Skip to main content

HCA Tasters: Historical Approaches to the Climate Crisis. From Mennonite farmers to modern Consumers

Venue: Online

Book your place

Historical Approaches to the Climate Crisis: from Mennonite farmers to modern Consumers

Dr Kat Hill and Professor Frank Trentmann

How can history help us understand the present climate crisis better? In this session we will explore humanity’s past and present relationships with the environment, and discuss the cultural and socio-economic forces that have shaped the modern consumer world and its environmental fall out. We will look at farming and agriculture amongst religious groups such as Mennonites, who seem to evoke a rural idyll but in ways that have at times been destructive. We will also think about our changing relationship with things and the rise of a consumer society. Our climate crisis has much deeper roots than we tend to be recognise. The session will include a short introductory lecture from Frank Trentmann and Kat Hill, a conversation between the two historians, an extended period to ask questions and some specific examples, and closing remarks from Matt Cook, the Head of Department, about how this fits into Birkbeck’s broader teaching and research.

Booking is essential so that we may send you the joining link.



This event is part of a series of six 60-minute on-line taster events exploring histories of London, of migration, of sex and sexuality and much else besides, designed to give a flavour of studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in our department.

You can join one session or the whole series. Video introductions to the topic will be available ahead of most sessions and each one will conclude with a short question and answer session about the department and opportunities for studying with us.

All are welcome – from offer holders and those thinking of applying to those simply interested in the topics.  

Taster 1: Mon 24 January 6:00 - 7:00pm, Migrants in London from the Tudors to the Twentieth Century

Taster 2: Thu 24 March 11:30am - 1:00pm, London: the world in a city

Taster 4: Mon 28 April 6:00 - 7:00pm, Sex and Sexualities in Modern and Contemporary History

Taster 5: Thu 26 May 6:00 - 7:00pm, Historical Approaches to the Climate Crisis: from Mennonite farmers to modern Consumers

Taster 6: Thu 30 June 6:00 - 7:00pm, Ancient and Modern Selves


This taster series is part of the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology's Discover the Past events series, open to the public and students. To see the full list of events, visit the Discover the Past web page.

The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck has a distinguished tradition as an international centre of excellence. We are the only university department in London to include archaeologists, classicists and historians investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. Join us to discover the past and engage with the present across continents and cultures.

Contact name: