Louis Gerdelan is a PhD Candidate in History. His research blends intellectual, cultural, environmental and legal history with the history of science. In his dissertation, Gerdelan examines the ways in which attitudes towards disasters (earthquakes, fires, storms and shipwrecks) changed over the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries within the British, French and Spanish Atlantic empires. He focuses on the interactions of different epistemologies and intellectual discourses that sought to explain or interpret catastrophes, in particular those generated by churchmen, scientists and astrologers. He seeks to demonstrate how debates over the correct moral response to calamity and attempts to systematize disaster knowledge together helped to change the way people conceived of suffering, sin and humanitarian responsibility. Gerdelan has served as a teaching fellow for a diverse range of history courses, both at Harvard and the University of Auckland, most recently as the instructor of record for an undergraduate seminar he designed on the history of disasters. He holds an MA, BA and LLB from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.