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At Nature's Edge: The Global Present and Long-Term History

Gunnel Cederlof (Editor) Mahesh Rangarajan (Editor)

In an epoch when environmental issues make the headlines, this is a work that goes beyond the everyday. Ecologies as diverse as the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean coast, the Negev desert and the former military bases of Vietnam, or the Namib desert and the east African savannah all have in common a long-time human presence and the many ways people have modified nature. With research covering countries from Asia, Africa, and Australia, the authors come together to ask how and why human impacts on nature have grown in scale and pace from a long pre-history.

The chapters in this volume illumine specific patterns and responses across time, going beyond an overt centring of the European experience. The tapestry of life and the human reshaping of environments evoke both concern and hope, making it vital to understand when, why, and how we came to this particular turn in the road. Eschewing easy labels and questioning eurocentrism in today’s climate vocabulary, this is a volume that will stimulate rethinking among scholars and citizens alike.

Contents: The Global Present and Long-Term Perspectives on Nature and History: An Introduction/Gunnel Cederlof and Mahesh Rangarajan. 1. Provincializing the Anthropocene: Eurocentrism in the Earth System/Kathleen D. Morrison. 2. Anthropogenic Landscapes of the Central Himalayas/Vasudha Pande. 3. Wild Children/Michael Adams. 4. A Historical Ecology of Cattle in Mozambique/Anneli Ekblom. 5. Wild Beasts in the City/Harini Nagendra. 6. History Eats Its Young: The Perils of Short-Termism in Understanding the Past/Sandra Swart. 7. Going, Going, Gone: A History of Israel’s Biodiversity/Alon Tal. 8. History and the Militarized Landscape: Long Historical and Broad Social Views/David Biggs. 9. ‘Natural’ No More? Delhi’s Yamuna River/Ravi Agarwal. 10. South Asia’s Coastal Frontiers/Sunil Amrith. 11. Narratives from Indian Seas: Marine Resource Use, Ecosystem Responses, and the Accidents of History/Rohan Arthur. 12. Expanding Nature Conservation: Considering Wide Landscapes and Deep Histories/T.R. Shankar Raman. Bibliography. Index.

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About the authors

Gunnel Cederlof

Gunnel Cederlof is Associate Professor of History, Uppsala University, Swedan.

Mahesh Rangarajan

Mahesh Rangarajan is Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, and former Professor of Modern History, University of Delhi. An environmental historian, he has also been a political analyst and has written extensively on conservation issues. He has also taught at Cornell University, New York; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; and at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru.

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Bibliographic information

Title At Nature's Edge: The Global Present and Long-Term History
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.11.2018
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199489077
length 376p.