Global Environmental History

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1MV002

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Development G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 24 April 2008
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

At the completion of the course the student should

be able to give an account of historic environmental processes;

be able to give an account of past societies' and cultures' view of, and relationship to, nature;

be able to reflect in a historic sense, and relate the past to the present;

give an account of the environmental issues and the environmental discourse of the 19th and 20th century.


The course covers views of nature and relations with nature of historical societies and cultures, with focus on three levels: mental, interactive (human-nature interaction) and ecological level. The three levels correspond somewhat to the academic division of humanities, social science and natural science. Through a shift between a general perspective and specific strokes in history, and at various places and regions, a holistic understanding of the global environmental history is created. The evolution of humanity as a cultural being, the development of agriculture and the early cities are covered briefly in the course. Thereafter will be focus on the modern world from the expansion of the Europeans, the development of the industrial society and the globalisation. Ecosystems (including human societies) with its animals, plants and diseases are seen as historically important factors. A certain relevance is given to the environmental problems and discussion about environment and natural resources taking part in the 19th and 20th centuries. The course gives an interdisciplinary and historical depth to the global environmental crises and environment and development discussion of the latest decades.


Lectures, excursions and seminars.


Current examination with writing assignments and active participation in seminars.