HISTORY 236 - Environment and History in Preindustrial Europe
Section: 001
Term: FA 2020
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Europe is famous for culture, not nature, but it took the continent a long time to get that way. This class explores the transformation of western Eurasia’s natural landscapes (and seascapes) from their prehistoric condition into the more humanized forms familiar today. But Hist. 236 shows that nature was no passive backdrop, but actively shaped European cultures and economies from about 500 BCE to about 1800 CE. The course is structured around specific examples of Europeans forging sustainable relations with forests, with rivers and lakes, and with different kinds of animals in the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Along the way we look at breakdowns in this sustainable pattern: preindustrial European natural disasters, and people’s attempts to cope with events like massive floods, highly contagious epidemics, and climate-induced food shortages. Environment and History in Europe is an introduction to the past of one of the world’s most environmentally dynamic regions.

Course Requirements:

A midterm test, a take-home final, and two essays are required.

Intended Audience:

The course has is suitable for students at every class-level.

Class Format:

Meets twice per week, mixing discussion with lectures.

HISTORY 236 - Environment and History in Preindustrial Europe
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
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