HISTY512-22B (HAM)

Environmental History

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
History

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: monique.mulder@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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Environmental History explores the ways in which human societies, cultures, and economies have imagined and shaped, as well as been shaped by, the natural world across time and place. The paper will focus on introducing students to range of key research areas in the field, with an emphasis on the global and trans-national underpinnings of environmental history. Through case studies, we will examine the theoretical and methodological approaches of environmental history, as well as consider the interdisciplinary relevance of historical perspectives on environmental change.

This seminar-based paper will centre around discussions of key texts and current research in the field of environmental history, examining varied topics in the field and evaluating what is distinctive about environmental history research methods and theory, and its influence on the wider discipline and other environmental scholarship. In addition, students have the opportunity to research diverse topics in environmental history in their essay and unessay assignments.

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Paper Structure

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HISTY512 involves three hours of seminar discussion per week alongside independent reading and research. While much learning at graduate level is self-directed, these seminars are an important space where we come together to think through the methods, ideas, and practices in our discipline. To be successful, they require a shared commitment from the group to the collective enterprise of historical analysis.

You are expected to attend and actively participate in all scheduled seminar sessions. This involves coming to seminars well-prepared: having read the required readings, taken suitable notes, and formulated your own thoughts and questions about them that you are ready to share with our group. You should equally be ready to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully to the ideas of others.

Some sessions will involve student presentations and discussion leadership, and students are expected to engage respectfully with their peers as academic colleagues.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • summarise complex historiographical debates in global environmental history and articulate their own historical perspective in response
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • critically analyse textual and non-textual sources (such as objects, sites and images) relevant to environmental history
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • critically evaluate different historical methodologies
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • undertake independent research that engages with wider scholarship in environmental history
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • communicate historical analysis effectively in discussion and through formal written work
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Seminar leadership
20
  • Other: Submit via Moodle and present in class
2. Essay
31 Aug 2022
5:00 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Unessay - proposal
28 Sep 2022
5:00 PM
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Unessay - presentation
13 Oct 2022
2:00 PM
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
5. Unessay - final project
26 Oct 2022
5:00 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Required and recommended readings are available via the Library Reading List for HISTY512 and linked on our class Moodle page. These readings provide a starting point at graduate level, and you should also be proactive in reading beyond the list provided, especially for your assessments.
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Other Resources

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Useful journals

* Environmental History

* Environment and History

Environmental Humanities

Global Environment

International Review of Environmental History

Journal for the History of Environment and Society

Useful websites

Environmental History Now: https://envhistnow.com/

Australia and New Zealand Environmental History Network: https://www.environmentalhistory-au-nz.org/

Environmental History Resources: https://www.eh-resources.org/

William Cronon’s Learning to Do Historical Research A Primer for Environmental Historians and Others: http://www.williamcronon.net/researching/

The Greenhouse – environmental humanities group at University of Stavanger, with great series of recorded author book talks: https://newnatures.org/greenhouse/

Other resources will also be posted on Moodle.

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Online Support

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This course uses Moodle to provide resources and communicate with the group as the semester progresses. Students should regularly check the course Moodle page for links to readings, reminders, and to submit most written assessments. Updates will be sent via Moodle Announcements - ensure you check both Moodle and your registered email regularly to ensure you receive these.
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Workload

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This graduate paper is worth 30 points, equating to 300 hours work over the semester on the basis that one point equates to roughly 10 hours work. This averages out to 20 hours a week, or half-time work, for the fifteen weeks of semester (including both the mid-semester break and study week). Note that this is double the amount of time expected for a 15 point undergraduate paper.

Scheduled classes and meetings take up around 35 hours, and therefore you should expect to commit at least 250 hours outside class time for reading, research, writing, and other activities related to the paper. This time commitment reflects the fact that research and learning at graduate level requires more intensive planning and preparation than undergraduate study, and an increased level of self-directed and focussed learning in order to best benefit from our seminar time together. Be careful to plan ahead and commit the appropriate amount of time to your reading, writing, class attendance and research throughout the semester.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper builds on undergraduate courses on global histories of the ocean (HISTY117 in 2020-22), and of food and commodities (HISTY301), to examine environmental history approaches in more depth. There are also intersections with some of the topics covered HISTY516 History and Theory.
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Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: HIST512

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