Environmental History of Latin America
Listed in: History, as HIST-54
Rick A. Lopez (Section 01)
[LA] Environmental history has taken off in exciting new directions. Lament over the felling of the trees has given way to larger questions that connect environmental history with social, political, and economic issues. In this course we will focus on the unexpected links that exist between environmental impacts (such as environmental degradation, desertification, soil “exhaustion,” species extinction, genetic simplification, oil extraction, biotic invasions, deforestation, pesticide contamination, and animal grazing) and human problems (such as colonial and imperial domination, declining subsistence, defense and violation of civil rights, income inequality, scientific racism, regional underdevelopment, incomplete capitalist transformation, social marginalization, and political violence). Questions we will engage include: How have environmental changes contributed to, or otherwise conditioned, processes of conquest and domination? How have these processes of conquest, domination, and resistance, in turn, altered the environmental? What models of environmental activism have worked in Latin America, and which have not? Why? What about the Latin American context is typical and what is unique? Can history guide us in our current efforts to develop a sustainable approach to the environment that helps the land and its fauna, but does so in a way that brings greater justice and self-determination to the people who live there, while at the same time balancing the interests of the state and of investors? The class will introduce students to classic texts in Latin American environmental history (including the foundational studies by Warren Dean and Elinore Melville), as well as some of the newest scholarship. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Professor López.
Offerings2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015