Podcast archive 2007

Podcast 15: The environmental shadow of apartheid and rinderpest

Second of two episodes devoted to environmental history of South Africa. In this episode South African historian Phia Steyn explores the environmental consequences of the industrial development and militarization of South Africa during the Apartheid era and how it influenced environmental policies in the post-apartheid period. In the second half of the podcast Phia talks about her present research which looks at the origins of the African rinderpest outbreak and its consequences for the young Orange Free State in the 1890s.

Podcast 14: Botanists, colonists and local knowledge of nature in South Africa

First of two episodes devoted to environmental history of South Africa. South Africa is one of the most culturally and ecologically diverse countries in the world. Different cultures interpret and understand nature in different ways and that was nowhere more visible than in colonial South Africa. In this episode Elizabeth Green-Musselman, a historian of science based at the Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, explores how a hybridized knowledge of nature developed in the cape colony blending local and European knowledge. The issues discussed include the impact of European cultivation, conflicts over natural resources and the role of naturalists in conservation and what they learned from local guides during botanical expeditions during the 18th and 19th centuries. The podcast concludes with a brief consideration of the benefits of the interactions and collaboration between environmental historians and historians of science.

Websites mentioned in this podcast:


Podcast 13: The ozone hole, climate change and the Canadian Arctic

Global warming is not the first global environmental threat that humanity is facing. The thinning of the protective ozone layer caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was the first global environmental threat. It led to a concerted global action to ban CFCs by the 1990s to correct the problem. This edition of the podcast considers what lessons can be learned from this environmental problem for dealing with global warming. It suggests that not applying the cautionary principle to the ozone thinning in the 1970s led to the emergence of the so called hole in the ozone layer.

In the second half of the podcast Dr Liza Piper of the University of Alberta explores how the settler societies in Arctic Canada are to a large extent influenced and determined by the climatic conditions during the last stages of the Little Ice Age.

Websites mentioned in this podcast:


Podcast 12: History and Sustainability

This edition of the podcast reports on a conference entitled History and Sustainability which was held at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on 6 and 7 September 2007. This conference explored how history can make contributions to the debate about sustainability and the education of sustainability. This was an exercise in thinking about the theoretical and methodological challenges that the discipline faces as well as the question of the place of environmental history in the academic spectrum and curriculum.

Paul Warde, co-organiser of the conference, explains on this podcast the rationale of the meeting, which is that sustainability, as a concept can only be understood historically because it is about survival over time. Sverker Sorlin, explains why we need to infuse the environment as a concept into historical thinking and that environmental historians play a crucial role in this process. Kate Showers, Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, talks about the importance of disciplinary synthesis for environmental history. Finally, Libby Robin of the National Australian Museum explores the the long now and the big here.

Websites mentioned in this podcast:


Podcast 11: Humanities, Climate Change and Digital (Environmental) History

What have historians and other humanities scholars to contribute to the understanding of global warming and informing solutions of this environmental problem? This is the central question of the interview on this podcast with Mark Levene, a Historian based at the University of Southampton, and founder of Rescue!History. He will also talk about the manifesto he wrote urging historians and other humanities scholars to get involved and contribute to the debate and understanding of global warming.

In the second half of the podcast Bill Turkell, author of Digital History Hacks, environmental and digital historian at the the University of Western Ontario, explains how historians can make better use of the web, looks at the developement of an online environmental history research infrastructure in Canada and how the use of programming languages can improve historical instruction. He also talkes about the Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE).

Podcast 10: Environmental Connections: Europe and the Wider World

Logo ESEH 2007This special edition of Exploring Environmental History reports on the fourth conference of the European Society for Environmental History which was held at the Free University Amsterdam from 5 to 9 June 2007. The podcast will highlight some of the themes of the conference and includes interviews with presenters on the following topics: the history of pollution, environmental history of the polar regions, marine environmental history and environmental history of war.

Podcast 9: Scottish Environmental History

Richard Oram, Director of the Centre for Research in Environmental History, University of Stirling, talks about recent developments in Scottish Environmental History. Issues discussed include how the Scottish landscape is not as natural as it appears and has been exploited for at least hundreds of years; the transformation of land management practices; energy resource management, including wood, peat and coal and how people responded to fuel shortages in the past; woodland management; the organisation of the landscape into Davochs and urban environmental history.

Podcast 8: Australian environmental and forest history

This podcast is entirely devoted to Australian environmental history. Libby Robin talks about the unique nature of Australian environmental history including the connection between deep and modern history, poor soils, fire, Aboriginal history and European settlement. John Dargavel, former president of the Australian Forest History Society discusses the issues and interests in Australian forest history.


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