,

Environmental History of Modern Warfare Syllabus

Environmental History of Modern Warfare
Proposed Graduate Seminar
Dr. Tom J. Arnold, Professor, Department of History

Course Description:
Any soldier who has marched through rain, snow or heat, or dug a vehicle out of the
mud can tell you that nature can sometimes be an enemy in warfare. Others could
point to how terrain helped them defend a position, or rain grounded the enemy’s
aircraft, making nature an ally. Humans continually try to bend nature to their needs
and desires, a process greatly accelerated with the coming of modern age in the mideighteenth
century. How does this play out in age of mass armies and “total war”?
What is the relationship between warfare and the environment? What areas can we
study to find out?

In this seminar we will seek answers to these and other questions. The course
covers warfare from the eighteenth century to the present, focusing on humanity’s
relationship to the natural world. We will see how this relationship played out
geographically, socially, economically and culturally. The class includes discussion
of natural features (rivers, oceans, mountains etc.), large-scale human activities
(urbanization, industrialization, “total war”, trade, etc.), and ideas (nature
preservation, environmentalism).

The more concrete goal of this seminar is to for each student to produce a 30-40
page research paper, due the last day of class. Creating a successful research paper
requires a significant amount of work, including: identifying a meaningful research
problem; accessing and evaluating sources; and critically and ethically integrating
those sources to craft a compelling argument. Each week we will discuss the
assigned readings on one topic, plus investigate strategies in research and writing.
There will be assignments along the way to help you perform these tasks. This will
be a collaborative effort, so expect to give and receive feedback.

Course Requirements:
Attendance and Participation
Since this is a small, discussion-driven course that meets only once a week,
attending and participating are vital. Complete all the assigned readings and be
ready to discuss, debate and question them in class. Attendance is mandatory!
Repeatedly missing class will negatively affect your grade (at my discretion). If you
know in advance that you have to miss class, or if you are too sick to attend, have a
personal emergency, please inform me as early as possible. Remember: you are still
responsible for the required reading and writing assignments even if you miss class.
Assignments

Weekly Reading Responses
Every week, you will be asked to write an analytical response to the assigned
readings. These should be approximately 500 words or two double-spaced pages
long, and address at least two of the assigned readings. Since McNeill is primarily
background info, you may address it but it does not count. There will occasionally
be prompts, but for the most part you will be free to write about whatever aspects
interest you the most.
You may skip one week for free, no penalty. You are still responsible for the
readings.
You do not have to submit a response paper on the week you lead class
discussion.

Leading Discussion
Once during the semester, you will be responsible for leading discussion. You will
need to have a good command of the readings, concrete goals for the discussion, and
a flexible plan that will keep the class working toward them.

Final Research Paper
We will start on this in Week 4, but it is advisable to choose a subject earlier rather
than later. As part of the final paper, you will submit:
Preliminary Bibliography: list of sources you think will be useful
Outline/Prospectus: just like it sounds; it should describe the subject of your paper
and how you will organize it.
Rough Draft: later in the semester, you will share this with myself and another
student to get feedback.

Conference Presentation: On the last day of class, each student will give a 15-
minute presentation on their paper, followed by Q&A and discussion. You will
distribute the paper electronically to the class beforehand. Each student will send a
one-page critique to me before class. PowerPoints and handouts are welcome. I will
provide snacks.

Book to Buy:
John R. McNeill, Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the
Twentieth-Century World
All other readings will be posted as PDF files.

CLASS POLICIES
GRADE COMPONENTS:
Final Research Paper 50%
(Includes Bibliography, Outline, Rough Draft)
Readings Responses 20%
Leading Discussion 10%
Conference Presentation 10%
Overall Participation in Seminar Discussion 10%
Grade Scale: A (92-100), A-(90-91), B+(88-89), B (82-87), B-(80-81), C+(78-79),
C(72-77), C-(70-71), D+(68-69), D(62-67), D-(60-61), F(0-59)

Discussions
The purpose of a discussion is to look more closely at the readings and material
covered in lecture, exploring major themes and exchanging opinions and insights.
To that end, discussions are safe, tolerant environments for the free exchange of ideas.
We will at times cover sensitive and/or controversial topics. I expect you to
approach these ideas with civility, respect, and the critical distance appropriate to
an academic setting, communicate your perspectives and arguments with
appropriate sensitivity and sincerity, and respect others’ opinions. This is not Fox
News or MSNBC.

Participation
Be ready to ask questions and participate in the discussion. Attendance does not
equal participation. I always encourage questions at any point during the
discussion. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

Classroom Etiquette
Please be courteous of your classmates and instructor by arriving on time, and
turning off all electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, tricorders, etc.) while in
class. Laptops are to be used for note-taking only, and you must obtain my approval
to use them.

Misc.
If you have any problems or situations that would prevent you from attending class,
submitting questions, or whatever, don’t hesitate to see me. We can discuss it and
take the necessary measures. E-mail is the best way to reach me.

CLASS SCHEDULE
WEEK 1: January 28-Class Introduction, What is Environmental History?
Readings:
• “Prologue” in McNeill book
• Donald Worster, “Appendix: Doing Environmental History” in Worster, The
Ends of the Earth, 289-307
• Sverker Sörlin and Paul Warde, “The Problem of the Problem of
Environmental History: A Re-Reading of the Field” Environmental History,
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 2007), pp. 107-130
• John McNeill, “Observations on the Nature and Culture of Environmental
History” History and Theory, Vol. 42, No. 4, Theme Issue 42: Environment and
History (Dec., 2003), pp. 5-43
WEEK 2: War and the Environment-Overview
Readings:
• John McNeill, “Woods and Warfare in World History.” Environmental History
9.3 (2004): 388-410
• Chris Pearson, “Researching Militarized Landscapes: A Literature Review on
War and the Militarization of the Environment.” Landscape Research 2011, 1-
19.
• Richard P. Tucker, “Introduction” and “The Impact of Warfare on the Natural
World” in Natural Enemy, Natural Ally
• Charles Closmann, “Introduction: Landscapes of Peace, Environments of
War” and J.R. McNeill and David S. Painter, “The Global Environmental
Footprint of the U.S. Military, 1789-2003” in War and the Environment.
• Malvern Lumsden, “Conventional” War and Human Ecology” Ambio, Vol. 4,
No. 5/6, War and Environment: A Special Issue (1975), pp. 223-228
WEEK 3: Landscape & National Identity
Readings:
• David Blackbourn, The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making
of Modern Germany, 3-21
• Tait Keller, “The Mountains Roar: The Alps during the Great War”
Environmental History, Vol. 14, No. 2 (April 2009), pp. 253-274
• Marco Armiero, “Nationalizing the Mountains: Nature and Political
Landscapes in World War I” in Marco Armiero and Marcus Hall, eds., Nature
and History in Modern Italy, 231-250
• Thomas Lekan, “The Militarization of Nature and Heimat, 1914-1923” in
Thomas Lekan, Imagining the Nation in Nature: Landscape Preservation and
German Identity, 1885-1945, 74-99.
WEEK 3: The American Civil War
Readings:
• Mark Fiege, “Gettysburg and the Organic Nature of the Civil War” in Natural
Enemy, Natural Ally, 93-110.
• Lisa M. Brady, “Devouring the Land: Sherman’s 1864-1865 Campaigns,” in
War and the Environment, 49-67.
• Jack Temple Kirby, “The American Civil War: An Environmental View” (2005)
http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nattrans/ntuseland/essays/am
cwar.htm
• Excerpts from Lisa M. Brady, War Upon the Land: Nature and Warfare in the
American Civil War
WEEK 4: Imperialism
Readings:
• David Blackbourn, The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making
of Modern Germany, 144-161 “Colonizing the Moors”
• K. Sivaramakrishnan, “Histories of Colonialism and Forestry in India” in
Paolo Squatriti ed., Nature’s Past: The Environment and Human History, 103-
144
• Thomas R. Dunlap, “Creation and Destruction in Landscapes of Empire” in
Jeffry M. Diefendorf and Kurk Dorsey, eds., City, Country, Empire: Landscapes
in Environmental History. 207-225
• Bernhard Gißibl, “German Colonialism And The Beginnings Of International
Wildlife Preservation In Africa” in From Heimat To Umwelt: New Perspectives
On German Environmental History, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute,
2006, 121-144
• David Arnold, The Problem of Nature: Environment, Culture and European
Expansion, 169-187 “Colonizing Nature”
WEEK 5: Colonial Wars
BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE
Readings:
• Roger S. Levine, “‘African Warfare in all its Ferocity’: Changing Military
Landscapes and Precolonial and Colonial Conflict in Southern Africa,” in
Natural Enemy, Natural Ally, 65-92.
• Thaddeus Sunseri, “Reinterpreting a Colonial Rebellion: Forestry and Social
Control in German East Africa, 1874-1915.” Environmental History 8:3
(2003), 430-451.
• Greg Bankoff, “Wood for War: The Legacy of Human Conflict on the Forests of
the Philippines, 1565-1946,” in War and the Environment, 32-48.
WEEK 6: Urban Environmental History
Readings:
• McNeill, 50-83, 269-295
• Dieter Schott, “Resources of the City: Towards a European Urban
Environmental History” in Dieter Schott et al eds., Resources of the City:
Contributions to an Environmental History of Modern Europe, 1-27
• Dorothee Brantz, “The Natural Space of Modernity: A Transatlantic
Perspective on (Urban) Environmental History” in Ursula Lehmkuhl and
Hermann Wellenreuther eds., Historians and Nature: Comparative
Approaches to Environmental History
• Bernd Herrmann,“The City in Nature and Nature in the City” in Historians
and Nature
• Peter Thorsheim, “The Corpse in the Garden: Burial, Health, and the
Environment in Nineteenth-Century London,” Environmental History 16
(January 2011): 38–68.
WEEK 7: WWI
• Dorothee Brantz, “Environments of Death: Trench Warfare on the Western
Front, 1914-1918,” in Closmann, Charles, ed., War and the Environment:
Military Destruction in the Modern Age
• Edmund Russell, “‘Speaking of Annihilation’: Mobilizing for War Against
Human and Insect Enemies, 1914-1945,” in Natural Enemy, Natural Ally, 142-
74.
• Roger Chickering, “The War on the Senses”, in Roger Chickering, The Great
War and Urban Life in Germany: Freiburg 1914-1918. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2007
• Joseph Hupy, “Verdun, France: Examining the Effects of Warfare on the
Physical Landscapes”, in Eugene Joseph Palka, Francis A. Galgano, Military
Geography: From Peace To War. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill Custom Publishing,
2005
WEEK 8: WWII in Europe
Readings:
• Jeffrey M. Diefendorf, “Wartime Destruction and the Postwar Cityscape”, in
War and the Environment, 171-192.
• Simo Laakkonen, “War — An Ecological Alternative to Peace? Indirect Impacts
of World War II on the Finnish Environment,” in Natural Enemy, Natural Ally,
175-94.
• Chris Pearson, “The Age of Wood: Fuel and Fighting in French Forests 1940-
1944.” Environmental History 11.4 (2006): 775-803.
• G.E. Wood, “Seasonal Mud” and ”Random Mud”, in G.E. Wood, Mud: A Military
History. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2006.
• Lahtinen, Rauno and Vuorisalo, Timo, “”It’s War and Everyone Can Do As
They Please!” An Environmental History of a Finnish City in Wartime”
Environmental History 9:4 (2004) 679-700.
WEEK 9: Fascist Environmentalism
OUTLINE DUE
Readings:
• Franz-Josef Brüggemeier, Mark Cioc and Thomas Zeller, eds., How Green Were
the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich”, 1-17
• David Blackbourn, The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making
of Modern Germany, 252-309 “Race and Reclamation”
• Frank Uekoetter, “The Nazis and the Environment-a Relevant Topic?” in Timo
Myllyntaus, ed., Thinking through the Environment: Green Approaches to
Global History, 40-62
• Wilko Graf von Hardenberg, “Act Locally, Think Nationally: A Brief History of
Access Rights and Continental Conflict in Fascist Italy” in Marco Armiero and
Marcus Hall, eds., Nature and History in Modern Italy, 141-158
WEEK 11: WWII in Asia
Readings:
• William Tsutsui, “Landscapes in the Dark Valley: Toward and Environmental
History of Wartime Japan” in Natural Enemy, Natural Ally, 195-216.
• Eugene Palka, “World War II In The Aleutian Islands: Physical Geographic
Challenges in the Battle for Attu”, in Military Geography: From Peace To War..
• Edmund Russell, “Total war (1936-1943)” and “Annihilation (1943-1945)”,
in Edmund Russell, War and Nature: Fighting Humans and Insects with
Chemicals from World War I to Silent Spring. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2001.
WEEK 12: The Cold War
Readings:
• Stephen Brain, “The Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature,”
Environmental History 15 (October 2010): 670–700.
• Paul Josephson, “War on Nature as Part of the Cold War: The Strategic and
Ideological Roots of Environmental Degradation in the Soviet Union” in John
R. McNeill and Corinna Unger eds., Environmental Histories of the Cold War,
21-49
• Frank Uekoetter, “The End of the Cold War: A Turning Point in
Environmental History?” In McNeill and Unger, Environmental Histories of the
Cold War, 343-351
• Douglas Weiner, The Changing Face of Soviet Conservation” in Worster, The
Ends of the Earth, 252-273
WEEK 13: Limited Wars: Korea and Vietnam
ROUGH DRAFT DUE
Readings:
• David Zierler, “Against Protocol: Ecocide, Détente, and the Question of
Chemical Warfare in Vietnam, 1969-1975,” in Environmental Histories of the
Cold War, 227-256.
• David Biggs, “Managing a Rebel Landscape: Conservation, Pioneers and the
Revolutionary Past in the U Minh Forest, Vietnam,” Environmental History
10:3 (2005), 448-476.
• Lisa Brady, “Life in the DMZ: Turning a Diplomatic Failure into an
Environmental Success”, Diplomatic History 32:4 (September 2008) 585-611.
WEEK 14: Resource Wars and The Environmental Legacy of Warfare
Readings:
• “Wealth Resources, and Power: The Changing Parameters of Global Security”
• “Oil, Geography and War: The Competitive Pursuit of Petroleum Plenty”
• Water Conflict in the Nile Basin”
• “The New Geography of Conflict”
All in: Michael T. Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict. New
York: Henry Holt, 2001.
WEEK 15: Conference Presentations
FINAL PAPERS DUE ONE WEEK LATER

,

Nature and War Syllabus – Tait Keller

 

RHODES COLLEGE

SPRING 2011

NATURE AND WAR

HIST 374

 

Class Days: MWF 9 AM Classroom: Palmer Hall 205

Office Hours: MWF 10-12 and by appointmen

 

Course Description

Those who do not know the conditions of mountains and

forests, hazardous defiles, marshes and swamps,

cannot conduct the march of an army.

— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

This course investigates how wars have shaped the natural environment and how the natural environment has shaped war in the modern era. More than simply a look at the ravages of war on nature, this course considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. Wars fundamentally alter how societies use and allocate natural resources, such as land, energy sources, and water. Students will learn how to critically assess the ecological impact of war, as well as its societal and political repercussions.

 

Course Objectives

The learning objectives for the course are three-fold:

 The first objective is developing skills in expressing yourself in orally or in writing, with a focus on

improving your oral and written communication.

 The second objective is learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of

view, with a focus on sharpening higher level thinking skills.

 Learning about the complex relationship between the environment and warfare fulfills the third

objective, which is gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trend) and building your knowledge base.

 

Course Requirements

Grades in the course will be based on several components. The first is spirited participation in the discussions. The second component will be two analytical essays. The third is one film analysis. The forth is a midterm exam, and the last component will be your choice: either a final exam or a research paper on

any topic related to the environmental footprint of war that may interest you.

 

Attendance and Participation

The success of the course depends on your active participation. I expect you to come to class prepared, having done the assigned reading and eager to participate in the discussion. Active participation means raising useful questions, listening carefully to others, and making thoughtful points about the readings. Unexcused absences will negatively impact your final grade.

 

Analytical Essays

The two analytical essays will be based on the required readings and themes raised in class; no outside research is necessary. Questions and guidelines for each essay will be posted on moodle. The

essays will be 1300 words in length and double-spaced. In no event should your essay be longer than

1600 words; I look for cogency, not length. A writing style guide will be available on moodle to assist you when you proofread your papers. The essays are due at the beginning of class on the following dates: Monday, Feb. 14 and Monday, April 4.

 

Film Analysis

Movies have done much to shape our perceptions of war. For this assignment, you will be assigned a topic (for, example, the US Civil War) and write a 600-word analysis of a film on that topic. A list of

films is posted on moodle. If you would like to analyze a film not on that list, please first get my

approval. In your analysis, discuss how the film portrays the environment, what role the environment

 

plays in war, the ways in which war shapes nature, and your overall assessment of the film. Your analysis is due the week that corresponds to your film. If you analyze a film on the US Civil War, your essay is due the week that we cover the US Civil War in class.

 

Midterm Examination

The in-class exam will test your mastery of the course material. You are responsible for all material covered in the lectures, discussions, and assigned readings. The exam will be a combination of identifications, map questions, and essay questions. The exam will be held on Monday, Feb. 28.

 

Option: Final Exam or Research Paper

The final exam will be similar to the midterm in form. The exam will be held on Wednesday, May 4.

 

If you choose the paper option you will write a concise, literate, well-organized 3000-word research paper on any dimension of modern war and the environment. Additional guidelines for the paper will be posted on moodle. The paper will be due Wednesday, May 4. I ask that you meet with me at some point before the end of March to inform me of your decision.

 

 

 

 

Attendance and Participation 20%
Analytical Essays 30%
Film Analysis 10%
Midterm exam 15%
Final Exam/Research Paper 25%

 

The final grade for the class will be established as follows:
Grading Scale:

 

A   Outstanding

B    Above Average/Very Good

C    Average/Good

D   Below Average/Poor

F    Fail

 

 

 

A (93-100); A- (90-92); B+ (87-89); B (83-86); B- (80-82); C+ (77-79); C (73-76); C- (70-72) and so on. Any number below 60 will be marked as an F

 

*NOTE: All assignments must be completed to pass the course. Failure to complete any of the course requirements by Wednesday, May 4 may result in a final course grade of F.

 

Required Texts

 

Richard Tucker and Edmund Russell, eds., Natural Enemy, Natural Ally

 

Charles Closmann, ed., War and the Environment

 

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Donovan Webster, Aftermath Edmund Russell, War and Nature

Judith Shapiro, Mao’s War Against Nature

 

All of these titles are on sale at the bookstore and on reserve in the library. You can also find all these books used (read: much cheaper) at online bookstores, including addall.com, alibris.com, amazon.com, and half.com. You are welcome to read these books in any edition, condition, or language.

 

 

 

 

Many of the wars of this [20th] century were about oil, but the wars of the next century will be about water.

–Ismail Serageldin

Former World Bank Vice President

 

Course Policies – read these all carefully

 

Special Needs and Accommodations: I am strongly committed to accommodating students with disabilities, and ask your cooperation in making sure that I am aware of any such accommodation you might need. All accommodation requests are the responsibility of the student. For more information, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) to alert them of any needs you may have.

 

Food, Drink, Tobacco: Drink is permitted in my classroom, but food and tobacco products of all kinds are prohibited.

 

Moodle: All students in the class are automatically registered for this course on Moodle. When you log on to Moodle and access the site for this course, you will find all course materials, including this syllabus, readings, and guidelines for assignments.

 

Email: All email correspondence will be sent to your Rhodes email account. It is your responsibility to check this account regularly. Emails are not text messages. When writing me, I expect your emails to be professional.

 

Cell phones, Blackberries, ipods, and other such devices: Turn them off!

 

Honor Code: I believe in the College’s standards of academic honesty, and I enforce them vigorously and to the letter. Plagiarism and cheating are easy to detect; so are papers pulled off the internet. If I suspect that you have cheated or plagiarized another’s work, I will discuss this matter with you. If I am not satisfied, I will report your case to the Honor Council for due process. I always recommend failure for the course when I submit a file. The bottom line is this: do your own work. You are spending your time and money to be here and learn. Don’t waste either by plagiarizing or cheating.

 

A Word on Grading:

Papers will be evaluated on four main criteria: thesis, organization, evidence, and style. In general, a paper that does a very good job in each category is a ‘B’. A paper that almost does is a ‘B-’, and a paper that performs well in each category and goes beyond in one category is a ‘B+’. A paper that is satisfactory but weak in one or two categories is a ‘C’. A ‘D’ paper is weak in three or more categories, or omits one criterion completely. Papers without notes crediting sources and location quotations, paraphrases, and allusions will receive, at best, a grade of ‘D’. An ‘A’ range paper performs outstandingly well in each category, and achieves something extraordinary in two or more categories.

 

Remember that a grade does not reflect process (it does not measure whether you worked hard) and it certainly does not reflect a value judgment about you as a person. A grade constitutes an evaluation of the quality and analytical rigor of the thesis, organization, evidence, and style of a single piece of work.

 

I will be delighted to discuss your papers with you. Be advised however that grades, once assigned, are not subject to change. I also will not communicate grades over email or the telephone. The most important part of the grading process is not the grade, but the comments you will find on your papers when you pick them up.

 

I do not give “I” (incomplete) grades. Late work, except in documented cases of bereavement, major injury, or catastrophic illness, will suffer a substantial and progressive reduction in grade. Therefore, please plan ahead and do your work on time.

 

 

We [démineurs] still find live cannon balls from the Franco- Prussian War of 1870. There are lakes filled with toxic grenades from World War I. Every so often, a farmer in a tractor rolls over an anti-tank mine from World War II and poof, that’s it. These things are everywhere.

–Christian Gabardos

Département du Déminage

 

SCHEDULE OF TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS

(subject to change)

 

  Week/Topic             Day    Date        Lectures, Discussions, Readings, and Papers                                        

 

WEEK 1:

Surveying the

Wed

Fri

Jan 12

Jan 14

Taking Aim

Enemies and Allies

Terrain Readings: Tucker and Russell, “Introduction,” and “The Impact of Warfare on the

Natural World”

Closmann, “Landscapes of Peace, Environments of War”

 

WEEK 2:

Militaries and

Mon

Wed

Jan 17

Jan 19

No class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Disease and War

Microbes Fri Jan 21 Discussion: Revolutionary Pathogens
Readings: Elizabeth Fenn, Pox Americana, “Vigilance” and “Surrender”

John McNeill, Mosquito Empires, ch.6

 

WEEK 3:

Fighting over

Mon

Wed

Jan 24

Jan 26

The Organic Nature of War

Nourishing Armies

Familiar Territory Fri Jan 28 Discussion: A World Properly Put Together
Readings: Tucker and Russell, “Gettysburg and the Organic Nature of the American

Civil War”

 

Lisa M. Brady, “The Wilderness of War,” Environmental History (2005)

John Summers, “Gettysburg Regress,” The New Republic (2009)

 

WEEK 4:

Imperial

Mon

Wed

Jan 31

Feb 2

The Ecology of Empire

Belgium’s Leopold and Congo’s Rubber

Landscapes Fri Feb 4 Discussion: Nature, Culture, and Human Nature
Readings: Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Closmann, “Wood for War”

Tucker and Russell, “War, the Military, and the Environment: Central

India” and “African Warfare in All Its Ferocity”

 

WEEK 5:

Mud, Blood, and

Mon

Wed

Feb 7

Feb 9

Oh! What a Lovely War

Energy Extraction

Trenches Fri Feb 11 Discussion: Fueling Conflict
Readings: Closmann, “Environments of Death”

Russell, chs.1-3

The 10th and 20th Forestry Engineers of World War I Browse: Western Front Photography –  Fields of Battle

 

WEEK 6:

Repairing

Mon

Wed

Feb 14

Feb 16

Conservation and Reconstruction        FIRST PAPER DUE

Industrial Legacies

the Land Fri Feb 18 Discussion: Farms and Forests
Readings: Webster, ch.1

Tucker and Russell, “The Two World Wars and the Globalization of

Timber Cutting”

A. Joshua West, “Forests and National Security,” Environmental History

(2003)

 

 

WEEK 7:

Total War,

Mon

Wed

Feb 21

Feb 23

The World at War…Again

The Wastes of War

Wretched Earth Fri Feb 25 Discussion: Nature on the Homefront
Readings: Russell, chs.6-7

Closmann, “Creating the Natural Fortress”

Tucker and Russell, “War—And Ecological Alternative to Peace?” and

“Landscapes in the Dark Valley”

Micah S. Muscolino, “Refugees, Land Reclamation, and Militarized

Landscapes in Wartime China: Huanglongshan, Shaanxi, 1937–

45,” The Journal of Asian Studies (2010)

 

WEEK 8:

Splitting

Mon

Wed

Feb 28

Mar 2

Midterm Exam

The Manhattan Project

the Atom Fri Mar 4 Documentary: White Light/Black Rain

 

WEEK 9:

Cold War

Mon

Wed

Mar 7

Mar 9

Armaments and the Environment

Film: Arid Lands

Hot Waste Fri Mar 11 Discussion: Fears of Fallout
Readings: Webster, ch.3

Jacob Hamblin, “A Global Contamination Zone,” in Environmental

Histories of the Cold War

Valerie Kuletz, “Invisible Spaces, Violent Places: Cold War Nuclear and

Militarized Landscapes,” in Violent Environments

Browse: Nevada Test Site Oral History Project

 

March 14-18: Spring Break!

 

WEEK 10:

Collectivize

Mon

Wed

Mar 21

Mar 23

The Military-Industrial Complex

Communist Ecologies

Nature Fri Mar 25 Discussion: Cold War Climates
Readings: Shapiro, chs.1-2, 4

 Pre si dent  Eise nhower’ s  Farewel l  Speech,  1961

Paul Josephson, “War on Nature as Part of the Cold War” in

Environmental Histories of the Cold War

 

WEEK 11:

Chemical

Mon

Wed

Mar 28

Mar 30

Jungles and Tunnels

Agent Orange

Landscapes Fri Apr1 Discussion: Chemical Morality
Readings: Webster, ch.4

Russell, chs.10-12

Alastair Hay, “Defoliants: the long-term health implications,” in The

Environmental Consequences of War

Tom Mangold and John Penycate, The Tunnels of Cu Chi, chs.1, 5, 6, 11

 

WEEK 12:

Burning Deserts

Mon   Apr 4      Persian Sands—Scarred Lands             SECOND PAPER DUE

Wed   Apr 6      Film: Lessons of Darkness

Fri      Apr 8      Discussion: For Want of Oil

 

Readings:   Webster, ch.5

Joel Kovel, “The Ecological Implications of the Iraq War,” Capitalism

Nature Socialism (2005)

Samira A.S. Omar, et al., “The Gulf War Impact on the Terrestrial

Environment of Kuwait: an Overview,” in The Environmental

Consequences of War

 

 

WEEK 13:

Necessities and

Mon

Wed

Apr 11

Apr 13

Insurgent Environments

The Highlife: Cocaine and Diamonds

Luxuries Fri Apr 15 Class Cancelled – with my apologies
Readings: Michael Watts, “Petro-Violence,” in Violent Environments

Thomas Homer-Dixon, “Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflict,”

International Security (1994)

Michael Ross, “What Do We Know About Natural Resources and Civil

War,” Journal of Peace Research (2004)

James Fairhead, “International Dimensions of Conflict over Natural and

Environmental Resources,” in Violent Environments

 

 

WEEK 14:

War and Wildlife

Mon   Apr 18    Animals and Armed Conflict

Wed   Apr 20    Discussion: Gunpoint Conservation

 

Readings:   Thor Hansen, et al., “Warfare in Biodiversity Hotspots,” Conservation

Biology (2009)

Jeffrey McNeely, “War and biodiversity: an assessment of impacts,” in

The Environmental Consequences of War

Bernard Nietschmann, “Conservation by Conflict in Nicaragua,” Natural

History (November 1990), pp. 42-48

Charles Wood and Marianne Schmink, “The Military and the Environment in the Brazilian Amazon,” Journal of Political and Military Sociology (1993)

 

 

April 21-24: Easter Break!

 

WEEK 15:

Imagined

Mon

Wed

Apr 25

Apr 27

Sustainable Military Ecologies

An Environmental Path to Peace?

Futures Readings: Gregory Reichberg and Henrik Syse, “Protecting the Natural Environment in Wartime: Ethical Considerations from the Just War Tradition,” Journal of Peace Research 37.4 (2000): 449-468

Silja Vöneky, “Peacetime Environmental Law as a Basis of State

Responsibility for Environmental Damage Caused by War,” in

The Environmental Consequences of War

Browse: Army Environmental Policy Institute

 

FINAL EXAM Wednesday, May4

8:30 AM

,

War and Environment Syllabus – Richard Tucker

University of Michigan

WAR AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Environ 490 / History 440 / Pol Sci 463

Winter 2013

Instructor: Prof. Richard Tucker

E-mail: rptucker@umich.edu

Class meets Monday & Wednesday, 1 – 2:30 pm in 1046 Dana

Office hours:  Monday, 11-12, and Wednesday, 10-11, in 1538 Dana

 

Introduction

Throughout history warfare and the preparations for war have been an integral aspect of organized societies.  This has had complex and fateful impacts on the natural environment.  But environmental historians have largely neglected the impacts of military mobilization and collective violence.  Conversely, military historians have neglected the environmental impact of war and militarization, although the field of military history has routinely studied the ways in which climate and terrain have shaped warfare.  Yet this is a vital aspect of today’s challenge to limit the ecological degradation of the biosphere.  Since the Vietnam War (in tandem with the rise of the environmental movement) there has been greater public awareness of the environmental consequences of both war itself and also peacetime (Cold War) military establishments.  Major research institutes have been monitoring this growing problem, but they have not had much historical depth to inform their work.

This provides a dual assignment for environmental history studies: first, to provide a detailed understanding of the ecological consequences of war and militarization over many centuries and in all world regions, and second, to work with contemporary researchers to integrate past perspectives with today’s challenges.  This course is designed primarily to survey our long history, but week by week we will also be explicitly aware of the contemporary applications of our historical study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structure of the Course

Readings

Weekly assignments are listed below.  Most will be available online, on the course site on CTools.

You should purchase one book (available at local bookstores or online): Richard P. Tucker and Edmund Russell, eds., Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2004).

You will find extensive additional bibliography on our new website: <environmentallegaciesofwar.com>

 

Writing Assignments

The semester grade will be based primarily on three take-home essays, on specific topics related to the three broad themes listed below.

Detailed instructions on the essays and additional short writing assignments will be posted on the CTools course site.

  1. Environmental correlates of warfare in the pre-industrial world (due February 4).

 

  1. Environmental impacts of wars of the 19th and 20th centuries, through World War II and its aftermath (due March 13).

 

  1. Wars, militarization and the environment since 1945 (due in exam period, late April)

 

Class Attendance

Attendance is not formally required, but it is expected.  Class sessions introduce a great deal of important material that is not included in readings, or that helps to clarify and integrate themes of the readings.  Relationships among the readings aren’t entirely clear without the addition of class sessions.  Put simply, your writing will lack breadth and integration (and your grade will sag) unless you incorporate material from class periods in your essays.

 

 

 

 

Topics and Readings

 

Warfare, Military Establishments and the Natural Environment: Contemporary Relevance

January 9: Introduction

Gary E. Machlis and Thor Hanson, “Warfare Ecology,” Bioscience 58:8 (September 2008), pp. 729-36.

Peter H. Gleick, “Environment and Security: The Clear Connections,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 47:3 (April 1991), pp. 16-21.

 

Long Historical Perspectives

January 14: Thematic Overviews

Joseph P. Hupy, “The Environmental Footprint of War,” Environment and History (2008), pp. 405-21.

Richard P. Tucker and Edmund Russell, eds., Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2004) [NENA], chaps. 1-2.

Lawrence Keeley, War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 25-39.

 

January 16: The Classical Mediterranean and Beyond: State Formation and Mobilizing Resources

J. Donald Hughes, “War and the Environment in the Ancient Mediterranean Lands,” unpublished paper at conference of American Society for Environmental History, 2009.

William H. McNeill, The Pursuit of Power (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), Preface & chap. 1

J. R. McNeill, “Woods and Warfare in World History,” Environmental History 9:3 (July 2004), pp. 388-410.

 

[January 21: No class – Martin Luther King Day]

 

 

Pre-Industrial Europe, Middle East and Asia

January 23: The Fertile Crescent from Ancient to Medieval Times

Edmund Burke III, “The Transformation of the Middle Eastern Environment, 1500 B.C.E.—2000 C.E.,” in Edmund Burke III and Kenneth Pomeranz, eds., The Environment and World History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), pp. 81-91.

Ira M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 37-45.

Peter Christensen, The Decline of Iranshahr (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1993), pp. 15-21, 67-75, 100-104, 247-53.

January 28: The Central Eurasian Steppes and Agro-Urban Civilizations

Denis Sinor, ed., The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 6-13, 29-40.

Denis Sinor, “Horse and Pasture in Inner Asian History,” in Sinor, Inner Asia and Its Contacts with Medieval Europe (London: Variorum, 1977), pp. 171-83.

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (New York: Touchstone, 1995), pp. 96-101.

January 30: Cases from Pre-Industrial China and India

Robert B. Marks, Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), chap. 4.

Stewart Gordon, “War, the Military and the Environment: Central India, 1560-1820,” in NENA, pp. 42-64.

February 4: First paper due

February 4: Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Damaging Ecosystems and Consuming Resources

Archer Jones, The Art of War in the Western World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 161-73.

C. T. Allmand, “The War and the Non-combatant,” in Kenneth Fowler, ed., The Hundred Years War (London: Macmillan & St. Martin’s Press, 1971), pp. 163-83.

Jurgen Brauer and Hubert van Tuyll, Castles, Battles and Bombs: How Economics Explains Military History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), pp. 49-72.

John Landers, “The Destructiveness of Pre-Industrial Warfare,” Journal of Peace Research (July 2005), pp. 455-70.

 

Western Europe and the World

February 6: Wars of Colonial Conquest  – The Americas

Stephen J. Pyne, Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 390-403.

R. Brian Ferguson and Neil L. Whitehead, “The Violent Edge of Empire,” in Ferguson and Whitehead, eds., War in the Tribal Zone: Expanding States and Indigenous Warfare (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1992), pp. 1-30.

Silvio R. Duncan Baretta and John Markoff, “Civilization and Barbarism: Cattle Frontiers in Latin America,” in Fernando Coronil and Julie Skurski, eds., States of Violence (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006), pp. 33-73.

 

February 11: Colonial Wars in Africa

Roger Levine, “’African Warfare in All Its Ferocity’: Changing Military Landscapes and Precolonial and Colonial Conflict in Southern Africa,” in NENA, pp. 65-92.

Thaddeus Sunseri, “Reinterpreting a Colonial Rebellion: Forestry and Social Control in German East Africa, 1874-1915,” Environmental History 8:3 (July 2003), pp. 430-51.

 

Nationalizing and Industrializing Warfare, 1789-1914

February 13: “Total War:” The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and Beyond

Jones, Art of War, pp. 353-67.

W. McNeill, Pursuit of Power, pp. 185-206.

Chris Pearson, Mobilizing Nature: The Environmental History of War and Militarization in Modern France (2012), pp. 38-64.

February 18: The American Civil War

Ted Steinberg, Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), chap. 6: “The Great Food Fight.”

Mark Fiege, “Gettysburg and the Organic Nature of the American Civil War,” in NENA, pp. 93-109.

Lisa M. Brady, “The Wilderness of War: Nature and Strategy in the American Civil War,” Environmental History 10:3 (July 2005), pp. 421-47.

 

World War I: Its Global Impacts and Its Legacy

February 20: Impacts of the War in Europe

Hugh Clout, After the Ruins: Restoring the Countryside of Northern France after the Great War (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1996), pp. 30-52.

Tait Keller, “The Mountains Roar: The Alps during the Great War,” Environmental History, 14:2 (April 2009), pp. 253-74.

Richard Tucker, “The World Wars and the Globalization of Timber Cutting,” in NENA, pp. 110-41.

Edmund Russell, “’Speaking of Annihilation’: Mobilizing for War Against Human and Insect Enemies, 1914-1945,” in NENA, pp. 142-74.

 

World War II

February 25: The War in Europe

J. R. McNeill and David S. Painter, “The Global Environmental Footprint of the U.S. Military, 1789-2003,” in Charles Closmann, ed., War and the Environment (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2009), chap. 2.

Chris Pearson, “’The Age of Wood:’ Fuel and Fighting in French Forests, 1940-1944,” Environmental History 11:4 (October 2006), pp. 775-803.

Simo Laakkonen, “War – An Ecological Alternative to Peace? Indirect Impacts of World War II on the Finnish Environment,” in NENA, pp. 175-94.

 

February 27: The War in Asia and the Pacific

Micah Muscolino, “Refugees, Land Reclamation, and Militarized Landscapes in Wartime China: Huanglonghshan, Shaanxi, 1937-45,” Journal of Asian Studies 69 (May 2010), pp. 453-78.

William Tsutsui, “Landscapes in the Dark Valley: Toward an Environmental History of Wartime Japan,” in NENA, pp. 195-216.

Judith A. Bennett, “Pests and Disease in the Pacific War: Crossing the Line,” in NENA, pp. 217-51.

 

[March 4:   Mid-winter break]

 

March 11: Militarization and Energy Resources in North America

Richard White, The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River (New York: Hill and Wang, 1995), chap. 3.

Gerald D. Nash, World War II and the West: Reshaping the Economy (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990), chaps. 2, 7.

Matthew Evenden, “Aluminum, Commodity Chains and the Environmental History of the Second World War,” Environmental History 16:1 (January 2011), pp. 69-93.

 

March 13: Second paper due

 

The Cold War: 1948-1990

 

March 13: Nuclear Weapons and Radioactive Pollution

Julius London and Gilbert F. White, eds., The Environmental Effects of Nuclear War (Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1984), pp. 1-17.

Glenn Zorpette, “Hanford’s Nuclear Wasteland,” Scientific American (May 1996), pp. 88-97.

Mark D. Merlin and Ricardo M. Gonzalez, “Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Testing in Remote Oceania, 1946-1996,” in McNeill and Unger, EHCW, pp. 167-202.

 

 

March 18: Militarization and Hydropower around Eurasia

Paul Josephson, “Rivers as Enemies of the People: Nature, the USSR and the Cold War,” in John R. McNeill and Corinna R. Unger, eds., Environmental Histories of the Cold War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), in McNeill and Unger, EHCW, pp. 21-49.

Richard Tucker, “American Strategic Interests and the Spread of High Dams in the Early Cold War, 1945-1960,” in McNeill and Unger, EHCW, pp. 139-63.

 

 

March 20: Environmental Movements and the Cold War [and Intl, Envtl and Mil Law]

Richard P. Tucker, “The International Environmental Movement and the Cold War,” in Richard H. Immerman and Petra Goedde, eds., Oxford Handbook on the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Jens Ivo Engels, “Modern Environmentalism,” in Frank Uekoetter, ed., The Turning Points in Environmental History (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), pp. 119-31.

Edmund Russell, “Nicking the Thin Edge of the Wedge … the Environmental Law of War,” Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 24:3 (2005), pp. 377-88.

 

Civil Wars, Cold War Surrogate Wars and Counter-Insurgency

March 25: The Ecological Legacy of the Vietnam War

David Biggs, “Managing a Rebel Landscape: Conservation, Pioneers, and the Revolutionary Past in the U Minh Forest, Vietnam,” Environmental History 10:3 (July 2005), pp. 448-76.

Arthur H. Westing, “Environmental Consequences of the Second Indochina War,” Ambio 4:5/6 (1975), pp. 216-22.

Richard Stone, “Agent Orange’s Bitter Harvest,” Science 315 (12 January 2007), pp. 176-79.

 

March 27: Environmental Impacts of Low-Intensity Wars in Latin America

Maria D. Alvarez, “Forests in the Time of Violence: Conservation Implications of the Colombian War,” in Steven V. Price, ed., War and Tropical Forests: Conservation in Areas of Armed Conflict (New York: Haworth Press, 2003), pp. 49-70.

Daniel Faber, Environment Under Fire: Imperialism and the Ecological Crisis in Central America (New York: Monthly Review Press 1993), pp. 191-221.

Bernard Nietschmann, “Conservation by Conflict in Nicaragua,” Natural History (November 1990), pp. 42-48.

 

April 1: Civil Wars in Africa

Asit K. Biswas and H. Cecilia Tortajada-Quiroz, “Environmental Impacts of the Rwandan Refugees on Zaire,” Ambio (Sep 1996), pp. 403-408.

Phia Steyn, “’(S)hell in Nigeria’: The Environmental Impact of Oil Politics in Ogoniland on Shell International,” in William G. Moseley and B. Ikubolajeh Logan, eds., African Environment and Development (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 213-28.

Emmanuel Kreike, “War and the Environmental Effects of Displacement in Southern Africa (1970s-1990s),” in Moseley and Logan, pp. 89-110.

 

April 3: Resource Wars

Michael T. Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict (New York: Henry Holt, 2001), chaps. 3, 9.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, “Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflict,” International Security 19:1 (Summer 1994), pp. 5-40.

Ian Bannon and Paul Collier, eds., Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Options and Actions (Washington: World Bank Press, 2003), pp. 1-16.

 

April 8: Water Wars? in the Middle East

Aaron T. Wolf, “’Hydrostrategic’ Territory in the Jordan Basin: Water, War, and Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations,” in Hussein A. Amery and Aaron T. Wolf, eds., Water in the Middle East: A Geography of Peace (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000), pp. 63-120.

Eugenia Ferragina, “The Effects of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on Water Resources in the Jordan River Basin,” Global Environment 2 (1980), pp. 153-70.

 

April 10: The Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

O. Linden and T. Husain, “Impact of Wars: The Gulf War, 1990-91,” in N. Y. Khan, M. Munawar and A.R.G. Price, eds., The Gulf Ecosystem: Health and Sustainability (Leiden: Backhuys, 2002), pp. 279-90.

Maxwell Cameron, Robert Lawson and Brian Tomlin, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Land Mines (Oxford University Press, 19998), pp. 1-19.

Anon., “Afghanistan Still Tops Landmine Casualty List: UN,” The Nation, January 13, 2009.

Dan Fahey, “The Emergence and Decline of the Debate over Depleted Uranium Munitions, 1991-2004,” unpublished paper at conference, “War and the Environment,” May 7, 2004.

 

April 15: War, Wildlife and the Loss of Biodiversity

Jeffrey McNeely, “War and Biodiversity: An Assessment of Impacts,” in Jay E. Austin and Carl E. Bruch, eds., The Environmental Consequences of War: Legal, Economic, and Scientific Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 353-78.

Greg Bankoff, “Of Beasts and Men: Animals and the Cold War in Eastern Asia,” in McNeill and Unger, EHCW, pp. 203-26.

Juichi Yamagiwa, “Bushmeat Poaching and the Conservation Crisis in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo,” in Price, War and Tropical Forests, pp. 115-35.

Kurk Dorsey, “Compromising on Conservation: World War II and American Leadership in Whaling Diplomacy,” in NENA, pp. 252-79.

 

The Military and the Environment: Contemporary Trends

April 17: Environmental Management in the American Military Establishment

Michael Renner, “Assessing the Military’s War on the Environment,” in Lester Brown, ed., State of the World 1991 (New York: Norton, 1991), pp. 132-52, 227-34.

Robert Durant, The Greening of the U.S. Military: Environmental Policy, National Security, and Organizational Change (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2007), pp. 40-51, 77-91.

 

April 22: The Greening of Other Nations’ Military Establishments

Peter Coates, Tim Cole, Marianna Dudley, and Chris Pearson, “Defending Nation, Defending Nature?  Militarized Landscapes and Military Environmentalism in Britain, France, and the United States,” Environmental History 16:3 (July 2011), pp. 456-491.

E. D’Souza, “The Potential of the Military in Environmental Protection: India,” Unasylva 46: 183 (1995), pp. 57-62

 

April 30                   Final paper due – 6 p.m.

 

 

 

,

War and the World: An Environmental History of Warfare

Created and taught by Martin G. Clemis

Course Description: This course examines the relationship between war and
the environment. It explores the ways in which armed conflict and collective
violence have shaped both the physical and the ideational world we inhabit.
Warfare has not only had a profound impact on the physical landscape, including
adverse ecological consequences and the creation of militarized spaces, it has
fashioned the world’s political, economic, religious, cultural, and ideological
character as well by creating, destroying, or altering political geographies such as
territories, borders, states, empires, and so on. This course will use theoretical
approaches and historical case studies to historicize the critical linkage between
war and the environment and underscore that the natural world is more than just
a setting for war; it is an active agent that is harnessed to serve material and
symbolic purposes.

Course Requirements / Assignments:
In order to receive a satisfactory grade in this course, students must complete
the following assignments:

1. Attendance / Course Engagement – This is a collaborative learning
course. What this means is that the student is the primary focus of
instruction, not the instructor. As a result, the course is not lecture-based
but is founded on class discussion and dialogue among students and the
instructor. Peer instruction, therefore, is a fundamental component of this
course. Critique, debate, and discussion of assigned readings and
additional outside material are vital to a healthy pedagogical environment.
Moreover, they are an important part of your grade. Good attendance is
also mandatory (you cannot participate in discussion or collaborate with
your peers if you aren’t here). Attendance is required and will be regularly
taken. I am well aware that missing a class may happen occasionally, but
regular absence will be noted and affect your class participation grade. As
this class meets only one day per week, any student missing more than
two classes will be in danger of failing.

2. Reading / Writing Assignments – Students are required to read,
discuss, and submit a one-page, single-spaced summary of the assigned
readings. Summaries for readings must be submitted via drop box through
Sakai. Summaries for readings that are assigned for days we meet in
class must be submitted on Monday. Summaries for readings that are
assigned online must be submitted on Friday. Students are also required
to research, read, and summarize one news article per week. The topic
must be related to environmental / military issues. The newspaper articles
will be discussed in class each week. No written summary is required but
bring the article and be prepared to talk about it each Monday.

3. Discussion – Students should be prepared to discuss the readings
assigned for Mondays and their outside news article in class. Students will
also be required to submit two blog entries on the readings that are
assigned online. At the beginning of each week I will present a set of
questions / observations on the readings that students will use as the
basis for their blog entries.

4. Research Paper – Students are required to create and submit an 8- to
10-page research paper for their final assignment. The paper must
identify and discuss an issue pertinent to war and the environment.
Students are permitted / encouraged to use either historical case studies
or current events for their topic. They are also encouraged to include
graphs, charts, photographs, and other visual material within the final
report. The paper must include at least five scholarly sources. A status
report must be given in-class each week.
Paper topics must be submitted by Monday, November 10 and a paper
prospectus (that includes topic and potential sources) submitted by Monday,
November 17. In-class presentations on papers will take place on Monday,
December 8. A final copy of the white paper must be submitted in pdf format
no later than Monday, December 15.

Grading – Grades will be based on the following percentages:
Course Engagement: 20%
Weekly Reading Writing Assignments: 30%
Final Paper: 50%

Required Texts:
 Charles E. Closmann, ed. War and the Environment: Military Destruction
in the Modern Age (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2009).
 Donovan Webster, Aftermath: The Remnants of War (New York: Vintage
Books, 1996).
 All additional readings on your syllabus are also required. These will
be available in pdf format on Sakai.

Course Schedule: The dates listed below are tentative and may change as the
semester progresses.
Week One: Military Footprints / Harnessing Nature for War
IN CLASS (10/27): Introduction
ONLINE: Readings:
o Closmann, Introduction, Chs. 1 & 2
Week Two: Weaponizing the Environment / Wartime Ecological
Destruction
IN CLASS (11/3): Readings:
o Closmann, Ch. 3 & 4
ONLINE: Readings:
o Reichberg, “Protecting the Environment in Wartime”
Week Three: Chemical Warfare – World War I & Vietnam /
Destruction & Reconstruction of Civilian Environments
IN CLASS (11/10): Readings:
o Webster, Ch. 4
o Fitzgerald, “Chemical Warfare and Medical Response during World War I”

ONLINE: Readings:
o Closmann, Ch. 9; Lachmund, “Exploring the City of Rubble: Botanical Fieldwork in Bombed
Cities in Germany after World War II”
Week Four: Ecological Impact of Atomic Testing / Militarized
Spaces – Military Geographies & Hallowed Ground
IN CLASS (11/17): Readings
o Webster, Ch. 3
o Jenks, “Model City USA: The Environmental Cost of Victory in World War II and the Cold War”
ONLINE: Readings:
o Closmann, Ch. 8
o Ebel, “Overseas Military Cemeteries as American Sacred Space”
Week Five: Geography of War: Mapping Ideational Spaces /
Insect & Disease Control
IN CLASS (11/24): Readings
o Denis Wood, “Maps Work by Serving Interests”
o Mamadouh, “Geography and War, Geographers and Peace”
ONLINE: Readings:
o Closmann, Ch. 6
o Edmund Russell, “Speaking of Annihilation”
Week Six: Resource Wars and Territorial Conflicts / Aftermath:
The Material Legacies and Ghosts of War
IN CLASS (12/1): Readings
o Le Billon, “The Geopolitical Economy of Resource Wars”
o Howard, “Peak Oil and Strategic Resource Wars”
o McDowell and Shirlow, “Geographies of Conflict and Post-Conflict in Northern Ireland”
ONLINE:
o Webster, Chs. 1 & 2
Week Seven: Wrap-Up / Conclusion
IN CLASS (12/8): Paper Presentations
*NOTE: Final Drafts of Research Papers Are Due by Midnight
Monday, December 15

,

Oil, War, and the History of our Energetic Era

Information on The Second World War and the Resource of the 20th Century

https://www.swwresearch.com/single-post/2017/12/15/The-Second-World-War-and-the-Resource-of-the-20th-Century-Oil-War-and-the-History-of-our-Energetic-Era

,

Digital History of the Wars of Dutch Independence

From Bob Tiegs’ site: The goal of these digital history projects is to provide a holistic account of the military inundations during the Dutch Wars of Independence.  Each project explores the floods from a different perspective.  The brief history offers an overview of the major events of the wars of independence and how the strategic floods fit into the rebel strategy.  The interactive map provides a visual account of the cities, villages, and locations which were affected by the inundations, which can be sorted according to natural vs military floods or according to specific sieges.  Once finished, the third project, living through the inundations will provide first-hand accounts of the motivations behind the inundations, and how they affected individuals.

Digital History

,

Who are the Zapatistas?

Schools for Chiapas

 

,

Enlace Zapatista

A resource on Zapatista history.

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/

Key documents include:

Revolutionary Agrarian Law

First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

 

,

The Environmental Justice Atlas

The EJ Atlas is a teaching, networking and advocacy resource. Strategists, activist organizers, scholars, and teachers will find many uses for the database, as well as citizens wanting to learn more about the often invisible conflicts taking place.

Visit The Atlas

,

Historians Reckon with History Being Made

Source: https://www.facebook.com/historiasparaloqueviene/

,

On the Banks of Doubt

A Orillas de duda

,

Nature and War Syllabus – Tait Keller

WWI Anniversary Project Begins to Gather Momentum

 

RHODES COLLEGE

SPRING 2011

NATURE AND WAR

HIST 374

 

Class Days: MWF 9 AM Classroom: Palmer Hall 205

Office Hours: MWF 10-12 and by appointmen

 

Course Description

Those who do not know the conditions of mountains and

forests, hazardous defiles, marshes and swamps,

cannot conduct the march of an army.

— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

This course investigates how wars have shaped the natural environment and how the natural environment has shaped war in the modern era. More than simply a look at the ravages of war on nature, this course considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. Wars fundamentally alter how societies use and allocate natural resources, such as land, energy sources, and water. Students will learn how to critically assess the ecological impact of war, as well as its societal and political repercussions.

 

Course Objectives

The learning objectives for the course are three-fold:

 The first objective is developing skills in expressing yourself in orally or in writing, with a focus on

improving your oral and written communication.

 The second objective is learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of

view, with a focus on sharpening higher level thinking skills.

 Learning about the complex relationship between the environment and warfare fulfills the third

objective, which is gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trend) and building your knowledge base.

 

Course Requirements

Grades in the course will be based on several components. The first is spirited participation in the discussions. The second component will be two analytical essays. The third is one film analysis. The forth is a midterm exam, and the last component will be your choice: either a final exam or a research paper on

any topic related to the environmental footprint of war that may interest you.

 

Attendance and Participation

The success of the course depends on your active participation. I expect you to come to class prepared, having done the assigned reading and eager to participate in the discussion. Active participation means raising useful questions, listening carefully to others, and making thoughtful points about the readings. Unexcused absences will negatively impact your final grade.

 

Analytical Essays

The two analytical essays will be based on the required readings and themes raised in class; no outside research is necessary. Questions and guidelines for each essay will be posted on moodle. The

essays will be 1300 words in length and double-spaced. In no event should your essay be longer than

1600 words; I look for cogency, not length. A writing style guide will be available on moodle to assist you when you proofread your papers. The essays are due at the beginning of class on the following dates: Monday, Feb. 14 and Monday, April 4.

 

Film Analysis

Movies have done much to shape our perceptions of war. For this assignment, you will be assigned a topic (for, example, the US Civil War) and write a 600-word analysis of a film on that topic. A list of

films is posted on moodle. If you would like to analyze a film not on that list, please first get my

approval. In your analysis, discuss how the film portrays the environment, what role the environment

 

plays in war, the ways in which war shapes nature, and your overall assessment of the film. Your analysis is due the week that corresponds to your film. If you analyze a film on the US Civil War, your essay is due the week that we cover the US Civil War in class.

 

Midterm Examination

The in-class exam will test your mastery of the course material. You are responsible for all material covered in the lectures, discussions, and assigned readings. The exam will be a combination of identifications, map questions, and essay questions. The exam will be held on Monday, Feb. 28.

 

Option: Final Exam or Research Paper

The final exam will be similar to the midterm in form. The exam will be held on Wednesday, May 4.

 

If you choose the paper option you will write a concise, literate, well-organized 3000-word research paper on any dimension of modern war and the environment. Additional guidelines for the paper will be posted on moodle. The paper will be due Wednesday, May 4. I ask that you meet with me at some point before the end of March to inform me of your decision.

 

 

 

 

Attendance and Participation 20%
Analytical Essays 30%
Film Analysis 10%
Midterm exam 15%
Final Exam/Research Paper 25%

 

The final grade for the class will be established as follows:
Grading Scale:

 

A   Outstanding

B    Above Average/Very Good

C    Average/Good

D   Below Average/Poor

F    Fail

 

 

 

A (93-100); A- (90-92); B+ (87-89); B (83-86); B- (80-82); C+ (77-79); C (73-76); C- (70-72) and so on. Any number below 60 will be marked as an F

 

*NOTE: All assignments must be completed to pass the course. Failure to complete any of the course requirements by Wednesday, May 4 may result in a final course grade of F.

 

Required Texts

 

Richard Tucker and Edmund Russell, eds., Natural Enemy, Natural Ally

 

Charles Closmann, ed., War and the Environment

 

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Donovan Webster, Aftermath Edmund Russell, War and Nature

Judith Shapiro, Mao’s War Against Nature

 

All of these titles are on sale at the bookstore and on reserve in the library. You can also find all these books used (read: much cheaper) at online bookstores, including addall.com, alibris.com, amazon.com, and half.com. You are welcome to read these books in any edition, condition, or language.

 

 

 

 

Many of the wars of this [20th] century were about oil, but the wars of the next century will be about water.

–Ismail Serageldin

Former World Bank Vice President

 

Course Policies – read these all carefully

 

Special Needs and Accommodations: I am strongly committed to accommodating students with disabilities, and ask your cooperation in making sure that I am aware of any such accommodation you might need. All accommodation requests are the responsibility of the student. For more information, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) to alert them of any needs you may have.

 

Food, Drink, Tobacco: Drink is permitted in my classroom, but food and tobacco products of all kinds are prohibited.

 

Moodle: All students in the class are automatically registered for this course on Moodle. When you log on to Moodle and access the site for this course, you will find all course materials, including this syllabus, readings, and guidelines for assignments.

 

Email: All email correspondence will be sent to your Rhodes email account. It is your responsibility to check this account regularly. Emails are not text messages. When writing me, I expect your emails to be professional.

 

Cell phones, Blackberries, ipods, and other such devices: Turn them off!

 

Honor Code: I believe in the College’s standards of academic honesty, and I enforce them vigorously and to the letter. Plagiarism and cheating are easy to detect; so are papers pulled off the internet. If I suspect that you have cheated or plagiarized another’s work, I will discuss this matter with you. If I am not satisfied, I will report your case to the Honor Council for due process. I always recommend failure for the course when I submit a file. The bottom line is this: do your own work. You are spending your time and money to be here and learn. Don’t waste either by plagiarizing or cheating.

 

A Word on Grading:

Papers will be evaluated on four main criteria: thesis, organization, evidence, and style. In general, a paper that does a very good job in each category is a ‘B’. A paper that almost does is a ‘B-’, and a paper that performs well in each category and goes beyond in one category is a ‘B+’. A paper that is satisfactory but weak in one or two categories is a ‘C’. A ‘D’ paper is weak in three or more categories, or omits one criterion completely. Papers without notes crediting sources and location quotations, paraphrases, and allusions will receive, at best, a grade of ‘D’. An ‘A’ range paper performs outstandingly well in each category, and achieves something extraordinary in two or more categories.

 

Remember that a grade does not reflect process (it does not measure whether you worked hard) and it certainly does not reflect a value judgment about you as a person. A grade constitutes an evaluation of the quality and analytical rigor of the thesis, organization, evidence, and style of a single piece of work.

 

I will be delighted to discuss your papers with you. Be advised however that grades, once assigned, are not subject to change. I also will not communicate grades over email or the telephone. The most important part of the grading process is not the grade, but the comments you will find on your papers when you pick them up.

 

I do not give “I” (incomplete) grades. Late work, except in documented cases of bereavement, major injury, or catastrophic illness, will suffer a substantial and progressive reduction in grade. Therefore, please plan ahead and do your work on time.

 

 

We [démineurs] still find live cannon balls from the Franco- Prussian War of 1870. There are lakes filled with toxic grenades from World War I. Every so often, a farmer in a tractor rolls over an anti-tank mine from World War II and poof, that’s it. These things are everywhere.

–Christian Gabardos

Département du Déminage

 

SCHEDULE OF TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS

(subject to change)

 

  Week/Topic             Day    Date        Lectures, Discussions, Readings, and Papers                                        

 

WEEK 1:

Surveying the

Wed

Fri

Jan 12

Jan 14

Taking Aim

Enemies and Allies

Terrain Readings: Tucker and Russell, “Introduction,” and “The Impact of Warfare on the

Natural World”

Closmann, “Landscapes of Peace, Environments of War”

 

WEEK 2:

Militaries and

Mon

Wed

Jan 17

Jan 19

No class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Disease and War

Microbes Fri Jan 21 Discussion: Revolutionary Pathogens
Readings: Elizabeth Fenn, Pox Americana, “Vigilance” and “Surrender”

John McNeill, Mosquito Empires, ch.6

 

WEEK 3:

Fighting over

Mon

Wed

Jan 24

Jan 26

The Organic Nature of War

Nourishing Armies

Familiar Territory Fri Jan 28 Discussion: A World Properly Put Together
Readings: Tucker and Russell, “Gettysburg and the Organic Nature of the American

Civil War”

 

Lisa M. Brady, “The Wilderness of War,” Environmental History (2005)

John Summers, “Gettysburg Regress,” The New Republic (2009)

 

WEEK 4:

Imperial

Mon

Wed

Jan 31

Feb 2

The Ecology of Empire

Belgium’s Leopold and Congo’s Rubber

Landscapes Fri Feb 4 Discussion: Nature, Culture, and Human Nature
Readings: Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Closmann, “Wood for War”

Tucker and Russell, “War, the Military, and the Environment: Central

India” and “African Warfare in All Its Ferocity”

 

WEEK 5:

Mud, Blood, and

Mon

Wed

Feb 7

Feb 9

Oh! What a Lovely War

Energy Extraction

Trenches Fri Feb 11 Discussion: Fueling Conflict
Readings: Closmann, “Environments of Death”

Russell, chs.1-3

The 10th and 20th Forestry Engineers of World War I Browse: Western Front Photography –  Fields of Battle

 

WEEK 6:

Repairing

Mon

Wed

Feb 14

Feb 16

Conservation and Reconstruction        FIRST PAPER DUE

Industrial Legacies

the Land Fri Feb 18 Discussion: Farms and Forests
Readings: Webster, ch.1

Tucker and Russell, “The Two World Wars and the Globalization of

Timber Cutting”

A. Joshua West, “Forests and National Security,” Environmental History

(2003)

 

 

WEEK 7:

Total War,

Mon

Wed

Feb 21

Feb 23

The World at War…Again

The Wastes of War

Wretched Earth Fri Feb 25 Discussion: Nature on the Homefront
Readings: Russell, chs.6-7

Closmann, “Creating the Natural Fortress”

Tucker and Russell, “War—And Ecological Alternative to Peace?” and

“Landscapes in the Dark Valley”

Micah S. Muscolino, “Refugees, Land Reclamation, and Militarized

Landscapes in Wartime China: Huanglongshan, Shaanxi, 1937–

45,” The Journal of Asian Studies (2010)

 

WEEK 8:

Splitting

Mon

Wed

Feb 28

Mar 2

Midterm Exam

The Manhattan Project

the Atom Fri Mar 4 Documentary: White Light/Black Rain

 

WEEK 9:

Cold War

Mon

Wed

Mar 7

Mar 9

Armaments and the Environment

Film: Arid Lands

Hot Waste Fri Mar 11 Discussion: Fears of Fallout
Readings: Webster, ch.3

Jacob Hamblin, “A Global Contamination Zone,” in Environmental

Histories of the Cold War

Valerie Kuletz, “Invisible Spaces, Violent Places: Cold War Nuclear and

Militarized Landscapes,” in Violent Environments

Browse: Nevada Test Site Oral History Project

 

March 14-18: Spring Break!

 

WEEK 10:

Collectivize

Mon

Wed

Mar 21

Mar 23

The Military-Industrial Complex

Communist Ecologies

Nature Fri Mar 25 Discussion: Cold War Climates
Readings: Shapiro, chs.1-2, 4

 Pre si dent  Eise nhower’ s  Farewel l  Speech,  1961

Paul Josephson, “War on Nature as Part of the Cold War” in

Environmental Histories of the Cold War

 

WEEK 11:

Chemical

Mon

Wed

Mar 28

Mar 30

Jungles and Tunnels

Agent Orange

Landscapes Fri Apr1 Discussion: Chemical Morality
Readings: Webster, ch.4

Russell, chs.10-12

Alastair Hay, “Defoliants: the long-term health implications,” in The

Environmental Consequences of War

Tom Mangold and John Penycate, The Tunnels of Cu Chi, chs.1, 5, 6, 11

 

WEEK 12:

Burning Deserts

Mon   Apr 4      Persian Sands—Scarred Lands             SECOND PAPER DUE

Wed   Apr 6      Film: Lessons of Darkness

Fri      Apr 8      Discussion: For Want of Oil

 

Readings:   Webster, ch.5

Joel Kovel, “The Ecological Implications of the Iraq War,” Capitalism

Nature Socialism (2005)

Samira A.S. Omar, et al., “The Gulf War Impact on the Terrestrial

Environment of Kuwait: an Overview,” in The Environmental

Consequences of War

 

 

WEEK 13:

Necessities and

Mon

Wed

Apr 11

Apr 13

Insurgent Environments

The Highlife: Cocaine and Diamonds

Luxuries Fri Apr 15 Class Cancelled – with my apologies
Readings: Michael Watts, “Petro-Violence,” in Violent Environments

Thomas Homer-Dixon, “Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflict,”

International Security (1994)

Michael Ross, “What Do We Know About Natural Resources and Civil

War,” Journal of Peace Research (2004)

James Fairhead, “International Dimensions of Conflict over Natural and

Environmental Resources,” in Violent Environments

 

 

WEEK 14:

War and Wildlife

Mon   Apr 18    Animals and Armed Conflict

Wed   Apr 20    Discussion: Gunpoint Conservation

 

Readings:   Thor Hansen, et al., “Warfare in Biodiversity Hotspots,” Conservation

Biology (2009)

Jeffrey McNeely, “War and biodiversity: an assessment of impacts,” in

The Environmental Consequences of War

Bernard Nietschmann, “Conservation by Conflict in Nicaragua,” Natural

History (November 1990), pp. 42-48

Charles Wood and Marianne Schmink, “The Military and the Environment in the Brazilian Amazon,” Journal of Political and Military Sociology (1993)

 

 

April 21-24: Easter Break!

 

WEEK 15:

Imagined

Mon

Wed

Apr 25

Apr 27

Sustainable Military Ecologies

An Environmental Path to Peace?

Futures Readings: Gregory Reichberg and Henrik Syse, “Protecting the Natural Environment in Wartime: Ethical Considerations from the Just War Tradition,” Journal of Peace Research 37.4 (2000): 449-468

Silja Vöneky, “Peacetime Environmental Law as a Basis of State

Responsibility for Environmental Damage Caused by War,” in

The Environmental Consequences of War

Browse: Army Environmental Policy Institute

 

FINAL EXAM Wednesday, May4

8:30 AM