WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environment and History

Contents of Volume 20

Other volumes of E&H

Environment and History

Not by Human Hands: Five Technological Tenets for Environmental History in the Anthropocene

Dolly Jørgensen

Environment and History 20 (2014): 479-489. doi: 10.3197/096734014X14091313617163

Technologies in the hands of humans have turned humans into a force of nature. Environmental historians have increasingly recognised the value of history of technology to explain many environmental changes. Scholarship at the environment-technology junction, deploying ideas developed with the framework of Science and Technology Studies (STS), has revealed the usefulness of seeing the whole constellation of science, technology, and environment as simultaneously human-made. Based on recent work at the intersection of history of technology and environment, I propose five technological tenets about human interaction with nonhuman living beings that should be adopted as central elements of environmental history. The tenets demand that historians break down conceptual barriers between artefacts and animals: animals and plants are themselves technologies; technologies provide means of controlling other living beings; technologies mediate our knowledge of animals; technologies affect our valuation of other living creatures; and technology is part of the ecosystem.

KEYWORDS: Animals, history of technology, Science and Technology Studies, technological artefacts

Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environment and History.
Reprints of this article can be ordered from the British Library

Contact the publishers for subscriptions and back numbers of Environment and History.

Other papers in this volume

The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222