal India. It’s mainly useful as a resource for some basic arguments and dates.

Research shows how the Little Ice Age affected South American climate – a short post about recent research that focus on Brazil and the consequences of the Little Ice Age.

Books

Dagomar Degroot’s The Frigid Golden Age: Climate Change, the Little Ice Age, and the Dutch Republic, 1560-1720 – Degroot’s recent book. He mostly focuses on the Little Ice Age in the Netherlands, but there are some useful global connections.

Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century – Parker does an excellent job of looking at how the Little Ice Age affected regions around the world. There are chapters focused on China, India, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as some discussion of the Americas, Africa, and Australia.

Robert Marks’ The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Environmental Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century – an excellent short history of last 600 years with a heavy emphasis on environmental history. Marks includes a significant amount of discussion of the Little Ice Age.

Sam White’s The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire – White provides a comprehensive overview of how the Little Ice Age affected the Ottomans.

Podcasts

Climate Change and World History – an episode of 15 Minute History that features an interview between Christopher Rose and Sam White that focuses on how the Little Ice Age affected the Ottomans.

The Little Ice Age: Weird Weather, Witchcraft, Famine and Fashion – a fun episode of Dig: A History Podcast that focuses on the Little Ice Age, but does a good job of not just focusing on Europe. There’s a lot about Europe, but the authors also discuss other regions of the world.

Videos and Documentaries

Climate Change, Chaos, and The Little Ice Age – an episode of Crash Course that focuses on the Little Ice in the seventeenth century.

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Jamie Larson
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