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Environmental History

Environmental History Book List

Cover of 'Water Brings No Harm'

Water Brings No Harm
Management Knowledge and the Struggle for the Waters of Kilimanjaro
By Matthew V. Bender

Water Brings No Harm explores the history of community water management on Mount Kilimanjaro. Using the concept of waterscapes—describing how people “see” water and how physical resources intersect with beliefs, needs, and expectations—Bender argues that water conflicts should be understood as struggles between competing forms of knowledge.

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim
· Preface by Peter Thorsheim

Inventing Pollution examines new understandings of pollution, centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion, that emerged in the late 19th century in Britain. This change, Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.

Cover of 'Slavery, Agriculture, and Malaria in the Arabian Peninsula'

Slavery, Agriculture, and Malaria in the Arabian Peninsula
By Benjamin Reilly

In Slavery, Agriculture, and Malaria in the Arabian Peninsula, Benjamin Reilly illuminates a previously unstudied phenomenon: the large-scale employment of people of African ancestry as slaves in agricultural oases within the Arabian Peninsula.

Cover of 'The Historical Ecology of Malaria in Ethiopia'

The Historical Ecology of Malaria in Ethiopia
Deposing the Spirits
By James C. McCann

Malaria is an infectious disease like no other: it is a dynamic force of nature and Africa’s most deadly and debilitating malady. James C. McCann tells the story of malaria in human, narrative terms and explains the history and ecology of the disease through the science of landscape change. All malaria is local.

Cover of 'Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment in Africa and North America'

Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment in Africa and North America
Edited by David M. Gordon and Shepard Krech III

Indigenous knowledge has become a catchphrase in global struggles for environmental justice. Yet indigenous knowledges are often viewed, incorrectly, as pure and primordial cultural artifacts. This collection draws from African and North American cases to argue that the forms of knowledge identified as “indigenous” resulted from strategies to control environmental resources during and after colonial encounters.

Winner of the 2014 Martin A. Klein Prize in African History from the American Historical Association · Winner of the 2014 Melville J. Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association
Cover of 'Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development'

Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development
Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965–2007
By Allen F. Isaacman and Barbara S. Isaacman

This in-depth study of the Zambezi River Valley examines the dominant developmentalist narrative that has surrounded the Cahora Bassa Dam, chronicles the continual violence that has accompanied its existence, and gives voice to previously unheard narratives of forced labor, displacement, and historical and contemporary life in the dam’s shadow.

Cover of 'Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa'

Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa
Edited by Diana K. Davis and Edmund Burke III
· Afterword by Timothy Mitchell

The landscapes of the Middle East have captured our imaginations throughout history. Images of endless golden dunes, camel caravans, isolated desert oases, and rivers lined with palm trees have often framed written and visual representations of the region. Embedded in these portrayals is the common belief that the environment, in most places, has been deforested and desertified by centuries of misuse.

Cover of 'Mountains of Injustice'

Mountains of Injustice
Social and Environmental Justice in Appalachia
Edited by Michele Morrone and Geoffrey L. Buckley
· Foreword by Donald Edward Davis
· Afterword by Jedediah Purdy

Through compelling stories and interviews with people who are fighting for environmental justice, Mountains of Injustice contributes to the ongoing debate over how to equitably distribute the long-term environmental costs and consequences of economic development.

Cover of 'Environment at the Margins'

Environment at the Margins
Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa
Edited by Byron Caminero-Santangelo and Garth Myers

Environment at the Margins brings literary and environmental studies into a robust interdisciplinary dialogue, challenging dominant ideas about nature, conservation, and development in Africa and exploring alternative narratives offered by writers and environmental thinkers. The essays bring together scholarship in geography, anthropology, and environmental history with the study of African and colonial literatures and with literary modes of analysis.

Cover of 'Cultivating the Colonies'

Cultivating the Colonies
Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies
Edited by Christina Folke Ax, Niels Brimnes, Niklas Thode Jensen, and Karen Oslund

The essays collected in Cultivating the Colonies demonstrate how the relationship between colonial power and nature reveals the nature of power. Each essay explores how colonial governments translated ideas about the management of exotic nature and foreign people into practice, and how they literally “got their hands dirty” in the business of empire. The eleven essays include studies of animal husbandry in the Philippines, farming in Indochina, and indigenous medicine in India.

Cover of 'Mad Dogs and Meerkats'

Mad Dogs and Meerkats
A History of Resurgent Rabies in Southern Africa
By Karen Brown

Through the ages, rabies has exemplified the danger of diseases that transfer from wild animals to humans and their domestic stock. In South Africa, rabies has been on the rise since the latter part of the twentieth century despite the availability of postexposure vaccines and regular inoculation campaigns for dogs. In Mad Dogs and Meerkats: A History of Resurgent Rabies in Southern Africa, Karen Brown links the increase of rabies to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Cover of 'Nature and History in Modern Italy'

Nature and History in Modern Italy
Edited by Marco Armiero and Marcus Hall
· Foreword by Donald Worster

Is Italy il bel paese—the beautiful country—where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity’s greed and nature’s cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator’s vision of Italy.

Cover of 'Healing the Herds'

Healing the Herds
Disease, Livestock Economies, and the Globalization of Veterinary Medicine
Edited by Karen Brown and Daniel Gilfoyle

During the early 1990s, the ability of dangerous diseases to pass between animals and humans was brought once more to the public consciousness. These concerns continue to raise questions about how livestock diseases have been managed over time and in different social, economic, and political circumstances.

Cover of 'The Game of Conservation'

The Game of Conservation
International Treaties to Protect the World’s Migratory Animals
By Mark Cioc

The Game of Conservation is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable examination of nature protection around the world. Twentieth-century nature conservation treaties often originated as attempts to regulate the pace of killing rather than as attempts to protect animal habitat.