21H.421 | Spring 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Environmental History


[Carson] = Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin, original 1962, anniversary edition 2002. ISBN: 9780618249060.

[Cook] = Cook, James. Journals of Captain Cook. Penguin Classics, 2000. ISBN: 9780140436471. [See on Project Gutenberg]

[Cronon] = Cronon, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. Hill and Wang, 2003. ISBN: 9780809016341.

[Defoe] = Defoe, Daniel. A Journal of the Plague Year. W. W. Norton and Company, 1992. ISBN: 9780393961881. [See on Project Gutenberg]

[Engels] = Engels, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working Class in England. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780199555888. [See the original English translation on Project Gutenberg]

[Jacoby] = Jacoby, Karl. Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation. University of California Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780520239098.

[Mancall] = Mancall, Peter C. Envisioning America: English Plans for the Colonization of North America, 1580-1640. Bedfords/St. Martins, 1995. ISBN: 9780312096700.

[McNeill and McNeill] = McNeill, J. R., and W. H. McNeill. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W. W. Norton & Company, 2003. ISBN: 9780393051797.

[White] = White, Richard. The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River. Hill and Wang, 1996. ISBN: 9780809015832.

Week 1 Introduction McNeill, and McNeill, pp. 25-40, 75-81, 108-15, 137-54, 158-78, 186-9, 200-23, 230-52, 264-7, 279-88, and 319-327. Questions: (PDF)
Week 2 The Columbian Exchange

Mancall, pp. 45-61, 112-132, and 140-148. Questions: (PDF)

Carney, Judith A. “African Rice in the Columbian Exchange.” Journal of African History 42, no. 3 (2001): 377-396. [Abstract] Questions: (PDF)

McNeill, J. R. “Revolutionary Mosquitoes of the Atlantic World: Malaria and Independence.” In Natures Past: The Environment and Human History. Edited by Paolo Squatriti. University of Michigan Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780472069606. [Preview on Google Books] Questions: (PDF)

Week 3 Wilderness and Garden Cronon, full text. Questions: (PDF)
Week 4 The Disease Environment Defoe, pp. 6-66, and 197-230. Questions: (PDF)
Week 5 Science and Nature Cook, pp. 39-61, 125-134, 335-339, 374-390, and 530-547. Questions: (PDF)
Week 6 Landscape and Agriculture Ritvo, Harriet. “Possessing Mother Nature: Genetic Capital in 18th-Century Britain.” In Susan Staves and John Brewer, eds. Early Modern Conceptions of Property. Routledge, 1996. ISBN: 9780415153140. Questions: (PDF)
Week 7 Industry and Demography Engels, “The Great Towns.” Chapter 2. “Results.” Chapter 5. Questions: (PDF)
Week 8 Conservation and Preservation

Jacoby, Introduction and chapters 4-6. Questions: (PDF)

Ritvo, Harriet. “Manchester v. Thirlmere and the Construction of the Victorian Environment.” Victorian Studies 49, no. 3 (2007): 457-481. [Abstract]

Week 9 Preparation for research paper  
Week 10 Poisoning and Environmentalism

Carson, Chapters 1, 7, 9, 10, 14, and 16. Questions: (PDF)

Langston, Nancy. “The Retreat from Precaution: Regulating DES, Endocrine Disruption, and Environmental Health.” Environmental History 13, no. 1 (2008): 41-65. [See on Environmental History]

Week 11 Current Events White, full text. Questions: (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2011
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples