Fall 2008

African Environmental History

Listed in: History, as HIST-65


Jill R. Payne (Section 01)


(AF) This course explores human interaction with the African environment between c. 1800 and the present. First, we discuss similarities and differences in the perspectives of pre-industrial and industrial societies towards the land. To what degree did African societies manipulate their environments? Did colonizing Europeans alter the relationship between people and the “natural” world? If so, how, why, and to what extent did this happen? What further socio-environmental changes took place in the wake of decolonization? We examine these issues in terms of resource use, with an emphasis on changes in hunting and wildlife management, agriculture, forestry, water and energy use, and mineral and oil extraction. Through close scrutiny of a range of case studies from across the continent, we go on to consider such critical issues as the right of the international community to intervene in African environmental affairs, implications stemming from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the rise of various forms of eco-tourism. Fall semester. Professor Payne.