Global Environmental History offers an introduction to environmental history, a field that combines traditional historical methods with findings from the environmental sciences to explore how humans have transformed nature and how nature has determined human history. The course is global history on multiple levels: we will investigate case studies of human-environment interactions from every inhabited continent; discover how particular connections between distant places have had dramatic, unexpected effects; and analyze the complex feedback loops between local and global scales. How have human-environment interactions created a truly global human environment? What role did the “conquest of nature” play in the development of nation-states and the spread of European empires? How have cultural understandings of nature affected human’s impact on the land? Have societies become more or less adaptable to environmental change, more or less integrated into natural systems, more or less in control of their environment?
Reading Response Papers (one-page essays analyzing a specific reading), 25%
Exams (mid-term-20%; take-home final-30%), 50%
Designed as an intro to environmental history for lower-division students. It will appeal to students throughout LS&A because of the interdisciplinary nature. Global History minors, Program in the Environment and International Studies students.
Two lectures and one discussion meeting per week. GSI leads discussion sections.