Environmental History
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-GESB2108-CEH
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; History;
PreviousNext 5
prof. dr. M.L.M. van Berkel
Other course modules lecturer
dr. N. de Haan
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. H.G.J. Kaal
Other course modules lecturer
dr. D.B.G.W. Lyna
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. W.P. van Meurs
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
PER 4  (11/04/2022 to 30/08/2022)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksAccessible to exchange students
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After completion of this course, you:
  • have an enhanced understanding of what environmental history is as well as an appreciation of the broader theoretical approaches and intellectual idioms that inform this subfield of history
  • are able to recognize and critically reflect upon the mutual relationships of human and nature through time, and the political, economic and socio-cultural expressions of environmental policy
  • are able to assess contemporary environmental problems in a long-term historical perspective and report on a problem or topic in a scientifically journalistic article
How does nature shape history, and how has nature itself been shaped by human action through history? What are the origins of contemporary worldwide environmental problems such as pollution of water and air, and how do geological, climatic, biological and human force continue to change and reshape the earth? This course takes a transnational, diachronic view of how the environment has played a role in history; both in how it has been exposed to physical change, but also how it has acted as resource and has become an object of research. 

Environmental History is the study of our evolving relationship with nature through time, as it examines the interaction between culture and nature. It is an urgent and rapidly developing field in history that seeks understanding of the interrelation between humans and nature, and how the changes humans have made in the environment have affected our societies and our histories. 

This course will introduce you to several themes that characterize the process of change in the world environment since Ancient times to the present. Drawing on historical examples from around the globe, we will examine the long-term effects of increasing population, technological innovation and changing patterns of production and consumption. By analysing media and policy representations of environmental issues, we will discuss how scientific knowledge about the environment has affected our use or protection of nature on the one hand, and continues to influence global economic and power relations on the other hand. 

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information


Required materials

Instructional modes

Written Exam
Test weight100
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 4, Block PER 4