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Environmental History: Working with historiography MHI336

Environmental history is the historical study of people and their environments. Historiography traces how history writing has changed over time. The course introduces students to these two fields, demonstrating how students can work with historiography to bring their own writing into dialogue with the other scholars.

Course description for study year 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.

Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian

This course gives students an introduction to historiography and how one can use historiographical perspectives in historical research. Environmental historians study how humans have worked with, shaped, and thought about nature and environment - and how we have been shaped by this nature. The course will examine major developments and boundaries of this field. What are the central problems environmental historians examine? How has the field developed over time and what is the state of the field today?  
Learning outcome


  • demonstrate knowledge about environmental history as a research field
  • recognize how interactions between people and their environments have shaped historical developments


  • analyze environmental history publications for their structure, argumentation, empirical basis, and relationship to a historiographical context
  • critically reflect over different approaches to environmental history as a research field
  • apply historiographical perspectives in their own writing

General competance

  • account for and critically reflect over different approaches to environmental history, and discuss whether they contribute anything new to our understanding of the past
  • actively participate in a seminar-based academic discussion
  • present historical scholarship orally and visually
Required prerequisite knowledge

Poster persentations and oral exam

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Poster presentation 2/5 Letter grades All
Book review 1/5 Letter grades All
Oral exam 2/5 Letter grades None permitted

 A: As described in given guidelines.  B: 750 words (+/- 10 %), footnotes and reference list not included.

Coursework requirements
75% attendance, Individual oral presentation 1, Individual oral presentation 2
  • Seminar with 75% attendance and written submission
  • 2 individual oral presentations

Course teacher(s)
Course teacher: Ellen Fenzel Arnold
Course coordinator: Finn Arne Jørgensen
Programme coordinator: Signe Ekenberg
Method of work
Lectures, seminars and student presentations
Course assessment
The UiS quality system involves student evaluation of all courses.
Overlapping courses
Course Reduction (SP)
Environmental and Water History - A Historiographical Perspective (MHI335) 11
The syllabus can be found in Leganto