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Watery Archives: researching the floods of the past alongside the communities of the present

Recorded on 19 June 2024.

Speaker: Hannah Worthen (University of Hull)

This paper will highlight the role of historical research in knowledge exchange and community engagement. Based on a case study of Kingston-Upon-Hull, it will present archival research that demonstrates what it meant to live alongside water and flood risk in early modern England and examine evidence for how communities of the past adapted to and governed their watery environment. The paper will also share the work of the University of Hull’s Risky Cities project which invited communities to participate in participatory workshops about flooding that drew on this research into the city’s water and flood history in order to co-produce knowledge and creative outputs. It will therefore share the ways in which flood histories can be a powerful tool for shaping flood resilience today and a necessary part of the conversation about living with an uncertain climate future. 
Hannah is an historical geographer based at the University of Hull with specialisms in early modern history, gender, and the environment. She is currently based in the Risky Cities project where she researches people’s relationship with their watery landscapes in the past.

IHR Seminar Series: People, Place and Community