Historical Ecology

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5AR764

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Archaeology A1N, Global Environmental History A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 9 March 2020
Responsible department
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course the students should be able to:

  • critically analyse human-nature relationships, both in terms of its physical outcomes and its representations
  • critically analyse the historical disciplines and their methods in relation to knowledge and representations of human-nature relationships
  • contextualise and exemplify different theoretisations of human-nature relationships
  • contextualise current sustainability problems historically and assess the role of history for definitions and perspectives of sustainability


The climate crises and the precarious conditions of the Anthropocene calls for new ways of representing and knowing the world. The course enables students to think and represent the world relationally - a way of knowing the world that is the outcome of the practice of Environmental History and Historical Ecology. The course offers an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological foundation for further studies on human-nature relationships in the past and present. The course begin with an introduction to the history of ideas and science relevant to environmental history and historical ecology as a field. The course then offers conceptual and practical examples of an integrated understanding of humans and nature organised around the themes: time, landscape, ecology, materiality, networks and systems. The layout of the course enables a better understanding of interactions of humans and nature over time, the linkages between the past-present-future and the role of history for perspectives on current day sustainability problems.


The course is interdisciplinary and orientated towards master students in Global Environmental History as well as advanced level students with different study backgrounds. Instruction is based on student active learning pedagogy, using group discussion of course literature, groupwork and peer-to-peer learning, combined with lectures. The student will be offered the possibility to specialise on a specific theme. Instruction is in English.


The course is examined through an individually submitted academic text written in English or Swedish. Active participation in group discussions and groupwork is required. The following grades are used: Passed with distinction (VG; corresponds to A or B), Passed (G; corresponds to C, D or E), Fail (U; corresponds to Fx or F). If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

No reading list found.