Environmental historians have too often overlooked California and Hawai’i, despite the roles the regions played in the colonial ranching frontiers of the Pacific World. In Cattle Colonialism, John Ryan Fischer significantly enlarges the scope of the American West by examining the trans-Pacific transformations these animals wrought on local landscapes and native economies.
Drawing on methods from environmental, medical, and political history, Reinhardt interprets the global effort to eradicate smallpox as an extension of U.S. technological, medical, and political power. The End of a Global Pox demonstrates the far-reaching manifestations of American liberalism, shedding new light on the history of global public health and development.
American Tropics: The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science by Megan Raby
Biodiversity has been a key concept in international conservation since the 1980s, yet historians have paid little attention to its origins. Uncovering its roots in tropical fieldwork and the southward expansion of U.S. empire at the turn of the twentieth century, Megan Raby details how ecologists took advantage of growing U.S. landholdings in the circum-Caribbean by establishing permanent field stations for long-term, basic tropical research. From these outposts of U.S. science, a growing community of American “tropical biologists” developed both the key scientific concepts and the values embedded in the modern discourse of biodiversity. (Fall 2017)
The Herds Shot Round the World: Native Breeds and the British Empire by Rebecca Woods
As Britain industrialized in the early nineteenth century, animal breeders faced the need to convert livestock into products while maintaining the distinctive character of their breeds. Thus they transformed cattle and sheep adapted to regional environments into bulky, quick-fattening beasts. Exploring the environmental and economic ramifications of imperial expansion on colonial environments and production practices, Rebecca J. H. Woods traces how global physiological and ecological diversity eroded under the technological, economic, and cultural system that grew up around the production of livestock by the British Empire. Attending to the relationship between type and place and what it means to call a particular breed of livestock “native,” Woods highlights the inherent tension between consumer expectations in the metropole and the ecological reality at the periphery. (Fall 2017)
Forests Without Birds: Rubber Plantations and the Making of Vietnam, 1987-1975 by Michitake Aso (Spring 2018)
Red Coats and Wild Birds: Military, Science, Empire by Kirsten Greer (Spring 2018)
Controlling the Great Common: The U.S. Navy, the Marine Environment, and the Cartography of American Empire in the 19th Century by Jason Smith (Spring 2018)
Jaguars of Empire: Natural Histories in the New World by Sharon Wilcox (Fall 2018)
All Things Useful, Harmless, and Ornamental: A History of Species Acclimatization by Pete Minard (Fall 2018)