Skip to main content

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 2022-2023

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

A: 750 words (+/- 10 %)B: 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 teacher: Ellen Fenzel Arnold
Course coordinator: Finn Arne Jørgensen
Programme coordinator: 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
Course assessment
The UiS quality system involves student evaluation of all courses.
Search for literature in Leganto