Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Promise of Global Environmental History

Sarah Hamilton


This article offers a brief overview of the field of environmental history with special attention to its potential for global research projects. Section I offers a definition of environmental history and describes how historians first began to reimagine the relationship between nature and society following the ―cultural turn‖ of the 1970s and 1980s. Section II outlines some of the intersections between environmental history and the developing field of Big History, and suggests ways in which the two fields may differ. Section III suggests some of the ways in which social, cultural, and economic historians might benefit from the inclusion of an environmental perspective in their work. Finally, section IV explains how the broader temporal and geographical framework necessary to understand the nonhuman world can be particularly useful to world historians.

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