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The Australian National University

Public lecture: Deep History, Compulsive Hoarding, and the Brain

Date and time

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 17:00 - 18:30


Arthur Hambly Theatre University Avenue ANU

When does history begin? What characterizes it? What drives human history?

According to Daniel Lord Smail it is our compulsions that drive history rather than great men and women or ‘progress’ and ‘modernisation’. The manipulation of human chemistry by the substances we consume, and the activities we engage in willingly or which are imposed on us against our will are at the heart of history.

Daniel Lord Smail is professor of history at Harvard University and author of On Deep History and the Brain (2008) and Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present (2011).  In recent years Professor Smail has been developing a new kind of history, drawing on recent work in neuroscience and paleohistory to connect the micro and the macro, the deep past with the recent past and tackle histories of vast stretches of time, long before the invention of writing.

Download the Deep History, Compulsive Hoarding, and the Brain public lecture flyer (104KB PDF).

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