Environmental History

Environmental history is the study of human beings interacting with the natural world over time. It considers the role of non-human factors in history, simultaneously emphasizing that human beings both produce and are part of the natural environment. While drawing on the frameworks and methods of the diverse disciplines that aim to study the natural world, environmental historians also examine the sociocultural construction of notions such as “nature” and “environment.” For these reasons, environmental history is closely related not only to the study of ecology and climate in the sciences but also to disciplines such as social and cultural historypolitical and economic historygeographyphilosophy, and history of science and medicine. In addition to the omnivorous methodological approaches that comprise the environmental humanities in the United States, environmental history at the University of Virginia reflects the global tendencies of the field today, with researchers and instructors specializing in Latin Americathe Middle EastAfrica, and transnational questions. UVa courses in environmental history bring history majors together with students from other programs on campus related to the study of the environment, especially the Environmental Thought & Practice interdisciplinary program.


Associate Professor of German and History, Director, European Studies Program, Director, Center for German Studies
NCH 233
Office Hours: M, 10:30AM-12:30PM
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Environmental History, Genocide & Violence, Intellectual History & History of Ideas, Jewish History, Political History, Race & Ethnicity, Transnational and Diplomatic History
Professor and Chair
Nau Hall 281
Office Hours: W, 1:00PM-3:00PM and by appointment
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Environmental History, Labor History, Race & Ethnicity, Women, Gender, & Sexuality
La Fleur
Assistant Professor, General Faculty
Nau 436
Office Hours: ON LEAVE
Themes: Environmental History, History of Slavery, Science, Medicine, & Technology
Photo by Chris Taylor / U.S. Department of the Treasury
Assistant Professor of History and American Studies
484 Nau Hall
Office Hours: W, 11:00AM-1:00PM and Zoom by appointment at https://calendly.com/ds2ax
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Empire & Colonialism, Environmental History, Labor History, Science, Medicine, & Technology

Graduate Student