1. Climate change is upon us, and our understanding of the ecological worlds we inhabit is being profoundly unsettled. To the list of concerns about pollution, deforestation, wildlife extermination, and biodiversity loss, we must add our anxieties about global warming. As a distinct stream within the larger field of environmental history, EHSA has been both a robust contributor to debates about ecological change as well as marking a strikingly different voice in terms of what culturally specific ideas of Nature have meant for political and environmental histories of South Asia. My claim is that to remain a viable project, EHSA must radically revise several of its given assumptions: Nature, global environmentalism, agency and the politics about the future. This masterclass will initiate a discussion about this and analyze the role of history writing in enabling environmentalism.
2. The second set of conversations this masterclass hopes to initiate is whether environmental history serves as the main divide in the political messaging that was outlined in two widely celebrated documentaries on climates change: “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006) and “Before the Flood” (2016).