Reply To: 9. Sep 22nd – Mentorship in environmental history: case studies

Start Forums Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History 2015 9. Sep 22nd – Mentorship in environmental history: case studies Reply To: 9. Sep 22nd – Mentorship in environmental history: case studies

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Fanny # Posted on October 1, 2015 at 10:02

Tuesday the 22th September had I the privilege to mentor students taking a course named ‘Global miljöhistoria’(direct translation to English Global environmental history). A course organised and given by CEMUS. This course is a part of the 30 credit course called Sustainable Development A. Which I took some years ago.

To put things in context. Why where we, master students of GEH, asked to mentor these students? Before summer had we a sections in Current debate where our task was to come up with one case study or subject interesting to look at with a historical environmental perspective for undergraduate students. I wrote a suggestions about the environmental movement and if/how is has been affected by history.

This Tuesday was it time for the students of ‘Global miljöhistoria’ to work with this case studies from us GEH students. Some of the goals with this exercise, I imagine, were for the CEMUS students to dig deeper into cases, do a historical reflection and present their work to the rest of class. It was also meant to integrate master students and undergraduate student with each other, to open up for exchange of ideas, experience and knowledge. It was also a good way for us GEH to formulate a case study and write down clear constructions. A nice task both for us and the CEMUS students. I think this current debate section was one of the most fun and interesting parts of the whole course!

Back to the actual day. It started with a short presentation of us from GEH. We told our names and the topic of our thesis. I guess this was to give the students an idea of what a master thesis can be about and for them to get a hint on who we where and our personal interest.
After that did we go to Geocentrum, to start “mingle” around with the different student groups. One of the groups had chosen “my” environmental movement case(FUN!) and they asked me to sit with them.

The people/students I sat with were lovely, but they hadn’t come far in their working progress. They explained that this was the second time they worked with the case and they felt a bit unprepared and “lost”. The hardest thing, they told me, was to find something to focus on. The most of the time did we talk and discuss different issues/happenings/things for them to write about, and how to narrow down the topic. We discussed; different historical events, such as the green wave in the 60s, COP15 in Copenhagen and the failure of the negotiation and the “death” of the climate movement afterwards; we chatted about different organisations like Greenpeace, 350.org and WWF. We talked around Swedish propaganda for DDT and how to handle waste when your travel with boats/common sense on sea.

Hopefully did they got some ideas after our chat. A lesson for me to take with, or a thing a would have done different, is that I could have been more concrete when I made the case study. Or pointed out examples or things they could have used in the case. At the same time was my purpose to give the students a broad perspective/suggestion, I didn’t want to affect or steer them to much.