- The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History
- List of Contributors
- Introduction African Histories: Past, Present, and Future
- Ecology and Environment
- Demography and Disease
- African Slave Trades in Global Perspective
- States and Statelessness
- Ethnicity and Identity
- Warfare and the Military
- The African Diaspora
- African Colonial States
- Law, Crime, and Punishment in Colonial Africa
- Work and Migration
- Between the Present and History: African Nationalism and Decolonization
- Indigenous African Religions
- New Religious Movements
- Education and Literacy
- Women and Gender
- Urbanization and Urban Cultures
- Health and Healing
- Economic Growth
- Visual Cultures
- Music in Modern African History
- African Literary Histories and History in African Literatures
- Communications and Media in African History
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the ecological and environmental history of modern Africa. It explores the range of environmental challenges faced by Africa’s peoples over the past two centuries of imperialism and globalization and considers the extent to which these challenges were particular to the African continent. After setting out the diversity of Africa’s environments and climatic patterns, it examines levels of biodiversity and endemism, the creation of the forest fallow agricultural system in West Africa, the impact of New World crops, the interaction between disease and landscape in East Africa, and finally the ecological impact of the ‘urban footprint’ in the postcolonial period.
James C. McCann is Professor of History at Boston University. His publications include Stirring the Pot: African Cuisines and Global Change, 1500-2000 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2009), Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), Green Land, Brown Land, Black Land: An Environmental History of Africa, 1500-1990 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999), and People of the Plow: An Agricultural History of Ethiopia, 1800-1990 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995).
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