Nature's Past: Histories of Environment and Society
MET ML 589
The purpose of this seminar is to examine the ways that historians understand and describe the interactions between humans and their physical world, an interaction that expresses itself in terms of landscapes of vegetation, population, disease, built settings of cities, and cooking as an act of environmental knowledge. Environmental history has its methods defined by the parameters of science and the natural world --flora, fauna, topography, seasons--as well as human elements of technology, demography, and social organization. Cooking and cuisine is at the apex of these interactions. This course will examine the work of key historians in the emerging field of environmental history and the role of food/cooking in that human/nature interaction.