Environmental History

Within the School of Philosophy, the program History and Philosophy of Science Anthropology and Social Inquiry is a major Australian centre for teaching and research in Ecological and Environmental History.

We offer a range of undergraduate subjects, which explore human relationships with the natural environment with a historical perspective.

The ecological history of civilization focuses on relationship from primeval times to the present day, between environment, disease ecology, food supplies, population and human culture. Environmental History studies the interaction between human beings, their environment, and other organisms. It also provides an exploration of the ways in which we have shaped the diseases which have afflicted us and the way health and disease have shaped societies.

Through a series of case studies, this 'meta-history' course outlines changes in Western scientific and environmental understanding and thoughts about 'Nature' over the last 500 years. These changes nourished into new forms of understanding in areas such as taxonomy, geography, evolutionary biology, geology, and ecology. These areas challenged traditional religious justification and understandings of the relationship between humans and the non-human world.