Inscriptions of Nature: a new book by Pratik Chakrabarti

One of the Research Centre’s Collaborating scholars, Pratik Chakrabarti, has published a new book, Inscriptions of Nature: Geology and the Naturalization of Antiquity. A culmination of a research project funded by Leverhulme Trust (UK) entitled An Antique Land; Geology, Philology and the Making of the Indian Subcontinent, 1830-1920, the book seeks to fill an important gap in the scholarship of deep time. It presents a new political history of deep time as a product of European colonialism. It shows that deep history represents a deep Western engagement with nature, which in essence is an intensive, and in some respects absolute, knowledge of nature. This approach provided Western epistemology with deep access to people’s lives, their genealogies and their natural resources.

Pratik notes that there are robust traditions of deep history in the Global South, with eclectic engagements with aboriginality, myths and deep time. These have, however, remained outside mainstream histories of geology and geohistory, which continue to focus on European or ‘northern’ intellectual traditions.

This book engages with these two scholarships to write a layered and integrated ‘New Deep History’.

There are two book launch events, on 4 and 11 December, both at 4pm UK time (which is a challenge for Australian readers). Full details are available via Eventbrite: