HIST 97D: What is Environmental History?





This section gives new History concentrators an introduction to environmental history. Most historians leave the natural world out of the story, but environmental historians regard nature as the inescapable context for human history, including the human impact on nature. We will explore how the histories of the environment and of humans can (and perhaps should) be written together. Is there a "natural archive" which historians can consult in parallel with conventional libraries and archives? Do places have "biographies," just as people do? Can natural entities (mountains, dogs, rivers, microbes, climate) have "agency" in the same way human actors can?