While the only course offered directly through CHE is the Methods Seminar, CHE associates teach courses in departments across the University that explore issues of human and environmental change over time.
Fall 2017 Courses Offered by CHE Faculty Associates
History 705, Med Hist/Hist Sci 919: Commodities and Disease in Global History
Instructor: Gregg Mitman
Tuesdays, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
This seminar seeks to put historical scholarship on the global flows of capital, commodities, and disease in conversation with one another. Our temporal reach is expansive, from the shifting patterns of yellow fever accompanying the Atlantic slave trade to the global threat of avian influenza arising from factory farms and changing diets worldwide. We will consider a range of commodities from cotton and coal to latex and blood to name just a few, to ask what commodities, and associated diseases that accompanied them, can reveal about changing economic, material, political, and social relationships on the global stage. At the same time, we will interrogate the ways that changing ecological regimes of capital have altered and redistributed life both human and non-human and created new disease pathways. We will also attend to the different questions, methods, and forms of evidence that economic, environmental, and medical history bring to a consideration of such questions. This is a historiographic based seminar focused on readings and discussion.
History/Geography/Environmental Studies 460: American Environmental History
Instructor: William Cronon
Special section Wednesday mornings from 8:30-9:45 a.m. for Honors Undergrads and Grads
Environmental history studies the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time - probably a very different approach to history from what you studied in high school. Despite being numbered at the 400-level, this course is intended as an introduction to this exciting and still relatively unfamiliar field of scholarship, with no prerequisites. It assumes little or no background knowledge of American history, geography, or environmental studies, and offers a general survey that can be valuable for students interested in any of these fields, from entry-level undergraduates through advanced graduate students. Although the course is intended to be challenging, it is also meant to be fun: any student willing to attend lectures, do the readings, and work hard should be able to enjoy and do well in it. Our central premise throughout will be that much of the familiar terrain of American history looks very different when seen in environmental context, and that one can learn a great deal about history, geography, and the environment by studying them together. All too often, historians study the human past without attending to nature. All too often, scientists study nature without attending to human history. We will try to discover the value of integrating these different perspectives, and argue that the humanistic perspectives of historians and geographers are essential if one hopes to understand contemporary environmental issues. http://www.williamcronon.net/courses/460/
History / Geography 932: Topics in American Environmental History
Instructor: William Cronon
Tuesdays, 8:50-10:45 a.m.
The seminar is a one-semester introduction to some of the most interesting recent literature of American environmental history, read principally for the theories and methodologies it can offer scholars and scientists as well as its implications for contemporary environmental politics and management. The seminar assumes no previous coursework in the field, and students with a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines are encouraged to participate. The seminar is designed to provide a general overview of the major theoretical and methodological issues of American environmental history. Emphasis will be on important themes of the historiography, including the historical migration of species; the effects of disease on human communities; the role of different land-use activities in transforming ecosystems; the effects of markets and industrialization on environmental change; changing cultural conceptions of the natural world; the relationship of environmental history to social history and other subfields; the history of conservation and environmental politics; and methodological strategies for analyzing and narrating such topics. We will decide as a group whether to concentrate our written work for the semester on historiographical review; research design; undergraduate pedagogy; or writing beyond the academy in a digital age. The seminar does not provide a systematic chronological overview of U.S. environmental history per se, and those interested in gaining such an overview may wish to consider taking or auditing History/Geography/Environmental Studies 460 or 469 either in tandem with the seminar or as a replacement for it; the courses are designed to be complementary. The seminar is open to students in any field or program, but preference will be given to those who have a continuing research interest in the subject. Please contact William Cronon for more information and for an application.
Environmental Studies 349: Climate Change Governance
Instructor: Leah Horowitz
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Climate change is being felt, and addressed, at every level of society, from the individual to the global scale. This course examines efforts to mitigate climate change. We will learn about initiatives that are being implemented through international treaties; national, state, and municipal government policies; corporate programs; and individual behavior. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, their successes, and the obstacles they have faced. We will also evaluate various forms of climate activism as a means of pushing for meaningful action on climate change.
Geography 500: Qualitative Strategies
Instructor: Ian Baird
Wednesdays 3:00-5:30 p.m.
This course is taught as a seminar, and students take a leading role in running the course. Most of those who take the course are graduate students. We cover all the main qualitative methods. This course is only taught once every two years, so don't miss the chance. It is a great course for preparing for fieldwork involving qualitative methods.
Geography 557: Development and Environment in Southeast Asia
Instructor: Ian Baird
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
This course is taught as a regular lecture course. Both upper level undergraduate students and graduate students take it. It essentially looks at contemporary development and environment issues in Southeast Asia, but in an historically informed way. The main theoretical lens used for examining the cases we look at is political ecology. No previous course work related to Southeast Asia is required.
A Sampling of CHE-Related Courses Offered at UW-Madison
What sorts of coursework do CHE grads pursue and faculty offer? This archived list of courses features classes offered here at UW, from 2012 to the present, that may be of interest to the CHE community. (Note that not all courses are currently offered; please check with individual course departments or instructors to inquire about availability for schedule planning.)