Categories
Online Seminar

Letters to the Editor: Reporting Disasters in Late Nineteenth Century Philippines

By Prof. Greg Bankoff, online, 21 Feb 2023, 10:00 UTC/GMT

ICHM Annual Seminar Series

Join us for our first seminar of 2023 with historical geographer, Professor Greg Bankoff (Ateneo de Manila University) who will be speaking about his research on newspaper reporting of disasters in the Philippines in the nineteenth century.

Register to attend the online seminar here: https://bit.ly/3QjKgqe

To receive information about the rest of the 2022/23 seminar series, and the other ICHM activities, sign-up to our mailing list: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/meteohistory

Abstract

A revolution in how news was reported occurred in the late nineteenth century with the advent of daily newspapers and a growing telegraph network that allowed correspondents in the provinces to give timely accounts of what was happening in local towns and their surrounding hinterlands. Many of these reports graphically describe the natural hazards, the typhoons, floods, fires, tremors and the like that, all too frequently, afflicted rural communities. These descriptions mainly took the form of letters written to the editors of Manila-based newspapers, such as El Comercio, El Diario de Manila, and La Oceania Española. Who were these correspondents, where were they, what were their concerns, and what did they have to say? Looking in depth at the newspaper accounts of one year, 1881, a singly uneventful year in terms of “big news”, this talk provides a snapshot into rural life and its vicissitudes towards the end of the Spanish colonial era. It also explores how reporting the news began to build a collective consciousness of the Philippines as a nation.

Biography

Greg Bankoff is a historical geographer who focuses on the way societies interrelate with their environments over time, especially the way people adapt to frequent hazards. For the last 30 years, he has focused his research primarily on Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific, and the North Sea seeking to understand how societies, both past and present, have learnt to normalise risk and the way in which communities deal with crisis through an applied interdisciplinary approach. He is a Research Fellow at Ateneo de Manila University and Professor Emeritus of Environmental History at the University of Hull and has published extensively. Among his recent publications is a co-edited volume, Why Vulnerability Still Matters: The Politics of Disaster Risk Creation (2022).

Categories
Online Seminar

Textualizing Typhoons: Historical Vignettes on Philippine Typhoons, 1600s-2000s

By Dr Kerby Alvarez, online, 7 December 2022, 18:00 PHST (UTC+8)

ICHM Annual Seminar Series

Join us for the second of our new online seminar series on 7th December when the historian of science Dr Kerby Alvarez (University of the Philippines Diliman) will be speaking about his research on the history of typhoons in the Philippines.

Register to attend the online seminar here:

https://bit.ly/3AkbXZn

To receive information about the rest of the 2022/23 seminar series, and the rest of ICHM’s activities, sign-up to our mailing list: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/meteohistory

Abstract

This seminar will discuss and examine textualizations of typhoons in Philippine history from the 1600s to the 2000s. The textualization comes in two forms: (1) typhoons and typhoon events and experiences as “historical texts” that illustrate the perceptions and understanding of Filipino communities in a given historical milieu; and (2) typhoons as object/subject of scientific investigations and policy reforms in disaster responses. The first deals with typhoons serving as vignettes of culture and historicity, and the second deals with scientific and historical knowledge production schemes in the aftermath of disastrous typhoon experiences.

Biography

Dr. Kerby C. Alvarez is an Associate Professor at the Department of History, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. His research interests include environmental history, history of science, history of hazards and disasters in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, Philippine nationalism, and the local history of his hometown, Malabon. His publications include “Instrumentation and Institutionalization: Colonial Science and the Observatorio Meteorologico de Manila, 1865-1899.” (Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 2016), “The June 1863 and the July 1880 Earthquakes in Luzon, Philippines: Interpretations and Disasters.” (Illes I Imperis, 2020), and “Patriotic Masculinity: Nationalism and Masculinity in Select Philippine Historical Films.” (Southeast Asian Media Studies Journal, 2021).

Categories
Online Seminar

Meteorology and Cultural Change in Vietnam, 1000-1850

By Dr Hieu Phung, online, 6 October 2022, 20:00 SGT (UTC+8)

ICHM Annual Seminar Series

Join us for the first of our new online seminar series on 6th October when the environmental historian Dr Hieu Phung (Rutgers University) will be speaking about her research on the history of meteorology in Vietnam.

Register to attend the online seminar here: https://bit.ly/3KCHzNU

To receive information about the rest of the 2022/23 seminar series, and the rest of ICHM’s activities, sign-up to our mailing list: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/meteohistory

Abstract

Between 1000 and the 1850s, meteorological knowledge and practices of the Vietnamese were strongly associated with wet rice cultivation. The authorities maintained official agencies to produce yearly calendars that traced proper timing for rice crops, while the populace accumulated experience-based knowledge about seasonal rainfall. But weather extremes and other natural anomalies were not merely natural processes. They were also “Heaven-sent” warnings of cosmological disasters that demanded for moral and political change. While crossing dendrochronological reconstruction with historical records have recently generated new understandings of the past climate patterns, a deeper level of contextualization is a must to unfold the cultural script embedded in the climate-related information from historical sources.

Biography

A photograph of the seminar speaker Dr Hieu Phung.

Dr Hieu Phung is an environmental historian who investigates the impacts of local culture and statecraft on the preindustrial environment, especially on water and climate. She has recently joined Rutgers University Department of Asian Languages and Cultures as an Assistant Professor of Global Studies-Asia. Her research focuses on the history of Vietnam and Southeast Asia during the transition from the Medieval Climate Anomaly (c. 800/950–1250/1300) to the Little Ice Age (c. 1300–1850). In pursuing environmental history, she engages with the study of space, maps, and texts that reveal the construction of premodern geographic knowledge. She is working on a book project entitled “Heavenly Drought: Natural Anomalies and State-Building in Fifteenth-Century Vietnam.” Her recent publications include “Naming the Red River – Becoming a Vietnamese River” and “Meteorology in Vietnam, Pre-1850.”

Categories
Conference Online Opportunities

Past, Present and Future of the History of Meteorology

Online Conference, September 15, 2021, 8:50-16:30 UTC

As part of the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the International Commission for the History of Meteorology we hosted an online conference over two separate time zone sessions on Wednesday 15 September 2021.

Categories
Online Working group

Under Tropical Skies: Science, Technology, and Society

Fiona Williamson, Jim Fleming, and Ruth Morgan are organising a new online working group titled: Under Tropical Skies: Science, Technology, and Society. The working group is hosted by the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM).

The aim is to have 6-8 meetings per year across 2020. Each group will feature a speaker, presenting their current and latest research, with discussion. It is fully online so anyone can participate from anywhere in the world. The time slots will be Wednesday 8am (Philadelphia time), on various dates to be arranged.

Please feel free to sign up as a member and to participate in this group, or contact Fiona Williamson fwilliamson@smu.edu.sg if you would like to chair a seminar and present a paper.

https://www.chstm.org/content/under-tropical-skies-science-technology-and-society-0