How can history help us with climate change? In this class, we aim to take this question seriously and investigate it in as many ways as we can, given that climate change will be (and probably already is) the defining issue of our time, especially as it relates to government and to the management and perception of poverty.
In this class, we will consider the history of the “idea of nature” as well as the governance of it. What is natural and what does that mean in terms of how we govern ourselves? What is nature, anyhow? Is it fruitful or a wasteland? Is it designed for a purpose? Is it self-balancing and, if so, what is the state of equilibrium like? What is the place of humans in nature – are we the opposite of nature, part of it, or something else? In discovering the relationship of humans to nature, we also discover the origins and work of the state.
Dr. Jackie G. VanZahms
In fall 2022, IMSA’s Mod 8 History of the Environment class wrote a book. Specifically and collaboratively, we wrote a bioregional history of the Fox River watershed. Although there are several waterways in the Midwest with the same name, our Fox River originates near Colgate, ... Read More
Natali Chung '22
This painting is inspired by the miracle of Jesus walking on waters in the New Testament. My religious affiliation holds great importance to me— and learning about the ties of religion and nature in Wille's History of the Environment class has spurred me to think ... Read More
Shreya Mahesh '22 and Temi Ijisesan '22
This book follows two children, Georgia and Dakota, on an adventure where they learn about the importance of understanding and respecting wilderness.
Samantha Gong '22
Historical works of Chinese poetry that focus on nature. This translation service is invaluable, especially around the natural disasters that followed the 1816 Tambora explosion.
Disha Dureja '22
After decades of romanticizing nature in Bollywood films, India values a European, idealized version of nature, disregarding the climate change crisis destroying the environment in it’s own country. Featured on the left of the collage are pictures from various Bollywood films such as Veer-Zara and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.