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 other scholars.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. 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 competence

  • 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

Required prerequisite knowledge



Semester assignment

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written essay 2/3 Letter grades All
Book review 1/3 Letter grades All

Book review: 750 words (+/- 10 %)Written essay: 2500 words (+/- 10 %)Footnotes and reference list not included in word limit.

Coursework requirements

Individual written assignment 1, Individual written assignment 2, 75% attendance, Individual oral presentation 1
  • Seminar with 75% attendance. Submission of journal/reflection assignment required for seminar credit.
  • 2 individual written assignments in preparation for final essay
  • 1 individual oral presentation

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Finn Arne Jørgensen

Course teacher:

Melina Antonia Buns

Course teacher:

Finn Arne Jørgensen

Study Adviser:

Signe Ekenberg

Method of work

This is a seminar-based course that requires active student participation. Students will work together and individually. The seminars will be complemented by some lectures. Students are required to complete written and oral assignments throughout the course.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Environmental and Water History - A Historiographical Perspective (MHI335_1) 11

Open for

Open to Master in History and History Didactics, students in related master programs at UiS and incoming exchange students.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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