|Dipesh Chakrabarty is the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History and South Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. He was a founding member of the Subaltern Studies collective, a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies and is a consulting editor of Critical Inquiry. He is the recipient of the 2014 Arnold Toynbee Memorial Prize for his contribution to global history. He was also awarded the Tagore Memorial Prize in 2019 by the Government of West Bengal, India, for his book The Crises of Civilization (2018). Chakrabarty is the author of many books and articles including Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2008; 2000) and "The Climate of History: Four Theses," Critical Inquiry, 2009. His latest book is The Climate of History in a Planetary Age (Chicago, 2021, in press).
This lecture will propose that situating the current pandemic historically requires us to think through two connected but distinct sets of worldwide processes that today impact on human lives everywhere and that may be called, respectively, "the global" and "the planetary." The lecture will develop this distinction, argue that we now live on the cusp of the global and the planetary, and seek to place the pandemic in that context.