Environmental History

Research Aims

Environmental history investigates humans’ changing ecological entanglements over time. Its practitioners work over different time periods and geographical regions and draw on methodological ideas and practices from various scholarly traditions such as history, archaeology, geography, visual art and the natural sciences.

This interdisciplinary approach is what makes environmental history such an exhilarating field, yet it can also be what divides it. Environmental historians often belong to different departments and faculties, and at Oxford they are yet to share a sub-institutional affiliation. Hence, they are not always informed of relevant work done by their colleagues within the same University.

The Oxford Environmental History Network wishes to foster a virtual community of environmental historians in Oxford. The aim of the network is threefold:

  • To connect researchers confronting similar conceptual and methodological challenges, even if working across different regions and time periods
  • To showcase environmental history research being undertaken at Oxford and elsewhere
  • To publicise relevant events and opportunities occurring both at Oxford as well as internationally

Those listed below have an interest in both teaching and research surrounding the topic of of environmental history.

A talk by Professor Sarah S. Elkind

Fishing and the Global History of Conservation: Preliminary Comparisons of Past and Present

Tuesday 10 December 2019
Tea and coffee from 10:00, Seminar at 10:30
Colin Matthew seminar room, History Faculty

In her talk for the OEHN, Sarah S. Elkind will present a segment of her new project which aims to investigate the global history of resource conservation, its environmental justice consequences, and their implications for managing global climate change.


oen event

Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
16.00-17.30, Thursday 11 October, 2018.
Lecture room, Faculty of History, University of Oxford.
41-47 George St, Oxford OX1 2BE
Followed by drinks. All welcome.



Ecologies of Knowledge and Practice

Japanese Studies and the Environmental Humanities

Postgraduate and Early Career Workshop
St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

27th and 28th October 2017 



Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey

The Oxford Environmental History Network in conjunction with the Centre for Global History will be hosting a workshop - ‘Writing histories in the era of the Anthropocene’ - in late May 2018. This postgraduate workshop will be led by Professor John Brooke, author of Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey.

More details to come.

Related Centres and Projects
Environmental History Working Group (EHWG)
environmental history working group

The Environmental History Working Group (EHWG) runs informal meetings for those interested in studying the past in ways that recognize the interactions and interconnectedness of animals, plants, humans, other beings, and the environment. We make space to talk about exciting developments in our fields, new ideas and approaches, and to have interdisciplinary conversations. We try to keep discussions and presentations informal, and we encourage anyone at all interested in these kinds of approaches to join our meetings, regardless of research specialism or presumed existing knowledge. Our sessions are mainly attended by graduate students and undergraduates who were considering writing a dissertation or embarking on further study in the field, but all are welcome.

For further information or to join the EHWG mailing list, please email environmentalhistoryworkinggroup-owner@maillist.ox.ac.uk.

Meeting Details:

Meetings are held each term on even weeks in the History Faculty. Meeting details will be released at the beginning of each term.


Ryan Mealiffe (MPhil History) ryan.mealiffe@history.ox.ac.uk

Ruka Hussain (MSt History of Art) ruksar.hussain@hmc.ox.ac.uk

Detail of a miniature of bees collecting nectar and returning to their hive, from a bestiary with theological texts, England, c. 1200 – c. 1210,

Detail of a miniature of bees collecting nectar and returning to their hive, from a bestiary with theological texts, England, c. 1200 – c. 1210,