Methods of integration: environmental history

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 09:00 to 10:45

The lecture will consist of two main parts. The first one will provide a brief introduction in the main research subject of environmental history, i.e. the investigation of past nature-society interactions. The interdisciplinary character of the field will be highlighted and the implications for research will be addressed.

After, the focus will be on methods. As interdisciplinary research effort environmental history does not rely on “methods” in a classical sense. Thus this part of the lecture will focus on some topics which are important for doing environmental history. Among others I will address the different basics of history and natural (e.g. sources vs. data), temporal and spatial scales or tools to integrate historical and scientific research. These methodological approaches will be demonstrated by some brief examples.

A brief concluding part of the lecture will refer to links between environmental history and sustainable development.

Suggested readings:

Hughes D. (2008): Three dimensions of Environmental History. Environment and History 14, 319-330.

Mc Neill J & V. Winiwarter (2004): Breaking the Sod: Humankind, history and soil. Science 304, 1627-1629.

Pfister Ch. & R. Brazdil (2006): Social vulnerability to climate in the “Little Ice Age”: an example from Central Europe in the early 1770s. Climate of the Past 2, 115–129.

Scientific area: 
Environmental history
Historical ecology of freshwater fish
River and fish ecology