Yale Environmental History promotes research and teaching at Yale on the complex historical relationship between people and the environment. Yale’s program has a global scope, with historians specializing in aspects of African, Asian, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and United States environmental history. Recent faculty scholarship has included books and essays about hurricanes in the Caribbean; land and climate in Viet Nam; the environmental history of the Ottoman Empire; Japanese demographic history; cryopolitics and biomedicine; the history of cartography; and the politics of population growth and resource scarcity in the United States.
An ongoing workshop series features graduate student and faculty works-in-progress, as well as current work by visiting speakers. Yale Environmental History also has hosted a recurring conference, “New Perspectives in Environmental History,” to showcase new graduate student work at northeastern universities. The archive of past conference programs can be viewed online.
Several years ago, Yale faculty launched a Climate and History Initiative to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue on the relationship between climate and the historical evolution of societies, institutions, and economies. Yale hosted a faculty workshop on climate history in October 2017 and offered a lecture series on paleoclimate and the Nile in April 2018. A recent grant from the National Science Foundation supports ongoing research on the link between volcanic eruptions, annual Nile river summer flooding in antiquity, and social conflict.
Yale Environmental History is a contributing program to Yale’s Environmental Humanities Initiative, which offers a graduate certificate program for doctoral students and promotes interdisciplinary teaching, research, and discussion across the Yale campus.