Fall 2024

Environmental History of Latin America

Listed in: Environmental Studies, as ENST-265  |  History, as HIST-265  |  Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-265


Rick A. Lopez (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 265 [LA/TE/TR/TS], LLAS 265 and ENST 265) This course focuses on the links between ecological transformations and human problems, and between rural social movements and environmentalism. Questions we will engage include: How has imperialism impacted the environment? How have these environmental impacts shaped the possibilities for political resistance by subaltern groups?  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? Is it possible to protect the environment while affirming the interests of the state and of investors? We will focus on case studies from all across Latin America, with particular emphasis on Brazil, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Andes. The class will introduce students to classic texts in Latin American environmental history, as well as some of the newest scholarship. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor López.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: In addition to mastering the content of the course, students will refine analytical reading skills, practice engaged discussion, and improve critical writing. Students will produce three essays based on shared readings, complete several short quizzes, and analyze an assigned book on your own and then present a critical analysis to your peers.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2021, Fall 2024