- List of Contributors
- Introduction: A New Environmental History
- Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History
- Animals and the Intimacy of History
- Beyond Virgin Soils: Disease as Environmental History
- Seas of Grass: Grasslands in World Environmental History
- New Patterns in Old Places: Forest History for the Global Present
- The Tropics: A Brief History of an Environmental Imaginary
- And All Was Light?—Science and Environmental History
- Toward an Environmental History of Technology
- New Chemical Bodies: Synthetic Chemicals, Regulation, and Human Health
- Rethinking American Exceptionalism: Toward a Transnational History of National Parks, Wilderness, and Protected Areas
- Restoration and the Search for Counter-Narratives
- Region, Scenery, and Power: Cultural Landscapes in Environmental History
- A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians
- Owning Nature: Toward an Environmental History of Private Property
- Work, Nature, and History: A Single Question, that Once Moved Like Light
- The Nature of Desire: Consumption in Environmental History
- Law and the Environment
- Confluences of Nature and Culture: Cities in Environmental History
- Race and Ethnicity in Environmental History
- Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History
- Conquest to Convalescence: Nature and Nation in United States History
- Boundless Nature: Borders and the Environment in North America and Beyond
- Crossing Boundaries: The Environment in International Relations
- The Politics of Nature
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines how environmental history has contributed to a better understanding of technology and proposes an environmental history of technology. It argues that environmental history brings new insights to technological artifacts and technical change, technology both reflects and mediates human-environment interactions, and technology shapes—and is shaped by—nature. The chapter begins by focusing on the intersection between environmental history and technology studies. It then considers how environmental historians have addressed the issue of technology in their work, with emphasis on technology and environmental change as well as the ambiguous ecological implications of technology. Finally, it discusses several concepts and approaches that have been used to write environmental histories of technology thus far, including hybridity, multiplicity, evolutionary history, and envirotechnical analysis.
Sara B. Pritchard is Associate Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. She is the author of Confluence: The Nature of Technology and the Remaking of the Rhône (2011) and co-editor of New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (2013).
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