21H.421 Introduction to Environmental History

Spring 2004

The English Lake District.
The English Lake District. (Image courtesy of Prof. Harriet Ritvo.)

Course Highlights

The readings section of the course includes a number of downloadable handouts and lists of terms. In addition, all assignments and sample student submissions are available. This course also features archived syllabi from various semesters.

Course Description

This seminar provides a historical overview of the interactions between people and their environments. Focusing primarily on the experience of Europeans in the period after Columbus, the subject explores the influence of nature (climate, topography, plants, animals, and microorganisms) on human history and the reciprocal influence of people on nature. Topics include the biological consequences of the European encounter with the Americas, the environmental impact of technology, and the roots of the current environmental crisis.
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Prof. Harriet Ritvo

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session