Fall 2019 - HIST 377 D100

Environmental History (4)

Class Number: 4848

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 6, 2019
    Fri, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six 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 studies the reciprocal influence of humans and nature in North America from contact to the present. It explores the impacts of pathogens, evolution, settlement, and technology on life. Lectures also trace North Americans’ evolving environmental imaginaries, charting many shifts in thought over the last 400 years. As an upper-division course, HIST 377 contributes to student comprehension of the social, cultural, and ecological factors shaping human events across time.

Topics: class, colonialism, culture, markets, urbanization, technology, energy, and consumption


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



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: Univ. 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 docs available online via urls, SFU’s Electronic Journals, and Canvas

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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