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Course Details

Spring 2013-2014
* HIS 431 / ENV 433 (HA)   na, npdf

Comparative Environmental History

Emmanuel H. Kreike


The course examines the processes, causes, and effects of environmental change. Drawing on different historical periods and world regions, including Africa, the Americas, and Asia, class readings expose participants to different models and approaches to the study of environmental change. The course focuses on such themes as environmental determinism, ethno-ecology, biological imperialism, deforestation and desertification, the history of famine and food, and the impact of war, technology, population growth, market forces, and globalization on earth's ecosystem.

Sample reading list:
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
J. McNeill, Something New Under the Sun
A. Hurley, Environmental Inequalities
Richard White, The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River
N. Peluso, Rich Forests, Poor People
E. Melville, Plague of Sheep

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 150-200 pp. per week. Two brief (2 pp.) response papers to be presented in class. One 15 page term paper on an aspect of environmental history due on Dean's Date.

Papers - 20%
Term Paper(s) - 50%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other information:
Students interested in HIS 431 must write a one-page statement explaining why they wish to take the seminar and what strengths they bring to the course. The statement (including class year and concentration) should be submitted to no later than 3 p.m. on Monday, December 2. Those admitted will be notified via email no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42184 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Jones Hall   305   Enrolled:5 Limit:6