There is growing concern over the impacts of climate variability and anomalous and unusual weather. While social and economic systems have generally evolved to accommodate some deviations from 'normal' weather conditions, this is rarely true of extremes. For this reason such events can have the greatest and most immediate social and economic impact of all climate changes.
Cultural Histories, Memories and Extreme Weather is the first to explore the cultural contingency of such weather events, and the ways in which they are recalled, recorded or forgotten. It illustrates how geographical context, particular physical conditions, an area's social and economic activities and embedded cultural knowledges and infrastructures all affect community experiences of and responses to unusual weather. Contributions refer to varied methods of remembering and recording weather and how these act to curate, recycle and transmit extreme events across generations and into the future. With international case studies, from both land and sea, Cultural Histories, Memories and Extreme Weather explores how and why particular weather events become inscribed into the cultural fabric of communities and contribute to community change in different historical and cultural contexts.
1. Introduction: Climate, weather events and culture - Georgina Endfield and Lucy Veale
2. A temporal and spatial approach on the memory of hurricanes and typhoons - Cary Mock
3. 'May God bridge Afon Tywi': flood memories and perceptions recorded in Welsh medieval poetry - Hywel M. Griffiths, T. Eurig Salisbury and Stephen Tooth
4. A collective memory for the extreme weather phenomena. When non-scientific sources speak for floods and droughts in Greece - George Vlahakis
5. Remembering in God's name: the role of the church and community institutions in commemorating floods - Alexander Hall
6. Extreme weather and the growth of charity: the shipwrecked fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society, 1839-1914 - Cathryn Pearce
7. Learning to say "Phew" instead of "Brrr": social change and the summer of 1976 - Ian Waites
8. On the home front: Australians and the 1914 drought - Ruth Morgan
9. Afterword - James Roger Fleming and Vladimir Jankovic
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Georgina Endfield is Professor of Environmental History based in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. Her research focuses specifically on climatic history and historical climatology, on human responses to unusual or extreme weather events, conceptualisations of climate variability in historical perspective and the links between climate and the healthiness of place.
Lucy Veale is Research Fellow in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham. Lucy's interests and expertise are in archival work in historical geography. She completed her PhD on the acclimatization of cinchona to British India in 2010 and has subsequently worked on a number of projects relating to environmental, landscape and garden history in the UK.