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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)David Garrioch


Previously coded HSY4180


This unit covers history of how people related to and thought about the natural environment. It introduces recent literature on environmental history, beginning with how early modern Europeans used natural resources and the impact on landscape and waterways of new technology, urban growth and larger population. It examines environmental consequences of European expansion into the New World, of industrialization and imperialism, medicine and science. Attention is given to how the environment has affected human society through climate change, plagues and depletion of natural resources. Focuses on changing ideas of the natural environment, which underlay the way people interpreted and used it.


In addition to the general objectives for fourth year defined by the School of Geography and the School of Historical Studies, students successfully completing this subject will have:

  1. A general grasp of the two-way interaction between social practices and the environment in the past.
  2. An understanding of changing Western ideas about the natural world.
  3. An awareness of the way that current environmental debates are based on historically-determined conceptions of the environment and of the place of humans within it.
  4. A grasp of the principal debates in environmental history.
  5. An ability to find and use a wide range of historical sources, including visual sources.


Written work: 75% (7000 words)
Take-home examination: 25%

Chief examiner(s)

David Garrioch

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


GES4180, APG4303, APG5303