Centre for World Environmental History

Podcasts and Videos

The Sugarcane Scientist

Episode 2 features the interesting Dr Vinita Damodaran, where we discuss the mysterious botanist Janaki Ammal. Why is she mysterious? Well, it's only because she was so well known in her time and then her name just vanished somewhere along the way! 

Perhaps her innovative spirit would revive interest in healing the Indian eco-system, if she were to be on the rupee?The content

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Hidden histories of science; Ammal, Darlington, Haldane, and India, 1930-1960

The twentieth century was a period which saw debates on ecology, cytology, genetics and eugenics in the West develop in new and interesting ways both positive and negative to understand the position of humans within the natural world.

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Mangrove School TAPESTRY Project

This short video shows snapshots from two visual methods used in the TAPESTRY project.

The first is the ‘Photovoice’ process used with groups of women in the Sundarbans. Photovoice provides a space for people to take photographs and create narratives about their everyday life. The process is helped by a facilitator, and involves group discussions to plan, as well as to reflect on the images and stories that are created.

For the TAPESTRY project, this method is important because it explores the perceptions of people who face uncertainties, in contrast to the viewpoints of experts or official agencies. The things and changes that people observe around them can often be missed by outsiders.

The film also includes glimpses from an art project with young people in schools, which explores responses to uncertainty and anxieties, including around climate change and environmental disasters. In the process of creating the art, the young people are encouraged to reflect on their feelings and responses to the uncertainties they face.

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The Political Environment

Elly Robson looks ahead to a new series of articles and podcasts on The Political Environment in History Workshop Journal. These articles explore two claims. First, they show that environmental change is political. As individuals and societies, we are never simply victims of necessity or nature, but – at various scales – make choices about how we use resources and respond to new risks. Secondly, this series illuminates the importance of understanding environments as historical. Environments have been products and producers of human action over time.

This series will include a podcast interview with Vinita Damodaran

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Hello Anthropocene! Goodbye Environmental History

Rohan D’SOUZA (Univ. de Kyoto) Moderator: Gonçalo Santos (CIAS / Sci-Tech Asia / University of Coimbra) (ENG)

The human in the Anthropocene is a geological force. Put differently, in the epoch of the Anthropocene the human is folded into Nature: possessing now a planetary scale impact equivalent to a massive meteorite, super volcanoes or huge tectonic shifts. That is, through unchecked carbon emissions leading to catastrophic global warming, we, as a species, are potentially poised to effect a sixth planetary extinction. Environmental history, on the other hand, presumed a biological human, who was constantly abrading against geography and ecological limits. Environmental history, however, interpreted and informed human agency and will. It carried lessons for sustainability and assembled ideologies for hope. In contrast, Nature is blind and if the human in the Anthropocene merges with geological time, who or what possesses the agency to save planetary life?

Watch on YouTube (particularly from 31.37)

2 July 2021

Book Launch: The Light of Asia, by Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh and Peter Heehs

26 March 2021

Climate Justice Week

Deforestation - Mining - Climate Change: The Saranda Forest in Jharkand and Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha

Vinita Damodaran & Zuky Serper

23 March 2021

Climate Justice Week

Rainforest Restoration in Reserva Tesoro Escondido, Ecuador

Citlalli Morelos-Juarez & Mika Peck

2 - 4 March 2021

Botany, Trade and Empire

Vinita Damodoran