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date: 25 April 2019

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.

Keywords: environmental history, technology, environmental change, human-environment interactions, nature, evolutionary history, hybridity, multiplicity, envirotechnical analysis

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