Introducing Environmental History

Introducing Environmental History

Course Overview

The course introduces students to familiarise with dynamics of environmental history, presenting essential concepts, concerns and methodology in the global and Indian contexts. It will make them aware of diverse currents of development and how it impacts upon the nature. As environmental history always concerned about the nature-human relationship and concerned changes, the course is a caution to become aware of impact of our activity towards nature.

Programme Attribute

  • It will provide the student with deep domain knowledge
  • It will make them to critically think about the environmental issues
  • It will mould the student to become concerned about the nature

This course will introduce students to the dynamic field of environmental history, presenting essential concepts, concerns and methodology in the context of global / Indian environmental history.



  • What is Environmental history?
  • Political, material and cultural dimensions of environmental history
  • Interdisciplinary approaches
  • Ecology and environment
  • Cultural ecology environmentalism
  • Deep ecology
  • Planetary consciousness
  • UN and environment Stockholm Declaration
  • Earth Summits
  • Climate change and protocols


Roots of Environmental Crisis

  • Mode of resource use
  • Hunting gathering
  • Nomadic pastoral
  • Settled agriculture
  • Industrial
  • Ecological impact


The Context of Colonial India

  • Pre colonial scenario
  • European attitude towards environment
  • The European gaze
  • Imperial
  • Agendas and exploitation of natural resources
  • Deforestation
  • Ship building
  • Railways
  • Opening of plantations
  • World war and forests
  • Reservation of forests and enactments
  • Plant imperialism
  • Botanical gardens
  • Hunting in colonial India


Environmental Movements in India

  • Chipko Movement-Narmada Bachao Andolan
  • Silent Valley in Kerala
  • Plachimada issue
  • Sand mining and river protection groups
  • Voices from the margins
  • Women and environment.

Essential Readings:

  • Donald Worster, ed. The Ends of the Earth: Perspectives of Modern Environmental History, New York, 1988
  • Al Gore, Earth in the Balance, London, 1992
  • Sverker Sorlin and Paul Warde, The Problem of Environmental History: A Re-reading of the field, Environmental History. Vol 12, No. 1, Jan .2007. 42
  • Erach Bharucha, Textbook of Environmental Studies, Universities Press India Pvt Ltd, 2005.
  • Lester R.Brown, Eco-Economy, Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd
  • Samir Dasgupta,Understanding the Global Environment, Pearson Longman, New Delhi, 2009.

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