Environmental history

Featured Interviews

Thinking Through Water: An Interview with Sunil S. Amrith
Interviews | June 22, 2020

Thinking Through Water: An Interview with Sunil S. Amrith

In his latest book, Unruly Waters, Sunil Amrith shows how “the schemes of empire builders, the visions of freedom fighters, the designs of engineers—and the cumulative, dispersed actions of hundreds of millions of people across generations—have transformed Asia’s waters over the past two hundred years.” It testifies to the dreams that societies have often pinned to water, as well as its unwieldy and turbulent nature. In his account of “the struggle for water” and control over the Asian monsoon, we come to understand how climate change exacerbates a problem both already in-progress and connected to histories of “reckless development and galloping inequality.”

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Writing Global Ecological History 'From Below': An Interview with Gregory Cushman
Interviews | January 31, 2018

Writing Global Ecological History 'From Below': An Interview with Gregory Cushman

To further our understanding of the development of industrial capitalism over the past two centuries Greg Cushman claims, we need to write histories 'from below,' in two senses: first, we need to write histories that consider not just those who 'invented the steam engine', but those which trace the origins of the steam engine's parts (material and intellectual) wherever across the globe that leads us – often far beyond the 'Global North'. Second, we need to investigate our planetary history below the earth's surface. Lithospheric history Cushman calls it.

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How Did Water Connect the World? An Interview with David Igler on Pacific and Environmental History
Interviews | April 20, 2016

How Did Water Connect the World? An Interview with David Igler on Pacific and Environmental History

The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush draws on hundreds of documented voyages, some painstakingly recorded by participants, some only known by their archeological remains or indigenous memory.  This leads to a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following the initial contact period, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Do industrial development and environmental transformation often happened in the same time?  What makes Professor Igler shift from American history to Pacific history?  Can humans have a dialogue with the Ocean? Professor Igler and Tiger Li, Editor-at-Large for the Toynbee Prize Foundation, discuss these questions in the following interview.

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Featured Articles

INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Dipesh Chakrabarty on zoonotic pathogens, human life, and pandemic in the age of the Anthropocene
Article | June 17, 2020

INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Dipesh Chakrabarty on zoonotic pathogens, human life, and pandemic in the age of the Anthropocene

Toynbee Coronavirus Series—A global historical view of the coronavirus pandemic: Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty.

"Many Earth system scientists, evolutionary biologists, and Anthropocene scholars have been reminding us that the global economy is destroying bio-diversity and that, on human scales of time, biodiversity is a non-renewable resource that is critical to the flourishing of all life, including ours. It is time we debated the kind of civilization humans would want to live in. The Cold War battle between capitalism and socialism is well and truly dead. But that does not mean that the question of debating capitalism has lost any of its importance." Dipesh Chakrabarty on the pandemic, zoonotic pathogens, migrancy, and globalization in the age of the Anthropocene.

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