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220116 Energy History of the Americas, 1500 to the Present (K) (SoSe 2019)

Inhalt, Kommentar

This course serves as a contextualization of the Seminar „Political History of Argentina“ (taught by Dr. Mirko Petersen). Furthermore, it can also be studied as an optional course in the BGHS Graduate Program. In a mix of reading and research-based classes we will work towards an overview of the evolution of energy use in both North and Latin America from 1500 to the present. On the macro-level, this includes looking at the shift from a solar to a fossil energy regime and how this, on the meso-level changed (forced) labor regimes, transport, and communication. We will retrace the ruptures and continuities in this process that lead up to our present, troubled age of global climate change and the ‘Anthropocene’. The course is based on environmental, social, and economic history approaches. Expect a mix of empirical research studies and theory texts. The course will be held in bi-weekly 4-hour blocks starting on Thursday April 11, 2019.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse

As this course is taught entirely in English, students should be ready and able to read and discuss research literature in English. It is always possible to ask questions or get explanations in German, Spanish or French, however.


Burke, Edmund. "The Big Story: Human History, Energy Regimes, and the Environment." In The Environment and World History, edited by Edmund Burke and Kenneth Pomeranz. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Smil, Vaclav. Energy Transitions. History, Requirements, Prospects. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010.

Jones, Christopher F. "A Landscape of Energy Abundance: Anthracite Coal Canals and the Roots of American Fossil Fuel Dependence, 1820–1860." Environmental History 15, no. 3 (2010): 449-84.

Bebbington, Anthony, and Jeffrey Bury. Subterranean struggles. New Dynamics of Mining, Oil, and Gas in Latin America. Peter T Flawn series in natural resources. First edition ed. 2013.

Vasquez, Patricia I. Oil Sparks in the Amazon. Local Conflicts, Indigenous Populations, and Natural Resources. Studies in security and international affairs. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014.

McNeill, John Robert, and George Vrtis. Mining North America: An environmental history since 1522. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2017.

McNeill, John Robert, and William Hardy McNeill. The human web: A bird's-eye view of world history. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003.

Isenberg, Andrew C. The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Miller, Shawn William. An Environmental History of Latin America. New approaches to the Americas. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.


Termine (Kalendersicht )

Rhythmus Tag Uhrzeit Format / Ort Zeitraum  

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Modul Veranstaltung Leistungen  
22-4.2 Mastermodul Geschichtswissenschaft: Vormoderne
Historische Kontextualisierung Vormoderne Studieninformation
22-HEPS-HM1 Hauptmodul 1: Entwicklung der Wissenschaften Entwicklung der Wissenschaften I Studienleistung
Entwicklung der Wissenschaften II benotete Prüfungsleistung
22-M-4.2 Mastermodul Vormoderne
Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.3 Mastermodul Moderne
Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.4.2 Profilmodul "Geschichte des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit"
Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.4.6 Profilmodul "Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Geschichte"
Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.4.6-IAS3 History of the Americas / Historia de las Américas Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.4.6-IAS9 Advanced History of the Americas / Estudios avanzados de la historia de las Américas Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.4.7 Profilmodul "Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte"
Historische Kontextualisierung Studienleistung
22-M-4.5 Forschungsmodul
Historische Kontextualisierung Studieninformation

Die verbindlichen Modulbeschreibungen enthalten weitere Informationen, auch zu den "Leistungen" und ihren Anforderungen. Sind mehrere "Leistungsformen" möglich, entscheiden die jeweiligen Lehrenden darüber.

Konkretisierung der Anforderungen

Course Assignment:
Towards the end of the course you will write a 3-page Response Paper on two of the texts of the seminar that caught your particular attention and on how they are connected to the course’s theme. That is, on the one hand, you are required to combine the analysis and significance of two texts to questions we ask in the course, and on the other hand I would like you to reflect on why you chose these two texts. The second part is therefore a more subjective reflection on why certain themes, questions and connections interest you.

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