On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X
CARRUTHERS, Jane. Environmental history: Complex connections around the constancy of change. Historia [online]. 2009, vol.54, n.2, pp.98-112. ISSN 2309-8392.
This article has been adapted from a paper presented in the Ruth Edgecombe Environmental Challenges Lecture Series, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, on 1 October 2008. It outlines the contribution of Professor Edgecombe to the study of environmental history in South Africa. Using the title of Edgecombe's book, The Constancy of Change A History of Hlobane Colliery, 1898-1998 (1998) as the over-arching metaphor, the article celebrates the links that Edgecombe was so adept at making and to explore the nature and challenges of environmental history. The author stresses how nexus between nature and culture -the "connections" between regions, timescales, disciplines and biota - are at the core of the subdiscipline and illuminate previously neglected aspects of human and natural history. As is explained, environmental historians have been able to engage with the changes in the urgency of environmental concerns and to address issues such as climate change, genetically modified foods, animal ethics and other challenges of the twenty-first century.
Keywords : Environmental history; historiography; interdisciplinary; Ruth Edgecombe.