Spring 2017 - HIST 432 D100

Problems in Environmental History (4)

N American Envir Hist

Class Number: 3973

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    EDB 9651, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Joseph Taylor
    1 778 782-4400
    Office: AQ 6012
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



An investigation into the major themes and arguments in the environmental histories of North America, emphasizing how different individuals and groups have used, perceived, and managed their environments over time. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 432 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Students with credit for GEOG 432 may take HIST 432 for credit only when a different topic is taught.



The intellectual foundations of modern environmentalism have shifted dramatically in recent decades, and the cultural and material terrain of modern environmental activism has grown at one more fractured and urgent. Environmental historians and geographers have a key role to play in these debates, but the emerging scholarly frameworks have destabilize simple notions of a timeless or separate thing we call Nature. This seminar engages major themes in environmental scholarship each time it is held. This coming spring we will be working through the literature on environments and health. Students will read key articles, essays, books, and films, and they will discuss the implications on themes of consumption, identity, and place, at scales ranging from the body to the global.

This course is identical to GEOG 432 and students cannot take both courses for credit.


  • Participation 30%
  • Presentation (oral) 10%
  • Presentation (written) 10%
  • Document Paper 10%
  • Final Essay 40%



Conevery Valençius, The Health of the Country: How Settlers Understood Themeselves and Their Land

Christopher Sellers, Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science

Linda Nash, Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge

Gregg Mitman, Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes

Jessica Van Horssen, A Town Called Asbestos: Environmental Contamination, Health, and Resilience in a Resource Community

ESSAYS AVAILABLE THROUGH SFU Electronic Journals and Canvas

Registrar Notes:

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