[*HIST 1910. The History of Energy]

The history of energy is the history of modern political economy. The history of energy is the history of a scientific concept and its technological application. The history of energy is the history of climate change and environmental catastrophe. The history of energy is the history of life, the universe, and everything. All of these statements are true. This seminar is a critical introduction to the roles that energy has played in history and historiography. Using this ubiquitous and fundamental concept, we will explore questions ranging from climate change and capitalism to causality and colonialism in diverse places and times.

Note: Likely offered Fall 2019.






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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2018-2019 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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