Human/Nature: Biology, Culture, and Environmental History

Overview

This essay collection explores the concept of human nature and how it influences human perceptions of nature or the environment. Historians and other writers have tended to assume that all humans share specific basic responses to the natural environment. Over time, interpretations of human nature have ranged from rigid biological determinism to subtle and fluid evolutionary ecology. The authors open interpretive doors into how biology, sociobiology, gender, race, culture, society, and other variables shape human ...

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Overview

This essay collection explores the concept of human nature and how it influences human perceptions of nature or the environment. Historians and other writers have tended to assume that all humans share specific basic responses to the natural environment. Over time, interpretations of human nature have ranged from rigid biological determinism to subtle and fluid evolutionary ecology. The authors open interpretive doors into how biology, sociobiology, gender, race, culture, society, and other variables shape human discourse on nature and the environment.

These essays were first delivered at the New Mexico Environmental Symposium held at the University of New Mexico in April 1996. In addition to the volume editors, contributors are Dan Flores, Virginia Scharff, Vera Norwood, Max Oelschlaeger, William deBuys, and Paul Hirt. Carolyn Merchant and Timothy Moy have penned respectively the foreword and afterword.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826319166
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1999
  • Pages: 162
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John P. Herron teaches history at the Universiy of Missouri, Kansas City.

Andrew G. Kirk is a visiting professor in the Department of History at Syracuse University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction 1
Pt. I Biology and Culture
1 Nature's Children: Environmental History as Human Natural History 11
2 Man and Nature! Sex Secrets of Environmental History 31
3 Constructing Gender in Nature: Bird Society Through the Eyes of John Burroughs and Florence Merriam Bailey 49
4 Re-placing History, Naturalizing Culture 63
Pt. II Human/Nature Stories
5 St. Francis in the Low Post, or, Sustainable Development and the Nature of Environmental Stories 79
6 We Were Born to It: Native Americans, Fire, and Environmental Cultural Continuity 91
7 Dupes, Conspirators, Truth Seekers, and Other Breeds: A Typology of the Human Animal in Environmental History Narratives 105
8 Human Nature in the Vault 121
Afterword: A View from Across the Hall: Problems of Delineation and Value in Nature and Human Nature 135
Contributors 147
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