Graham Sustainability Institute

Topics in History


Environmental History studies how humans have interacted with nature. This course reaches outside the familiar terrain of American history to include Canada and Mexico to examine the human transformation of the continent. The comparisons focus on the different legacies of empire and environment, which continue to shape conditions in North America. We will ask how nature has shaped patterns of human change in different regions of the continent (British, French, Spanish, and American empires) and how human attitudes toward nature shaped environmental outcomes and institutions in modern nation states. From colonial times to the present, each society has faced questions of sustainability in different ways, and each has developed different approaches to conservation and environmental protection. Before the rise of modern ecology, the awareness of the need to conserve resources emerged slowly, in each society in North America. Some familiarity American, Canadian, Mexican, or Transatlantic history is helpful. Class will meet each week to discuss assigned readings. The readings will be entirely electronic and consist of electronic books, journal articles and or chapters from larger works that are posted on the course CTools site.

Literature, Science, & Arts » History
Spring 2018
Winter 2018
Fall 2017
Winter 2017
Fall 2016
Winter 2016
Winter 2019