Fall 2024 History BC3379 section 001

Water Histories: Society, Environment, a


Call Number 00249
Day & Time
W 10:10am-12:00pm
To be announced
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Angelo Caglioti
Course Description

This class explores the relationship between water and society in history. How did water shape human and environmental histories around the globe? On one hand, oceans and rivers affected the characteristics and resources of different civilizations. Throughout history, every community depended on access to water resources, developed local practices of water management, and produced cultural and scientific understandings of “water.” On the other hand, human attempts at regulating water flows aimed at controlling life itself, as water is essential for life. Hydro-power, before being a renewable source energy, required exerting political power over humans and nature alike.

Grounded in the interdisciplinary approach of the environmental humanities, this class will explore the politics of water management thanks to a wide range of case studies. Starting with the first environmental history of the Mediterranean in the early modern period, we will focus on the last two centuries to examine the roots of the current environmental crisis. By following the politics of water flows, the class will introduce students to key themes in global environmental history, such as the role of geography, climate, race, energy, labor, technology, cities, animals, diseases, and empires in the transformation of human societies. Finally, the class provides foundational historical knowledge to understand the importance of water in contemporary debates about environmental justice and climate change.

Web Site Vergil
Department History @Barnard
Enrollment 16 students (15 max) as of 1:06PM Thursday, July 18, 2024
Status Full
Subject History
Number BC3379
Section 001
Division Barnard College
Open To Barnard College, Columbia College, Engineering:Undergraduate, Global Programs, General Studies, Professional Studies
Note 4pts. Sign up! https://history.barnard.edu/course-syllabi
Section key 20243HIST3379X001