Nature and Empires
HIST 423 Nature and Empires
What did empires look like on the ground? What can changing landscapes tell us about the history of imperialism or colonial societies, politics, and economies? How did local environments aid or constrain particular forms of empire? How did the study and use of nature contribute to the conquest and exploitation of foreign territories, or the expansion, administration, and upheaval of colonial regimes? This course will survey the recent scholarly literature on the global environmental history of empire, with emphasis on Early Modern and Modern European colonies. Special attention will focus on the environmental aspects of the reciprocal relationship between science (especially medicine, natural history, geography, and anthropology) and the making and unmaking of empires.