Reply To: September 22: Sverker Sörlin's History is a Nightmare

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History September 22: Sverker Sörlin's History is a Nightmare Reply To: September 22: Sverker Sörlin's History is a Nightmare

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gaoyongliang@yahoo.com # Posted on September 23, 2014 at 20:47

Reply to Nisa by Yongliang Gao

First of all, apology accepted, haha. But don’t get me wrong; your reflection is not bad since you are the only writer and reader (nobody takes it seriously including me, haha), so take it like chitchat, no big deal, as long as you have points and ideas to reflect, no matter how clumsy they might look like.

There is no need to feel jumbled because what we discussed at the seminar was basically the political momentum just like you mentioned; but what Sorlin talked in his lecture was mainly the movement and methodology of environmental history as a discipline. Despite there exists some sort of connection between our discussion and Sorlin’s lecture, you are not alone who get confused if you feel hard to ravel it out, because I bet Sorlin himself would also fail in coming up with a proper answer, since this is not a yes-or-no question.

Your thesis topic “the possibilities of classless cities and the viability of socialist urban planning policies” is super chanting to me as it is literally so utopian and I’m wondering how you are gonna proceed it. I hope we can save it to our fika talk.

Besides, I like the saying “Maybe it is the fault of historiography itself that neglected for too long some crucial drivers of change and consequently physical geographers, ecologists and economists filled heir shoes so to speak, that contemporary environmental humanities are dominated by scientist discourses (scientist histories, Anthropocene etc.)” It is absolutely an unspoken truth, but I wonder if historiography envisages those scientific methods, will it still be the same situation or even worse? You know what, last Friday when I chatted with my friend in the city center; an old Swedish man came to us and asked me what do I study at Uppsala University? I said global environmental history. Then he said “you should change to a subject that the society really needs”. I was awkward and tried to convince him that judgment is unnecessarily true, but I didn’t because even if I can list hundreds of reasons to debunk his biased judgment, I can never change the whole society. So just let it be. I would say history or any other disciplines under the Arts faculty would never dominate any Sciences disciplines because that’s just the way it is and that’s how academia is allocated in terms of equipment, funding, and popularity.

This is my reply, see, it’s worse than your reply, and I’m not gonna apologize to you Philosopher Nisa, haha.