What can the twisted histories of one Sri Lankan canal tell us? Sujit Sivasundaram on how the coastal environment of Colombo has been colonised and marketised, but in turn creates its own paths, through winds, waves and waters as well as unstable earth.
How do we know nature and how has this been political, in the past and today? Vinita Damodaran and Harriet Ritvo discuss the rise of scientific expertise, its entanglement in projects of empire, and how it has interacted with indigenous and local knowledge.
“By excavating the archives of urban hydrology in Chennai, we can see how the unequal production, impact, and representation of floods is embedded in property making and belonging.” Aditya Ramesh argues that responses to flood must go beyond engineering and planning.
How far did wood scarcity in England trigger deforestation in its colonies at the dawn of empire? Keith Pluymers traces a complex story of conservation, commerce, and colonisation in the early modern Atlantic
How have US projects to preserve ‘paradise’ in the Virgin Islands marginalised native Afro-Caribbean people? Jessica S. Samuels examines a cutting-edge ecotourism venture in the 1950s that reveals the colonial nature of American conservation
As the global ecological crisis deepens and spreads through virus, fire and flood, Elly Robson introduces a new HWO series on The Political Environment. How have politics shaped the way we identify ecological problems and solutions, and how have ‘natural’ events generated new forms of politics?
What are transnational solidarities and how do they expand our understanding of interactions beyond the nation state? Lydia Walker and Su Lin Lewis discuss with Ria Kapoor in this episode of the History Workshop Podcast.