HIST 364

American Environmental History

This course examines the relationship between human society and the natural world in what is now the United States. That relationship is complex: non-human nature sustains human society, yet people can have a profound and often destructive effect on the natural world. Nature, nonetheless, cannot be completely altered to suit human needs: resources are finite and people are bound by the limits of biology. The environment thus simultaneously creates and limits human possibilities and reflects human influences. Through reading and discussion, participants in this course examine this reciprocal relationship between ecology and society.