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Dr. Conor Kostick

Research Fellow (History)


I am a Research Fellow with the Department of History, working on the Climates of Conflict in Ancient Babylonia (CLICAB) project.
  Babylon   Children's Fantasy and Science Fiction   Crusades   Easter Rising   Family, Church history   Germany and Italy   History of Islam   History of women   Marxist Historiography   Marxist Political Theory   Medieval Europe   Medieval History   Medieval Warfare   Military History   Papacy, history of ideas in Central Middle Ages   Urban and economic history   War of Independence
 The Second Crusade (1146 - 8): A social analysis
 Climates of Conflict in Ancient Babylonia (CLICAB)

Details Date
Member of the Board of the National Library of Ireland 2015
Member of the Board of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency 2012
Executive Member of the Irish Writers Union 2009
TCD Students' Union Executive member 1998 - 2000
TCD Graduate Students' Union Executive Member 2001 - 2004
Irish Writers' Union Executive 2001 - 2008
Irish Writers' Union Chairperson 2002 - 2004
Irish Writers' Union Chairperson 2006 - 2008
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
Latin Fluent Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Ecclesiastical History Society 2003 continuing
The Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (SSCLE) 2006 continuing
Seigneurie: Group for the Study of Nobility, Lordship, and Chivalry. 2007 continuing
Climate, Violence and Ethnic Conflict in the Ancient World in, editor(s)Ben Kiernan, Tracy Maria Lemos, Tristan Taylor , The Cambridge World History of Genocide, Volume 1: Genocide in the Ancient, Medieval and Premodern Worlds, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2023, pp150 - 182, [Ludlow, F., Kostick, C., Morris, C.], Notes: [Studies of past or possible future climatic contributions to genocide are rare, perhaps partly due to the terrible scale and relatedly lesser incidence of the phenomenon relative to other violence, and an imperative to unravel its more explicitly human causes. Relevant, too, are doubts over the status of premodern cases as genocides. This chapter concentrates largely on climate and state violence (sometimes arguably amounting to genocide) in the ancient Near East, particularly involving the well-documented Neo-Assyrian Empire and internal revolt in Egypt"s Ptolemaic state.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL
Kostick, C., Hill, A., McGovern, R., Medenieks, S., Yang, Z., Ludlow, F., Vulkaanuitbarstingen in de Oudheid: Reacties op Plotselinge Klimaatschommelingen in de Eerste Acht Eeuwen voor Christus [Volcanic Eruptions in Antiquity: Responses to Sudden Climatic Variability in the First Eight Centuries BCE], Phoenix, 69, (1), 2023, p6 - 27, Notes: [Major eruptions can thus deliver climatic `shocks" often linked to famine, disease, and conflict. It is possible indeed to treat historical eruptions that induced sudden climatic changes as potential `revelatory crises" that tested the resilience and vulnerability of societies, exposing political, economic and ideological tensions and fault-lines that might otherwise have remained latent or hidden to us. With advances in ice-core science improving the dating of past eruptions, which are discernible in annual layers of polar ice when elevated sulphate levels are detected, and with advanced Earth System modelling recreating post-volcanic climate effects with ever greater detail, it has become possible to identify and extract insights from previously unrecognized co-occurrences between eruptions and periods of societal stress in the first millennium BCE.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
The Irish Annals and Climate, Fifth to Seventeenth Centuries CE in, editor(s)Malcom Sen , Cambridge History of Irish Literature and the Environment , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp52 - 78, [Conor Kostick & Francis Ludlow], Notes: [Ireland in the fifth century ce hosted a body of Christian scholars in monasteries that were comparatively undisturbed by the overrun of the Roman Empire by Germanic tribes. These scholars, at first writing in Latin, together with secular learned professionals were able to develop a literary culture that flourished over the centuries in the production of a variety of genres, such as hagiography, poetry, epic, and voyage tales or immrama. Here, our focus is on the emergence of an annalistic tradition, as the form of literature that perhaps most easily lends itself to an investigation of the relationship between Irish literature and the historical environment, though Saints" Lives and other literary forms might, despite the challenges involved in addressing them, also be valuable sources for insights into the relationship between society and the historical environment.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL  URL
Cowboys, Cod, Climate and Conflict: Navigations in the Digital Environmental Humanities in, editor(s)Charles Travis, Deborah Dixon, Luke Bergmann, Robert Legg, Arlene Crampsie , Routledge Handbook of the Digital Environmental Humanities, , London, Routledge, 2022, pp30 , [Charles Travis, Poul Holm, Francis Ludlow, Conor Kostick, Rhonda McGovern, John Nicholls], Notes: [Concerns of the DEH include, firstly, how we come to know " with masses of information becoming increasingly available in diverse forms and platform " and secondly, how we work " in collaborative, "glocally" scaled endeavours that integrate physical and virtual environments which are changing techniques, workflows, and the ontology of research and teaching practices " and thirdly, how we understand " as cybernetic tools and methodologies provide radically new insights into and integrations of "old analogue," "new digital," and "natural archival" types of data. These concerns inform the three DEH case studies featured in this chapter. The first offers a geo-literary eco-digital geo-hermeneutic on 19th-century US expansion and environmental degradation in the American West; the second offers a "data canon" precis on the North Atlantic "Fish Revolution" between 1500 and 1800; and the third features computer-automated readings of ancient astronomical diaries to analyse ancient relations between climate and conflict in the Fertile Crescent kingdoms of Babylon and Assyria.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Mackay, H., Plunkett, G., Jensen, B., Aubry, T., Corona, C., Mi Kim, W., Toohey, M., Sigl, M., Stoffel, M., Anchukaitis, K., Raible, C., Bolton, M., Manning, J., Newfield, T., di Cosmo, N., Ludlow, F., Kostick, C., Yang, Z., Coyle McClung, L., Amesbury, M., Monteath, A., Hughes, P., Langdon, P., Charman, D., Booth, R., Davies, K., Blundell, A., Swindles, G., The 852/3 CE Mount Churchill Eruption: Examining the Potential Climatic and Societal Impacts and the Timing of the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the North Atlantic Region, Climate of the Past, 18, 2022, p1475 - 1508, Notes: [The 852/3"CE eruption of Mount Churchill, Alaska, was one of the largest first-millennium volcanic events, with a magnitude of 6.7 (VEI 6) and a tephra volume of 39.4"61.9"km3 (95"% confidence). The spatial extent of the ash fallout from this event is considerable and the cryptotephra (White River Ash east; WRAe) extends as far as Finland and Poland. Proximal ecosystem and societal disturbances have been linked with this eruption; however, wider eruption impacts on climate and society are unknown. Greenland ice core records show that the eruption occurred in winter 852/3"±"1"CE and that the eruption is associated with a relatively moderate sulfate aerosol loading but large abundances of volcanic ash and chlorine. Here we assess the potential broader impact of this eruption using palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, historical records and climate model simulations. We also use the fortuitous timing of the 852/3"CE Churchill eruption and its extensively widespread tephra deposition of the White River Ash (east) (WRAe) to examine the climatic expression of the warm Medieval Climate Anomaly period (MCA; ca. 950"1250"CE) from precisely linked peatlands in the North Atlantic region.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Drought and Plague in Adso of Montier-en-Der's Miracles of St Mansuy in, editor(s)Christine Meek Thomas McCarthy , CHURCH FAITH AND CULTURE IN THE MEDIEVAL WEST, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2020, pp19 , [Conor Kostick], Book Chapter, IN_PRESS  TARA - Full Text
Chris Jones, Conor Kostick & Klaus Oschema, Making the Medieval Relevant, 1, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2019, 1-270pp, Notes: [Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung. Beihefte 6], Book, PUBLISHED
Medieval History, Explosive Volcanism,and the Geoengineering Debate in, editor(s)Chris Jones, Conor Kostick & Klaus Oschema , Making the Medieval Relevant: How Medieval Studies Contribute to Improving Our Understanding of the Present, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2019, pp45 - 97, [Conor Kostick & Francis Ludlow], Notes: [One of the most important issues facing humanity is the rise in temperature of the planet. One current line of investigation for the reversal of global warming is that of using one or more of a suite of geoengineering (or climate engineering) techniques known as solar radiation management (SRM) in order to reflect sunlight back into space. The Paris Agreement of 2015, COP21, invited further research into this kind of geoengineering solution. One idea is to artificially emulate the effect of large volcanic eruptions, which can certainly lead to global cooling. Here, medieval history offers a perspective from which to help understand the challenges that geoengineering may present and inform our choices. The closest natural parallel to stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) geoengineering are volcanic eruptions and case studies of their climatic (and subsequent societal) impacts are much needed. By studying historical explosive volcanism, medieval history provides a laboratory for understanding the climatic and societal impacts of geoengineering in the form of reports of extreme weather and societal stresses such as subsistence crises and even conflict arising from scarcity induced resource competition. We argue that this history must be taken seriously in the discussion about whether to proceed with solar geoengineering. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been volcanically quiescent relative to earlier centuries, but this can change at any time. In particular, advocates of a geoengineered solution have to appreciate the relevance of the question: what will happen if the planet experiences another period in which one or more sulphur-rich VEI 5 to 7 eruptions occur, if we have already laden the stratosphere with sulphates artificially? The medieval experience of such eruptions can point to an answer that serves as a warning.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Why Should we Care about the Middle Ages? Putting the Case for the Relevance of Studying Medieval Europe in, editor(s)Chris Jones, Conor Kostick & Klaus Oschema , Making the Medieval Relevant, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2019, pp1 - 30, [Chris Jones, Conor Kostick & Klaus Oschema], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Neither Rome nor Baghdad: the Crusades - a view from Ireland in, editor(s)Felix Hinz & Johannes Meyer-Hamme , Controversial Histories - Current Views on the Crusades, London, Routledge, 2019, pp67 - 70, [Conor Kostick], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED

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Conor Kostick, The Dragon's Revenge, 1, London, Level Up, 2019, 1 - 462pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, Edda, First, Dublin, O'Brien Press, 2011, 1 - 393pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, Move, First, Dublin, O'Brien Press, 2008, 220pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, The Book of Curses, First, Dublin, O'Brien Press, 2007, 1 - 80pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Michael Rosen(ed.), Children's Literature Some Marxist Perspectives, Children's Literature Annual, University of Hertfordshire, 1, (1), April 2006, University of Hertfordshire Press, 2007, 106 - 7 p, Proceedings of a Conference, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, Saga, First, Dublin, O'Brien Press, 2006, 308pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, Samara, Journal of Music in Ireland, 6, (1), 2006, p38 - 38, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, Laudabiliter, History Ireland, 13, (3), 2005, p7 - 8, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Conor Kostick, The O'Rahilly, History Ireland, 13, (4), 2005, p11 - 12, Journal Article, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award 2015
Marie Curie Career Integration Grant 2011
Gold Medal November 2001
Lyster Prize (History) November 2001
Cluff Prize (History) November 2001
Brown Prize (History) 1998
Dublinia Medieval Essay Prize 2001
IBBY Honour List Member (for Epic) 2006
Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarship 2002 - 2005
Irish Research Council For the Humanities and Social Sciences Post Doctoral Fellowship 2007 - 8
White Ravens Collection, Special Mention (Epic) 2006
Soaring Eagle Book Award Master List (Epic) 2008 - 9
Reading Association of Ireland Shortlist (Saga) 2008
Booklist Top Ten Fantasy Books for Youth list for 2007 (Epic) 2007
Reading Association of Ireland Shortlist (Epic) 2005
Arts Council Literature Travel Award 2006
A New York Public Library 'book for the teen age' (Epic) 2008
Beehive Award Shortlist (Epic) 2008 - 9
Grace Lawless Lee Fund 2008
International Reading Association, Young Adult Reader's Choice, for Epic 2009
This project hypothesises that climatic changes, including periods of drought, flooding and other extreme weather, are linked to patterns of violence and conflict in the Ancient Near East. We also hypothise that any "climate-conflict linkages" vary meaningfully through time according evolving socioeconomic, political and cultural background in which climatic changes and extreme weather occurred. This research aims to investigate climatic changes in Babylonia during the final eight centuries BCE and assess for linkages to patterns of violence and conflict, through the application of historical climatology to the wealth of data available.