The Eisenberg Institute kicks off its fall 2014 programming on Thursday, September 11, 4 p.m., in 1014 Tisch Hall, with Douglas Northrop's lecture, "Earthquakes on the Edge: Border Spaces and Empire Making Along the Eurasian Frontier." The talk follows the Institute's 2013-15 theme, "Materials of History." Link for a lecture abstract. Free and open to the public.

Douglas Northrop is Professor of History and Near Eastern Studies and Associate Chair of the Department of History at the University of Michigan. A specialist on the modern history of Central Asia, Northrop earned his Ph.D. at Stanford and taught Soviet, Islamic, European, colonial, and world/global history at Pitzer College and the University of Georgia before coming to Michigan. He is particularly interested in teaching and writing about world history, environmental history, and the cultural aspects of modern colonialism. His first book, Veiled Empire, investigated Bolshevik attempts to remake and modernize Central Asian society by ending the seclusion of Muslim women. It won both the W. Bruce Lincoln Prize and the Heldt Prize. This EIHS lecture draws on his current research, using the lens of natural disaster to study the emergence of new social, spatial, and cultural forms across the borderlands of Central Asia.

On Friday, September 12, 12 p.m., in 1014 Tisch Hall, the Eisenberg Institute presents the workshop, "History in the Anthropocene: The Environment, Natural Sciences, and Planetary Narratives." Link for workshop details and to access precirculated papers. The panel features Arun Agrawal, (Professor, Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan), Emily Merchant (Ph.D. Candidate, History, University of Michigan), Davide Orsini (Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology and History, University of Michigan), and Richard P. Tucker (Professor, Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan). Chaired by Perrin Selcer (Assistant Professor, History, University of Michigan). Lunch provided. Free and open to the public.

These events have been made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.

Image: Russian settler contemplates wreckage from the December 1902 earthquake in Andijon in the tsarist province of Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan). Photo courtesy of Anahita Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA.