Introductory Seminar in History
Water is our most essential resource. Without it, of course, there is no life. Depending on where in the world one lives water can be abundant or it can be scarce. But no matter where one looks there is a history of human interactions with water—world history, environmental history, legal history and more. We will explore some of that history. Topics will include, among others: indigenous water rights; the historical origins of uneven access to clean water around the world; the discovery of water borne diseases in the 19th century; the damming of rivers for irrigation and power; and the emergence of the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry. We will explore many kinds of materials: primary and secondary historical texts; photographs; films; and more. The class will a mixture of lecture and discussion. In addition to readings in common, students will conduct their own independent research.