Topics in Environmental History (Theme: Global Histories of Climate Change) (HIST*4250) | College of Arts

Topics in Environmental History (Theme: Global Histories of Climate Change) (HIST*4250)

Code and section: HIST*4250*01

Term: Fall 2023



Climate change caused by human activity is transforming our planet today. Every aspect of human and non-human life will be affected by its political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental consequences. However, climate change is not a new phenomenon: natural and anthropogenic processes have shaped human history in myriad ways, from ancient times to the modern age. In this seminar course, we will explore the history of climate change to investigate the vulnerabilities, responses, and resiliency of past and present societies. This will include case studies spanning many centuries that will examine the influence of climate change on food and economic systems, political institutions, colonialism, conflicts, emotions, and everyday life. We will also explore the role of science and technology in both the discover and denial of climate change. 


Essay Proposal and Bibliography (10%)
Research Essay (30%)
Seminar Leadership & Presentation (10%)
Participation (20%)
Climate Story (20%)
End of Course Reflection (10%)

Required Textbook and Readings:

Sam White, Christian Pfister, and Franz Manuelshagen, eds., The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).

Additional readings will be assigned on a weekly basis.

*Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.