21H.968J | Spring 2010 | Graduate

Nature, Environment, and Empire

Study Materials

Required Books

Beinart, William, and Lotte Hughes. Environment and Empire. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780199562510.

Cook, James. Journals of Captain Cook. New York, NY: Penguin, 2000. ISBN: 9780140436471.

Crais, Clifton, and Pamela Scully. Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780691147963.

Darwin, Charles. Voyage of the Beagle. New York, NY: Modern Library, 2001. ISBN: 9780375756801.

Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World. New York, NY: Verso, 2002. ISBN: 9781859843826.

Driver, Felix, and Luciana Martins. Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780226164717.

Grove, Richard H. Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens, and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1660-1860. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780521565134.

Melville, Elinor G. K. A Plague of Sheep: Environmental Consequencess of the Conquest of Mexico. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780521574488.

Pielou, E. C. After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780226668123.

Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. New York, NY: Routledge, 2007. ISBN: 9780415438179.

Richards, John F. The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780520246782.

Ritvo, Harriet. The Platypus and The Mermaid: And Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780674673588.

Rudwick, Martin J. S. Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780226731056.

Wallace, Alfred Russel. The Malay Archipelago. (Volume 1, Volume 2) Singapore: Periplus, 2008. ISBN: 9780794605636.

1 Introduction

Ibo Queen Victoria Statue, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England

Tipu’s Tiger, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England

Map of the British Empire in 1886

2 Darwin

Voyage of the Beagle, all

Sulloway, Frank. “Darwin and His Finches: The Evolution of a Legend.” Journal of the History of Biology 15 (Spring 1982): 1-53.

Keynes, R. D. Charles Darwin’s Beagle Diary. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780521003179. Read especially pp. 351-364.

Barlow, Nora. “Darwin’s Ornithological Notes.” Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Historical Series 2 (1963): 201-278, especially 260-266.

Charles Darwin’s Beagle Diary

Prof. Ritvo’s photos from the Galápagos Islands (Image Gallery)

3 Deep time

After the Ice Age, especially pp. 5-38, 61-80, 99-101, 107-115, 125-128, and 227-312.

Scenes from Deep Time, all

Chamberlain, John A., Jr. “Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.” Dinosaur Core Homepage. Brooklyn College, CUNY.

4 The globe unified

Green Imperialism, especially pp. 1-152 and 309-486.

Drayton, Richard. Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the “Improvement” of the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780300059762.

The Unending Frontier, especially part I, “The Global Context,” and part IV, “The World Hunt.”

Environment and Empire, Chapter 3, “The Fur Trade in Canada.”

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, England

Gibson, Arthur C. “Economically Important Plants.” University of California, Los Angeles.

5 Settlers and environments

A Plague of Sheep, all

Anderson, Virginia DeJohn. Creatures of Empire: How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780195304466.

Environment and Empire, Chapter 2, “Caribbean Plantations,” and Chapter 6, “Sheep, Pastures and Demography in Australia.”

Ritvo, Harriet. The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989. ISBN: 9780674037076. pp. 243-288.

6 Captain Cook

Journals of Captain Cook, all

South Seas: Voyaging and Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Pacific (1760-1800)

Cook’s Pacific Encounters: Cook-Forster Collection

Secret Instructions to Lieutenant Cook, 30 July 1786

7 People

Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus, all

The Platypus and The Mermaid, Chapters 3-4.

8 Field trip to Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University  
9 Representations

Imperial Eyes, pp. 15-143.

Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire, all

Environment and Empire, Chapter 13, “Empire and the Visual Representation of Nature.”

10 Disease

Late Victorian Holocausts, Chapters 1-6.

McNeill, J. R. “Revolutionary Mosquitoes of the Atlantic World: Malaria and Independence in the United States of America.” In Squatriti, Paolo. Natures Past: The Environment and Human History. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780472069606.

Environment and Empire. Chapter 10, “Plague and Urban Environments,” and chapter 11, “Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis.”

11 Alfred Russel Wallace

The Malay Archipelago, all. (Volume 1, Volume 2)

The Alfred Russel Wallace Page

The Natural History Museum’s Wallace Collection

The Wallace Fund

Map of the East Indies, 1906

Map showing the Wallace Line

12 Final presentations  
13 Final presentations (cont.)  

Further Reading

Gadgil, Madhav, and Ramachandra Guha. “Conquest and Control.” Chapter 4 in This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780195633412.

Robin, Libby, and Tom Griffiths. “Ecology: A Science of Empire?” Chapter 4 in Ecology and Empire: Environmental Histories of Settler Societies. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780295976679.

Osborne, Michael A. “Acclimatizing the World: A History of the Paradigmatic Colonial Science.” Osiris, 2nd ser., 15 (2000): 135-151.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2010
Learning Resource Types
Image Gallery
Written Assignments