Original Research

Environmental history and sustainable cultural dynamics

J.W.N. Tempelhoff
New Contree | Vol 50 | a439 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/nc.v50i0.439 | © 2024 J.W.N. Tempelhoff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 February 2024 | Published: 30 November 2005

About the author(s)

J.W.N. Tempelhoff, Department of History, North-West University, South Africa

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Abstract

A notable sophistication has taken place in the field of environmental history, as a result of the endeavours of historians in the United States of America, Britain and Europe in recent years. In the article a number of trends are considered. Attention is given to the conceptualization of environmental history, nature, culture, dynamics and sustainability. Reference is made to global environmental history, as a result of its growing significance. Then more detailed attention is given to cultural environmental history. Historiographically the focus is on the United States of America and Britain where some of the definitive work in the field of environmental history has taken place. In the final section of the study cursory attention is also given to the development of the discipline in Africa and Southern Africa. “Wenn Menschen einer bestimmten Zeit ihre eigene Natur und die Natur um sie herum in bestimmter Weise wahrnehmen, so heist das nicht dass diese Art der Wahrnehmung willkürlich ware. Natur-Konstrukte sind nur dann von Dauer, wenn sie nützliche Erfahrungen enthalten. Wo der pure Konstruktivismus die Naturdiskussion in einem ahistorischen Milieu immer wieder an einen toten Punkt manövriert, beginnt für den Historiker das Nachdenken über die historisierte Natur.”

Keywords

evironmental history; cultural dynamics; Africa and Southern Africa

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