Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Global Environmental History (PGHC11540)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryGlobal Environmental History offers a broad introduction to environmental history through a series of case studies of environmental change in the 19th and 20th centuries. Over the course of the semester we will read monographs that examine the relationship between nature and nations, urbanisation, industrialisation, globalisation, conservation, warfare, colonialism, and capitalism.
Course description This course is designed to introduce students to the historiography and topics of global environmental history. We will do so by locating and exploring environmental histories within larger histories of nationalism, urbanisation, industrialisation and other historical epochs of the modern era. We will also discuss the rise of the environmental movement, and the topics that have come to shape the movement in the past fifty years such as preservation, wilderness, pollution, toxicity, the nuclear age and the Anthropocene. To address these topics, this course will focus on transnational histories to highlight the ways in which 'nature', as well as ideas about the natural world, crosses borders both at the behest of human agency and despite humans' best efforts to contain it.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Global Environmental History (online) (PGHC11485)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Engage through writing with the historiography of global Environmental history
  2. Engage critically with Environmental history in a seminar format through conversation and exchange with classmates
  3. Write and conduct research on topics in environmental history
  4. Assess and analyse events in 19th and 20th century history from the perspective and methodologies of environmental history.
Reading List
Amrith, Sunil S. Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants. Harvard University Press, 2015.
Andrews, Thomas G. Killing for Coal America's Deadliest Labor War. Harvard University Press, 2008.
Brown, Kate, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford, 2015).
Cronon, William. 'The Trouble with Wilderness: Or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.' Environmental History 1, no. 1 (1996): 7-28.
Demuth, Bathsheba. Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait. W. W. Norton & Company, 2019.
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2015.
Laveaga, Gabriela Soto, Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects and the Making of the Pill (Duke University Press, 2009).
Macekura, Stephen, Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global Sustainable Development in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge 2015.
Mavhunga, Clapperton Chakanetsa. The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production. The MIT Press, 2018.
McKittrick, Katherine. "Plantation Futures." Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 17, no. 3 (42) (November 1, 2013): 1-15.
Roy, Rohan Deb. "White Ants, Empire, And Entomo-Politics in South Asia." The Historical Journal 63, no. 2 (March 2020): 411-36.
Wu, Shellen Xiao. Empires of Coal: Fueling China's Entry into the Modern World Order, 1860-1920. Stanford University Press, 2015.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will enable students to:
1. write with clarity while utilising tools of critical analysis and empirical research
2. analyse and reflect critically on Global Environmental History and methodology.
3. participate in oral debate and conversation utilising critical thinking skills
4. execute self-directed research.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Emily Brownell
Course secretaryMs Cristina Roman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4777
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information