Environmental History of China’s Multiple Tea Trades: Peter Perdue, Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture, 2014   Recently updated !

Last year, Professor Peter Perdue visited York University to deliver the 2014 Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History. His lecture titled, “Mountains, Caravans, Rivers, and Salons: China’s Multiple Tea Trades,” explored one of China’s best-known export commodities. Drawing on scholarship in imperial Chinese history, the history food, and environmental history, Professor Perdue provided an overview of the many tea […]

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History and Computing Workshop: Screencasting and Teaching

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, we held another “History and Computing” workshop in the Department of History at York University. This is a series of practical workshops on the use of digital technologies in historical scholarship and teaching. Alongside my colleague, Carolyn Podruchny, we led presentations on our respective experiences using screencasting software in our […]


"Dynamic Serenity" by Andrew E. Larsen

Five Things You Might Not Have Known About Canadian Environmental History

Canadian environmental history is a burgeoning sub-field of Canadian history, but it is not very well known outside of academia. This is my own research speciality. On many occasions, I have had to answer the question: what is environmental history? Periodically, this is a question that environmental historians ask themselves. There have been several reflective […]


Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 45 Available

Episode 45: The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project, 29 October 2014 [56:00] Download Audio It cuts through the centre of the continent linking all of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Long the ambition of governments, industry, and continentalist visionaries, the St. Lawrence Seaway fulfilled the mid-century modernist dream of transforming the Great Lake cities […]

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Tablet Reading. Source: Pabak Sarkar, Flickr Commons

Best Practices for Writing History on the Web

As more of our reading moves from print to screens, learning how to write on the Web will become an increasingly important part of history writing skills. Just as we teach fundamental research and writing skills for print essays, we will likely begin to teach digital writing skills for the Web. Writing for the Web […]


Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 44 Available

Episode 44: The Second World Congress for Environmental History, 24 September 2014 [48:01] Download Audio For five days this past July, environmental historians from around the world convened in Guimarães, Portugal for the Second World Congress for Environmental History. This is the main event for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations. It brings together scholars from […]

The streets of Guimarães.

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Parks and Ecology: Stanley Park Nature and History Walk Guides, 1990

For most of its history, ecology has not been a guiding principle for the management of Stanley Park. This is one of the observations that I made in my book Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. Throughout the twentieth century, Park Board officials and Vancouver residents struggled over how to manage the various uses of the park: […]


A Brief History of the Laptop Ban 3

In recent years, several scholars have expressed a desire to ban laptop computers and smartphones from the classroom. This urge to prohibit the use of computing devices, however, may be a reflection of our own shortcomings as educators. It may also be a future liability for higher education. What are the implications of excluding technologies that have revolutionized […]

"The times they are a changing" by Brett Jordan

"Guimaraes Portugal-4" by Fernando López

Discussing Online Digital Communication at Second World Congress of Environmental History

Next week, I will be participating on a roundtable at the Second World Congress of Environmental History in Guimarães, Portugal. Our roundtable is titled, “Beyond Texts and Archives: Experiments with New Sources and Methods in Environmental History” and it is scheduled for Tuesday, July 8, 2014 from 14:00-15:30 in CO-04 (CFPG). All the details about the roundtable can […]