Lydia Barnett is a historian of early modern Europe who explores the intersections of science, religion, and the environment in transnational contexts. She received her PhD at Stanford University in 2011. Her current book project, provisionally titled Imagined Disasters: Thinking Globally in the Early Enlightenment (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press), explores the scientific imagination of global natural disasters at the turn of the eighteenth century. As European commerce, religion, and empire increasingly extended their reach across the globe, and as networks of exchange allowed books, letters, bodies, capital, and natural resources to flow across ever greater distances, a multidisciplinary new field of science and scholarship emerged which sought to describe the earth and its history on a global scale. The field focused in particular on Noah’s Flood, whose global reach served as a figure for the spread of Christian faith and empire and also grounded a new research agenda, which called for the contributions of a far-flung network of scholars, since it had left its traces everywhere.
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