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Global Environmental History: An Introduction

J. R. McNeill and Erin Stewart Mauldin

Subject Study of History » Historiography

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444335347.2012.00001.x


Since the 1970s, environmental history has evolved into a self-conscious and self-aware scholarly field that boasts journals, university programs, and international organizations devoted to its practice and promotion. Global environmental history, however, is much younger. Although a dynamic field with a steadily increasing number of practitioners, global environmental history remains, as yet, unclear in its structure, shape, and place within the historical profession. This volume aims to orient readers to the fast-growing arena of scholarly inquiry known as global, or world, environmental history. It is a collection of new essays by 28 scholars from all six inhabited continents, many of whom have been instrumental in the establishment of environmental history. It surveys past developments in the field, current contours of scholarship, and possible approaches for the future. The Companion to Global Environmental History is intended to be useful not only to people who are coming to environmental history for the first time – serving as the equivalent of a road map to the field – but also to people who have long labored in one province of environmental history, and, for whatever reason, seek to broaden their horizons and begin to develop comparative perspectives – or deepen their existing ones. Like every other subset of history, environmental history represents different things ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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