Environmental History of Modern Migrations: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental History of Modern Migrations

1st Edition

Edited by Marco Armiero, Richard Tucker


215 pages

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Paperback: 9780367172626
pub: 2019-01-17
Hardback: 9781138843172
pub: 2017-05-16
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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.


"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

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


About the Editors

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).

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan ([email protected]), to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy