Think globally and act locally has been a staple of environmentalism since the early 1970s. What does it mean to think globally, and historically, about the environment? How have global historical processes like industrialization, urbanization, and the agricultural revolution affected local environments? Local and individual actions have long played out in a global context. We will focus in particular on interrelated developments in climate, agriculture, energy, and cities.
Through readings, writing, research, and discussion, we will examine the connection of global and local environments. Case studies will include historical responses to climate change in Europe and North America, the transformation of indigenous foodways and the urban development of Vancouver. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the dynamic and complex place of the environment in world history, of interdisciplinary approaches to historical thinking, and of the ways in which their own lives are embedded in the history we will be exploring.