Climate and colonialism

Mahony, M and Endfield, G ORCID: 0000-0001-6052-2204
(2018) Climate and colonialism. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: WIREs Climate Change, 9 (2).

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Recent years have seen a growth in scholarship on the intertwined histories of climate, science, and European imperialism. Scholarship has focused both on how the material realities of climate shaped colonial enterprises, and on how ideas about climate informed imperial ideologies. Historians have shown how European expansion was justified by its protagonists with theories of racial superiority, which were often closely tied to ideas of climatic determinism. Meanwhile, the colonial spaces established by European powers offered novel “laboratories” where ideas about acclimatization and climatic improvement could be tested on the ground. While historical scholarship has focused on how powerful ideas of climate informed imperial projects, emerging scholarship in environmental history, history of science, and historical geography focuses instead on the material and cognitive practices by which the climates of colonial spaces were made known and dealt with in fields such as forestry, agriculture, and human health. These heretofore rather disparate areas of historical research carry great contemporary relevance for studies of how climates and their changes have been understood, debated, and adapted to in the past.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agriculture, colonialism, empire, environmental history, forests, health, history of climate
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 18:10
DOI: 10.1002/wcc.510
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