Graduate students interested in exploring comparative historical approaches have the option of mastering literature in one of five sub-fields: "Historiography," "Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism," "Comparative Gender," "Comparative Colonialisms," and "Comparative Environmental." Each of these fields allows graduate students to situate their own focused research in broadly conceived historiographies.
As a field of scholarship, environmental history focuses on the reciprocal interactions between human societies and the natural world over time, the changing ways in which those interactions have been mediated by cultural and political forms, and the emergence of “the environment” as an object of knowledge and concern. It also seeks to challenge the neglect of materials and materiality in other fields of history. Students taking a field in comparative environmental history will focus their readings on at least two different regions of the world (for example, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, or Europe).
Like our other comparative fields, this field would normally require students to take two courses: a field course in “Comparative Environmental History,” and one other course in which environmental history is a major focus. The faculty examiner for the field must agree that the second course constitutes a “major focus” on the field in comparative environmental history.