Reply To: Mon 17 March: Greece and Revisionist Environmental History

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History Mon 17 March: Greece and Revisionist Environmental History Reply To: Mon 17 March: Greece and Revisionist Environmental History

Author Replies # Posted on March 19, 2014 at 13:38

Responose to Joshi Mirabel’s reflection, Yaqi Fu

Thanks very much for your thoughtful reflection.

I saw in your reflection you are thinking about how to combine historical perspective with environmental issues. This is also an important issue for me. Improper ideas and misconceptions of the environment, which will mislead our solutions to environmental problems, however, are quite common in today’s scholarship. I agree with you that Rackham’s concept of pseudo-ecology is a good tool in explaining the formation of worldviews in macro scope where different understandings and narratives coexisted. In micro scope, the concept of pseudo-ecology will also help us find and solve specific problems. We need to be cautious not to make a pseudo-ecology by putting our subjectivity too much in our research. You mentioned a phenomenon pointed by Rackham that “most often the history of the landscape is not sprung from ‘reading’ the landscape but from reading a book”. In this sense I totally agree with you that this is not enough. We need to combine literature with the practical reading of landscape. I think it’s a big challenge for our environmental history.

I am interested in the question you pointed: “in what sense”, when doing historical research. I agree with you on that this is an important issue we need to pay special attention to and keep clear in our mind; otherwise we may unconsciously go beyond our sense, our scale, and even join in the troop of making pseudo-ecology. From my understanding, “in what sense”, moreover, is a higher standard because it requires us to be honest to what we know and what we do not, and know where we need to stop.