Philipp Lehmann is a PhD student in history at Harvard University. He works on the global history of theories and popular ideas about large-scale environmental changes and attempts to ameliorate nature. His dissertation examines the origins, course, and ramifications of the European debate on desiccation and desertification from 1870 to 1950. It traces the impact of notions about changing and changeable climates on the formulation of large engineering schemes designed to transform desert environments in Africa and beyond. These projects ranged from French plans to create a “Sahara Sea” in the 1870s, to German visions of a geoengineered new Euro-African continent in the 1920s, and to Nazi designs of a “Germanified” and newly fertile land in the East.
This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.
PhD Student in History, Harvard University
Graduate Student Affiliate, CES, Harvard University