HST 5650 Environmental History (3 credits)
Environmental History is a relatively new historical discipline dedicated to understanding how our surroundings have influenced our choices and how we have affected our surroundings. Until very recently, history has treated the physical environment of continents, rivers, soils, and climates as a backdrop for political, social, or cultural action. Sometimes a colorful background, but not often a factor in the action taking place in the foreground. At its most basic, Environmental History makes three claims. First, we are influenced by our environments. Second, we change our environments. Third, our knowledge of and attitudes toward our environment change. In this course we'll look at American History using each of these ideas and see things we wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Common Course Outline