Environment, Health, Science & Technology

Courses in this thematic area seek to apply the methodologies developed in a variety of fields to the question of the impact of nature, human as well as non-human, on history. Environmental historians have joined other historians of a more materialist or geographic bent in exploring the ways in which cultural values, technologies, and systems of labor and production have shaped–and been reshaped by–both urban and rural environments.

Historians of health and medicine have meanwhile explored the human body in historical interaction with a nature within as well as beyond.  Still other historians, interested in the powerful and often controversial roles science and technology play in the modern world, have studied the origins and means by which our knowledge and manipulation of nature has helped reconfigure modern politics, society, and culture.

Stony Brook faculty members and graduate students have plied their research skills along all these fronts.  Topics of courses and investigations might include history of the contrasts and inter-relations between city and country; technoscience in history; environment and health in global perspective; the history of technocracy; industry, place and politics; history of the body; and natural history and national culture.

Environment, Health, Science & Technology is one cluster in the History Department’s thematically-organized Research Program.

Environment, Health, Science & Technology News

Climate March in Historical Perspective

Some of you may be interested in my recent blog entry on the People’s Climate March, which also seeks to place the climate movement in hist perspective: http://theenergycollective.com/chris-sellers/2151521/beyond-environmentalism-marching-toward-climatism

“Energy Reform” and Environment in Mexico

Some of you may be interested to read this Dissent blog entry Chris Sellers wrote about Mexican President Peña Nieto’s proposed “Energy Reform” for that country, in the light of my own research into the recent history of Pemex’s environmental impacts.

How Industrial Hazards Get Overlooked

Prof. Chris Sellers has written a online blog entry for the journal Dissent, reflecting on recent industrial disasters in Texas and Bangladesh, and drawing on his edited volume Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World.

Blog Entry on the Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast, in DISSENT

I’ve written an online blog entry for the journal Dissentthat may prove of interest.  The argument is based on those I and others made in our edited volume Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World (Temple UP, 2011).

“How Industrial Hazards Get Overlooked,” Dissent Blog (April 25, 2013)



All Environmental Politics Is Local–Today’s Climate Activism in the Light of the Earlier Antipollution Movement

I’ve tried my hand at some blogging, with a new entry on the “Seeing the Woods” blog of the Rachel Carson Center in Munich.  It’s about what the antipollution movement of the 1960′s may be able to teach the climate activists of today.  I’ve called it “all environmental politics is local.”  My argument is based on my recent Crabgrass Crucible.

Chris Sellers

Radio Interview on WUSB’s “Sustain It” with Chris Sellers, March 8, 2013

Jim Quigley of Stony Brook’s Sustainability Program, interviews Christopher Sellers, a Stony Brook historian, about his new book Crabgrass Crucible: Suburban Nature and the Rise of Environmentalism in 20th-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).  Their discussion explores Sellers arguments about the suburban origins of environmentalism and their implications for efforts toward sustainability today.

Audio file recorded November 27, 2012; broadcast March 8, 2013 on WUSB.