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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 5: Historical Writing Since 1945$
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Axel Schneider and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199225996.001.0001

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The Historiography of Environmental History

The Historiography of Environmental History

(p.159) Chapter 8 The Historiography of Environmental History
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

J. R. McNeill

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of environmental history, which developed in the context of the environmental concerns that began in the 1960s with worries about local industrial pollution, but which has since evolved into a full-scale global crisis of climate change. Environmental history is ‘the history of the relationship between human societies and the rest of nature’. It includes three chief areas of inquiry: the study of material environmental history, political and policy-related environmental history, and a form of environmental history which concerns what humans have thought, believed, written, and more rarely, painted, sculpted, sung, or danced that deals with the relationship between society and nature. Since 1980, environmental history has come to flourish in many corners of the world, and scholars everywhere have found models, approaches, and perspectives rather different from those developed for the US context.

Keywords:   environmental history, material environmental history, political environmental history, policy-related environmental history, industrial pollution, climate change

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