Environmental History of Modern Migrations  book cover
1st Edition

Environmental History of Modern Migrations

ISBN 9780367172626
Published January 17, 2019 by Routledge
215 Pages

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Book Description

In the age of climate change, the possibility that dramatic environmental transformations might cause the dislocation of millions of people has become not only a matter for scientific speculation or science-fiction narratives, but the object of strategic planning and military analysis.

Environmental History of Modern Migrations offers a worldwide perspective on the history of migrations throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and provides an opportunity to reflect on the global ecological transformations and developments which have occurred throughout the last few centuries. With a primary focus on the environment/migration nexus, this book advocates that global environmental changes are not distinct from global social transformations. Instead, it offers a progressive method of combining environmental and social history, which manages to both encompass and transcend current approaches to environmental justice issues.

This edited collection will be of great interest to students and practitioners of environmental history and migration studies, as well as those with an interest in history and sociology.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors

Introduction: migrants in environmental history

Marco Armiero and Richard Tucker

Part I

Changing natures

1 Waves of migration: settlement and creation of the Hawaiian environment
Carol MacLennan

2 European immigration and changes in the landscape of southern Brazil
Eunice Sueli Nodari and Miguel Mundstock Xavier de Carvalho

3 Migrants and the making of the American landscape
Marco Armiero

4 Making the land Russian? Migration, settlement, and environment in the Russian Far East, 1860–1914
Mark Sokolsky

5 Coal lives: body, work and memory among Italian miners in Wallonia, Belgium
Daniele Valisena and Marco Armiero

Part II

Racializing natures

6 Riotous environments: Filipino immigrants in the fields of California
Linda L. Ivey

7 Creating the threatening "others": environment, Chinese immigrants and racist discourse in colonial Australia
Fei Sheng

8 Nativist politics and environmental privilege: ecological and cultural conflicts concerning Latin American migration to the United States
David Naguib Pellow and Lisa Sun-Hee Park

Part III

Naturalising causes

9 Environmental degradation as a cause of migration: cautionary tales from Brazil
Angus Wright

10 The ecological and social vulnerability of the Three Gorges resettlement area in China, 1992–2012
Ying Xing

11 Archaeologies of the future: tracing the lineage of contemporary discourses on the climate–migration nexus
Giovanni Bettini


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Marco Armiero is Director of the Environmental Humanities Laboratory at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where he is also Associate Professor of Environmental History He is the author of A Rugged Nation. Mountains and the Making of Modern Italy (2011) and co-editor of A History of Environmentalism. Local Stories, Global Struggles (2014) and Nature and History in Modern Italy (2010). Armiero is a senior editor of Capitalism Nature Socialism and Environmental Humanities.

Richard Tucker is Adjunct Professor in the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, USA His earlier publications addressed the history of environmental change in the colonial and tropical world, including Insatiable Appetite: The United States and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World (2000) and A Forest History of India (2010). His recent work addresses the environmental history of warfare.He is author of numerous essays and co-editor of several multi-author books on the subject, including Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War (2004).



"At last, a careful look at the linkages between migration and environmental change in modern history! With an admirably international set of authors, this collection ranges far and wide, both geographically and conceptually. It should be a landmark in both global environmental history and the history of migration."J.R. McNeill, Georgetown University, USA

"All too often, studies that claim to be ground-breaking fail to live up to the brag. This stimulating and very timely collection of essays exploring the multiple and complex connections between human migration and biophysical environments represents a refreshing exception. In a study that is politically committed to the cause of socio-environmental justice as well as intellectually innovative, the authors engage with key notions such as corporeal ecology, environmental nativism, nativist environmentalism and the environmental refugee/migrant. Editors Marco Armiero and Richard Tucker, who remind us that ‘migrants are themselves nature on the move’, are to be congratulated for launching a new research area within environmental history of urgent contemporary importance internationally."Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK

"This innovative and timely volume will surely change the way we think about the history of immigration. As these essays show, modern migrations are not only a social and political processes; they also have important environmental dimensions. Covering a wide geographic range—from Polynesia to Siberia, from Brazil to China, the authors lay the groundwork for a new research agenda."Linda Nash, University of Washington, USA

"The editors have assembled an innovative group of contributors who challenge scholars of migration and environmental studies to develop a new analytical lens—one that posits mobile humans as part of nature and nature as constitutive of mobile cultures and societies. A must-read."Donna Gabaccia, University of Toronto, Canada