This Land and People: The American Environment in Historical Context

Thursdays 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. Norris University Center beginning September 28
Course C Fall, 2023


This Land and People: the American Environment in Historical Context, Keith Mako Woodhouse, Associate Professor, History

In this course we will examine “the environment,” not as a passive backdrop to human history but as an active participant in that history. We will look at the ways in which human culture has been at once sustained and bound by nonhuman nature. We will trace this mutual relationship across the last several centuries of the place that came to be known as the United States, considering the ways in which people fed and clothed themselves, valued and transformed animals and landscapes, and harnessed energy for heat and movement and manufacturing, as well as how nonhuman processes defined and limited all of this human activity. The course will touch very briefly on the tail-end of the Pleistocene and then jump to the colonial period, but it will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

NOTE: A supplementary reading list will be posted at the week before class starts. Preparing is optional, but doing so will greatly enhance the lecture experience. On the left, click on Course C which will take you to the course summary. Scroll to the bottom to find the link to all materials.

Registration will open on August 15, 2023.  Go to


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