In the tenth episode of Climate History, our podcast, Emma Moesswilde and Dagomar Degroot interview Bathsheba Demuth, assistant professor of environmental history at Brown University. Professor Demuth specializes in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her interests in northern environments and cultures began when she was 18 and moved to the village of Old Crow in the Yukon, where she spent several years training sled dogs. In the years since, she has visited and lived in Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America. She has a BA and MA from Brown University, and an MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing has appeared in publications from the American Historical Review to the New Yorker. Her first book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait is now out with Norton, and has received rave reviews in both popular and academic publications.
Professor Demuth is a returning guest. In our first interview, she introduced the major themes of what was then her doctoral dissertation, and is now Floating Coast. In this episode, she describes how she wrote the book, and what we can learn from it. She details her experiences in the Arctic, her deep engagement with the community of Old Crow, her thinking about non-human actors in historical stories, her success in writing for the general public, and her views on what the past can reveal about the future of the rapidly-warming Arctic.
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