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Week 5

Thursday 1 November
Two-hour seminar: Animal and Insect Worlds

Andrew C. Isenberg, The Destruction of the Bison, An Environmental History, 1750–1920, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012), Introduction, pp. 1–12

Karen R. Jones, “Restor(y)ing the ‘fierce greenfire’: animal agency, wolf conservation and environmental memory in, Yellowstone National Park”, BJHS Themes, vol. 2 (2017), pp. 151-168

Linda Nash,‘The agency of Nature and the nature of agency’, Environmental History, 10 (2001), pp. 67–69

Read this brief presentation on the website of Yellowstone National Park on the bison programme in Yellowstone:

Seminar questions

1-Can we talk about an “animal agency” in history?

2-"Thus, perhaps, environmental history should strive not merely to put nature into history, but to put the human mind back in the world". Discuss

3-Why is it interesting to understand the conquest of the American West through the “agency of the bison”?

4-“The story of the American Great Plains can be understood as an encounter between indigenous and Euro-American ecologies”. Discuss

5-What is the ‘ideology’ behind wolf re-introduction in Yellowstone National Park?
What conflicts are created by the bison and wolf conservation programmes of Yellowstone National Park?
Can we describe Yellowstone National Park as a site of conflicts between nature and culture and different ecologies?
What are the consequences of bison and wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone and its surroundings?