Fall 2016 - HIST 377 D100

Environmental History (4)

Class Number: 4769

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5037, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2016
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    WMC 3210, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division History.



Examines the reciprocal influences between humans and nature through time. Topics may include settlement, agriculture, technology, politics, urbanization, science, and conservation. Students with credit for GEOG 377 may not take this course for further credit.


This course traces the reciprocal influence of humans and nature in North America from contact to the present.  It explores the impact of pathogens on human demography, settlement on the reshaping of the land, and technology on the scope and conduct of modern life.  Lectures also trace North Americans’ evolving cultural understandings of and relationships to nature, charting the many shifts in environmental thought over the last 400 years.  As an upper-division course, HIST 377 contributes to student comprehension of social, cultural, and environmental factors shaping human events across a broad reach of North America.

Topics: Colonialism, Politics, Class, Culture, Markets, Urbanization, Technology.

Prerequisites: While the formal prerequisites for this course are 45 units including nine until of lower-division history, students with 45 units and six units of lower-division history are welcome to register as well.


  • Midterm 30%
  • Paper 30%
  • Tutorial 10%
  • Final 30%


HIST 377 is cross-listed with GEOG 377 and you may take this course under the HIST designation or the GEOG designation.



James Webb, Tropical Pioneers: Human Agency and Ecological Change in the Highlands of Sri Lanka, 1800-1900 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2002).

Roderick P. Neumann, Imposing Wilderness: Struggles over Livelihood and Nature Preservation in Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).

Eric D. Carter, Enemy in the Blood: Malaria, Environment, and Development in Argentina (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2012).

Gregory Cushman, Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Primary documents available online through provided urls, the SFU Electronic Journals portal, and the Canvas Course Site.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html