By David Harris and Daniel Rothenburg
Here is the latest publication round-up of our membership for your reading pleasure. We were impressed with the vitality of the scholarship, the range of ideas and the breadth of topics covered.
Previous round-ups have generally relied on notifications from authors about new publications. Now that the task of collecting the information is shared between the two of us, we had the time to be more proactive and thoroughly research the output of members from the far reaches of the internet. We were fascinated with what we found and we hope you find it as enlightening and interesting as we did.
Our next round-up is due to published in July 2022.
Nick Hopwood, Staffan Müller-Wille, Janet Browne, Shigehisa Kuriyama, Maaike van der Lugt, Guido Giglioni, Lynn K. Nyhart, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Ariane Dröscher, Warwick Anderson, Peder Anker, et al (2021). Cycles and Circulation: A Theme in the History of Biology and Medicine; in: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3) pp. 1-39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-021-00425-3.
“We invite systematic consideration of the metaphors of cycles and circulation as a long-term theme in the history of the life and environmental sciences and medicine. Ubiquitous in ancient religious and philosophical traditions, especially in representing the seasons and the motions of celestial bodies, circles once symbolized perfection. Over the centuries cyclic images in western medicine, natural philosophy, natural history and eventually biology gained independence from cosmology and theology and came to depend less on strictly circular forms. As potent ‘canonical icons’, cycles also interacted with representations of linear and irreversible change, including arrows, arcs, scales, series and trees, as in theories of the Earth and of evolution. In modern times life cycles and reproductive cycles have often been held to characterize life, in some cases especially female life, while human efforts selectively to foster and disrupt these cycles have harnessed their productivity in medicine and agriculture. But strong cyclic metaphors have continued to link physiology and climatology, medicine and economics, and biology and manufacturing, notably through the relations between land, food and population. From the grand nineteenth-century transformations of matter to systems ecology, the circulation of molecules through organic and inorganic compartments has posed the problem of maintaining identity in the face of flux and highlights the seductive ability of cyclic schemes to imply closure where no original state was in fact restored. More concerted attention to cycles and circulation will enrich analyses of the power of metaphors to naturalize understandings of life and their shaping by practical interests and political imaginations.“
Warwick Anderson (2021). Decolonizing the Foundation of Tropical Architecture; in: ABE Journal 18 pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.4000/abe.9215.
“There had long been architecture in the tropics, and then there was ‘tropical architecture.’ As a conjuncture of modern architecture or international style and late-colonial developmentalism, formal tropical architecture flourished after World War II in West Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. The obvious, though usually neglected, antecedents could be found in the settler colonial tropics, especially in northern Australia and parts of Latin America. ‘The matter of tropical architecture has always been a subject of discussion in North Queensland,’ observed an Australian reporter in 1898. The goal then was to aid those deemed ‘white’ in efforts to acclimatize to the supposedly depleting tropical environment. Through stipulation of diet, clothing, physical activity, and housing, whites might achieve comfort in a place allegedly deleterious to their race. In late-colonial developmental projects, mostly after World War II, these racialized medical schemes for ensuring thermal comfort and labour productivity, predicated on disciplining white bodies and social relations, were further extended to reform the ‘coloured’ colonized too. Thus, while the new tropical architecture could be envisaged as a strategy associated with formal decolonization, it was also, like other development programs, a means of disciplining and managing subject populations, mobilizing and inserting them into the lower levels of global capitalism. Making people comfortable in the tropics, as Hannah Le Roux and others have argued, was closely allied with making tropical populations submissive and productive.”
Zachary Provant, Evan Elderbrock, Andrea Willingham, Mark Carey, Alessandro Antonello, Carlos Moffat, Dave Sutherland, Sakina Shahid: Reframing Antarctica’s Ice Loss: Impacts of Crysopheric Change on Local Human Activity; in: Polar Record 57 (2021) p. e13. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247421000024.
“Physical scientists, social scientists, humanities scholars, and journalists have all framed Antarctica as a place of global importance—as a laboratory for scientific research, as a strategic site for geopolitical agendas, and more recently as a source of melting ice that could catastrophically inundate populations worldwide. Yet, the changing cryosphere impacts society within Antarctica as well, and this article expands the focus of Antarctic ice research to include human activities on and around the continent. It reframes Antarctica as a place with human history and local activities that are being affected by melting ice, even if the consequences are much smaller in scale than the effects of global sea level rise. Specifically focused on tourism and conservation along the west Antarctica Peninsula (wAP), this article demonstrates the impacts of changing glaciers and sea ice on the timing, location, and type of tourism as well as the ability of changing ice to mediate human experiences through conservation agendas. As future ice conditions influence Antarctic tourism and conservation, an attention to issues emerging within the wAP region offers a new perspective on climate change impacts and the management of Antarctic activities in the 21st-century Anthropocene.“
Alda Balthrop-Lewis: Thoreau’s Religion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2021. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108891608.
“Thoreau’s Religion presents [an] interpretation of Henry David Thoreau’s most famous book, Walden. Rather than treating Walden Woods as a lonely wilderness, Balthrop-Lewis demonstrates that Thoreau’s ascetic life was a form of religious practice dedicated to cultivating a just, multispecies community. The book makes a […] contribution to scholarship in religious studies, political theory, English, environmental studies, and critical theory by offering the first sustained reading of Thoreau’s religiously motivated politics. In Balthrop-Lewis’s vision, practices of renunciation like Thoreau’s can contribute to the reformation of social and political life. In this, the book transforms Thoreau’s image, making him a vital source for a world beset by inequality and climate change. Balthrop-Lewis argues for an environmental politics in which ecological flourishing is impossible without economic and social justice.”
Alison Bashford, Pratik Chakrabarti,and Jarrod Hore: Towards a Modern History of Gondwanaland; in: Journal of the British Academy 9, s6 (2021) pp. 5-26. https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/009s6.005.
“Gondwanaland was a southern mega-continent that began to break up 180 million years ago. This article explores Gondwanaland’s modern history, its unexpected political and cultural purchase since the 1880s. Originating with geological and palaeontological research in the Gond region of Central India, ‘Gondwana’ has become recognisable and useful, especially in settler colonial contexts. This prospectus sets out a program for a highly unusual ‘transnational’ project, involving scholars of India, Australia, Antarctica, southern Africa and South America. Unpredictably across the five continents of former Gondwanaland, the term itself signals depth of time and place across the spectrum of Indigenous land politics, coal-based extractive politics, and, paradoxically, nationalist environmental politics. All kinds of once-living Gondwanaland biota deliver us fossil fuels today – the ‘gifts of Gondwana’ some geologists call southern hemisphere coal, gas, petroleum – and so the modern history of Gondwanaland is also a substantive history of the Anthropocene.”
James Beattie: Fashioning a Future Part II: Romanticism and Conservation in the European Colonisation of Otago, 1840–60; in: International Review of Environmental History 7 (2/2021) pp. 97-124. http://doi.org/10.22459/IREH.07.02.2021.04.
“This two-part article examines environmental attitudes and actions amongst the first generation of settlers in Otago, New Zealand, between 1840 and 1860. Based on extensive analysis of diaries, letters, artworks and official documents, it argues for the need to recognise the complexity of European environmental responses and actions, including highlighting extensive official attempts at forest conservation from the late 1840s. Part I of this article demonstrated the importance of the concept of improvement, which impelled Otago colonists to introduce familiar plants and animals, establish farms and engage in large- scale environmental modification. Part II is in two sections: Section 1 considers the impact of Romanticism on settler interpretations of Otago’s environment, including on how they framed and depicted its harbours and mountains in writing and art. Section 2 examines concerns over resource depletion and details official measures to protect forests, including reservation, licensing of timber extraction and the appointment of forest guards. Section 3 analyses urban environmental conflict in Dunedin’s Town Belt.“
James Beattie and Ruth A. Morgan: From History of Science to History of Knowledge? Themes and Perspectives in Colonial Australasia; in: History Compass 19 (5/2021) pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1111/hic3.12654.
“This overview article presents some of the main approaches to histories of colonial science in Australasia as well as suggesting future areas of research. Given the plurality of knowledge systems in the colonial period, we argue that a framework defined by history of knowledge, rather than history of science, better reflects the realities of colonial Australasia and opens up opportunities for fresh and innovative scholarship. A ‘history of knowledge systems’ approach, we contend, has the potential to free the study of non-Western knowledge systems from normative approaches that define other systems only in relation to Western science. A history of knowledge approach, we believe, enables scholars to explore the complex ways in which knowledge-making in colonial Australasia arose from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous traditions, perspectives and practices.”
James Beattie and Eugene N. Anderson: Ecology: Environments and Empires in World History, 3000 BCE – c.1900 CE; in: in Peter Fibiger Bang, Christopher A. Bayly and Walter Scheidel (eds.): The Oxford World History of Empire. Volume One: The Imperial Experience.Oxford: OUP 2021. pp.460-494. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-world-history-of-empire-9780197533970?cc=de&lang=en&#.
“Global ecological change is irrevocably connected to the rise of world empires and their associated systems of environmental exploitation. This essay draws from environmental history to explore different dimensions of world empires and the role of environment in making and limiting imperialism. We begin by defining environmental history and reviewing some of the most influential approaches to world empires and environment. We divide our case-studies into four main periods, to illustrate different processes and patterns, relying mainly on secondary sources, drawn also on our own expertise in early (Gene) and modern (James) world environmental history. Throughout, we attempt to emphasise the entanglement of world empires in what are often inaccurately referred to as ‘natural’ and ‘human’ processes. Even if they were obviously natural processes—such as pre-1880s periods of climatic cooling and warming—humans often interposed themselves as arbiters between Heaven and Earth (as in the Chinese conception), or viewed in their own behaviour explanations of divinely driven environmental events (floods, drought, plague).
Saskia Beudel, Site & Sound: Sonic Art as Ecological Practice; in: Artlink, 41 (1/2021) pp.100-08. https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/4892/site-26-sound-sonic-art-as-ecological-practice/.
“One of the most moving pieces in the 2014–16 Welcome to the Anthropocene exhibition at the Deutsche Museum in Munich was a sound recording of an extinct bird offered to the listener through a stainless-steel handpiece held to one ear. Above the device, a 19th-century illustration showed the lost New Zealand huia (Heteralocha acutirostris). The idea of a vanished bird’s voice outliving its own demise thanks to the archival properties of sound-recording technologies is compelling enough. However, Julianne Lutz Warren and Matthew Young’s Extinct Birdsong — Huia Echoes (2012) is even more poignant and refracted than it first seems. The call is uttered by Maori tracker Henare Hamana, imitating the song of an imagined conversation between a female and a male huia feeding together in the forest. The species disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century due to over-hunting, land clearance and habitat loss. The recording was made in 1949 – meaning Hamana had held the bird’s voice in memory for more than four decades.”
Claire Brennan and Patrick Hodgson: Unprecedented? Pandemic Memory and Responses to Covid-19 in Australia and New Zealand; in: Veysel Bozkurt, Glenn Dawes, Hakan Gülerce and Patricia Westenbroek (eds.): The Societal Impacts of Covid-19: A Transnational Perspective. Instanbul University Press, Instanbul 2021, pp. 1-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.26650/B/SS49.2021.006.01.
“The 1918-1920 global influenza pandemic and the global coronavirus pandemic which began in 2019 are separated by almost exactly a century, but in Australia and New Zealand there have been eerie similarities in the way they have unfolded, and in the responses used to combat them. Despite these similarities, early in the covid-19 crisis the virus and its impacts were widely described as ‘unprecedented’. This chapter explores the common collective amnesia that surrounds pandemics, and compares the level of collective memory of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Australia and New Zealand before the arrival of covid-19. It examines government statements and actions while preparing for and responding to pandemics, the nurturing of historical knowledge among medical experts, and the actions of groups of citizens. Additionally, this chapter analyses the significance of collective memory in devising effective responses to covid-19 in these two countries. In neither country has history been allowed to repeat itself exactly, but in New Zealand, action has been taken in the present with the intention of avoiding a reoccurrence of the events of the past.”
Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui and Claire Brennan: Hidden Women of History: Melanesian Indentured Labourer Annie Etinside Hailed as a Queensland ‘Pioneer’ on Her Death; in: The Conversation, May 19 2021. https://theconversation.com/hidden-women-of-history-melanesian-indentured-labourer-annie-etinside-hailed-as-a-queensland-pioneer-on-her-death-155645.
“Annie’s intriguing story adds a female dimension to the Melanesian indentured labourer’s experience on the Herbert. The significance of having such a fulsome account of her life is underscored by the small number of Melanesian women who were recruited. Her story illustrates how one Melanesian woman living on the Herbert in the plantation era attempted to determine a life for herself and her children through accommodation of white cultural and economic practices.”
Claire Brennan: Protecting the Environmental Integrity of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia; in: Sustainable Planet: Issues and Solutions for our Environment’s Future. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, pp. 371-380. https://products.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=A5408C.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a complex web of life located on the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Sprawling over 1,400 miles and including almost 3,000 individual reefs, it is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and contains a diverse array of habitats. Its status as a World Heritage site recognizes both this ecological significance and the Reef’s long human history. Human interactions with the Reef are of many types, some the habits of local people conducting normal economic activities within its catchment, some the actions of visitors drawn by the Reef’s beauty, and some occurring at a global scale, effected by people far distant from the Reef itself. While many of these interactions stem from love and admiration for the Reef, others stem from ignorance. This chapter explores the diverse ways in which the Reef has been, and continues to be, changed by human actions.”
Susan Broomhall: Belon, Palissy, Ronsard, and the War for the Forests of France; in: Claire McIlroy and Anne M. Scott: Literature, Emotions, and Pre-Modern War: Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Amsterdam: Arc Humanities Press 2021. pp. 179-198. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1k76hsr.
“Well beyond their role as a basic resource for fuel, housing, and shipbuilding, early modern French forests provided pasture for livestock during the year and supplied food provisions of their own with the fauna that inhabited them. Forests supported a diverse range of occupations that were dependent upon their resources and were also sources of pleasure, not least the game hunting enjoyed by the aristocratic elite. Scholars have recognized the enormous range of forests’ impact and influence in early modern French economic and social culture. The relationship between forests and contemporary religious experiences has perhaps seen less study to date.”
Susan Broomhall: Devastated Nature: The Emotions of Natural World Catastrophe in Sixteenth-Century France; in: Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards: Early Modern Trauma: Europe and the Atlantic World. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 2021. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1tbhrhx.
“This chapter explores how early modern individuals managed perceptions of environmental destruction, including such natural events as floods, storms, and fires, and such human interventions as logging and agricultural practices. It focuses on a variety of sixteenth- century genres, among them, journals, essays, and poetry. These texts narrate exceptional occurrences of destruction as their authors bore witness to them; some even conceptualized the possibility of pain and trauma experienced by nature itself. Contemporaries described, visualized, and materialized their observations of unusual, extreme, and damaging events in the natural world in both pragmatic and creative works through early modern conceptual frameworks— spiritual, philosophical, and theological among them— that created templates not only for what could be perceived as catastrophic destruction but also appropriate responses to such events.”
Mark Butz and Geoff Puleston: Toil for Oil: ‘The Czechs’ Distilling Eucalyptus Oil at Tidbinbilla; in: Canberra Historical Journal 87 (September 2021) pp 17-28. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.064818439443595.
“Freelance consultant and writer Mark Butz researches social and environmental history with a focus on the Canberra area. He has almost completed a book on the history of the Molonglo-Jerrabomberra floodplain and has had a book published on Duntroon’s World War I trench system. This article arises from recent work on heritage interpretation in the Tidbinbilla Valley.”
Margaret Cook: Emotional Challenges to Masculinity in the 1930s Callide Valley Closer Settlement, Australia; in: International Review of Environmental History 7 (1/2021) pp. 63-82.http://doi.org/10.22459/IREH.07.01.2021.
“When the Callide Valley closer settlement scheme was opened in central Queensland in 1927 its design was based on a gendered rural ideal. A farming man was to be hard-working, stoic and tough, able to withstand the unpredictable climate and environmental conditions to tame the land, build the new nation and provide for his family; acts by which he could construct and demonstrate his settler masculinity, while cultivating the land. Through an analysis of settler correspondence to a Queensland government enquiry in 1934, this article problematises the myths of masculinity in this rural community to explore the emotional and mental strain on male settlers when the environment posed limits to settler economic and agricultural success.”
Margaret Cook and Peter Spearritt: Water Forever: Warragamba and Wivenhoe Dams; in: Special edition on urban water in Australia of Australian Historical Studies 52 (2/2021) pp. 211-226. http://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2021.1882513.
“Brisbane and Sydney’s pre-war dams and reservoirs were not sufficient to provide reticulated water to the hundreds of thousands of new households that settled in rapidly growing suburbs from the early 1950s. Following American precedent, large concrete gravity dams became easier to build. Hydrologists predicted the likely volume that catchments and valleys could both collect and hold if dammed. This article examines the decision-making trajectory of the two largest potable water urban dams in Australia, Warragamba and Wivenhoe, from conception and construction to operation. Per capita consumption of water rose sharply in the 1980s but subsequent droughts have forced both governments and the populace to change the way they use water and no longer imagine that supply is unlimited.”
Nancy Cushing: #CoalMustFall: Revisiting Newcastle’s Coal Monument in the Anthropocene; in: History Australia (2021) https://doi.org/10.1080/14490854.2021.1991814.
“The recent actions taken against statues of figures associated with colonisation and racial oppression have again drawn attention to the enduring power of monuments in the landscape, even after many have disavowed the values they embody. This article shifts the critique from a focus on race to climate, with an examination of the Jubilee or Coal Monument erected in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1909. This monument was designed with the intention of celebrating coal as the foundation of the city’s prosperity and a driver of modernity. In the midst of a climate crisis, its future warrants consideration. Taking an activist stance, it is argued that the monument should be removed to a museum for reframing and reinterpretation while in its place a counter-monument to coal, defined by James E. Young as a ‘memorial space conceived to challenge the very premise of the monument’, is erected. This counter-monument would serve as a transitional location for expressions of pride in past personal and corporate associations with the coal industry and grief at its passing, while avoiding the creation of an enduring monument which would inevitably become the target of future generations for whom coal will have very different meanings.”
Andrea Gaynor and Daniel J. Martin: Every Fountain Tells a Story: Histories of Civic Water in Australia; in: Australian Historical Studies 52 (2/2021) pp. 189-210. https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2020.1871044.
“Fountains and water features have had a prominent and enduring presence in Australian cities yet have received little critical historical attention. This article develops the novel concept of civic water, treating it as a practice that uses the sensory qualities of water to attract viewer-‘readers’ and convey a range of messages. The active ornamentality inherent in moving water lends it a particular power to inscribe meaning in public spaces. In an intertextual way, referring to a longer, evolving tradition of ornamental water, those practising civic water have used it to tell stories about the achievements of an urban society, with infrastructure, civilisation and nature emerging as important themes across time and space. In imposing these stories upon public spaces, civic water reflects the power of individuals and organisations to shape public discourse and behaviour. Like all storytelling, however, civic water is subject to multiple uses and contested interpretations.”
Katie Holmes: The “Mallee-made Man”: Making Masculinity in the Mallee Lands of South Eastern Australia, 1890-1940; in: Environment and History 27 (2/2021) pp. 251-275. https://doi.org/10.3197/096734021×16076828553520.
“The southern Australian Mallee is a broad ecoregion comprising distinct landscapes, and the clearing and farming of these lands have presented specific challenges to generations of white settlers. Cultivation of this region was characterised as ‘one of the most strenuous and resolute battles with Nature’. So began the shaping of an enduring mythology around the ‘Mallee man’. In the context of the settler state, this mythology was forged through race, place and gender, with devastating environmental consequences. It has been consistently evoked to suggest that the specific environment of the Mallee worked to produce a special type of ‘home grown’ masculinity. At the same time, the State sought to provide a particular type of man to work the Mallee lands. This article examines the ways ideas about masculinity shaped men’s engagement with the environment and the impact of government settlement schemes on both the myth and lives of Mallee men.”
Richard Broome, James Grout, David Harris and Geoff Peel: Analysing Australian History: From Custodianship to the Anthropocene (60,000 BCE–2010). Cambridge Education, Australia and New Zealand 2021. https://www.cambridge.edu.au/education/titles/From-Custodianship-to-the-Anthropocene-60000-BCE-2010-print-and-digital/.
“Written specifically for the new Study Design, Analysing Australian History is the first series of resources to cover all the requirements of the VCE Australian History syllabus. From Custodianship to the Anthropocene: 60,000 BCE–2010 explores the ways humans have shaped, and been influenced, by the Australian landscape over thousands of years. It investigates how peoples with very different ideas of the world clashed over the use of land and resources, and how differences over the use of the environment have become a key theme of Australian society into the modern era.”
Nanda Felicity Jarosz: The Environmental Sublime: Nature as Other. PhD thesis University of Sydney (2021).
“The sublime is an ancient concept, one that constantly poses questions about humanity’s relationship to nature. My thesis charts the development of the sublime from Kant’s eighteenth-century theory in the Critique of the Power of Judgment to its presence within the field of contemporary environmental aesthetics in the form of the “environmental sublime.” Developments in the natural sciences have led to changes in the ways that people perceive and respond to the natural world. Biology tells us that human beings are but one species among others on earth. Technological leaps in the field of geology have confirmed the relatively short span of human life on earth in comparison with other forms of life and the age of the earth itself. Life in the age of the Anthropocene means that humans, nature, and technology have become entangled in such a way as to blur their distinctions: humans and nature are irrevocably fused. Yet experiences of the overwhelming complexity or power of the natural world still have the capacity to instil awe and wonder into the hearts of human observers. People are drawn to the types of difficult experiences designated as sublime because they represent gaps in human knowledge. The contemporary environmental sublime is a concept that allows people to think about nature as other, or separate from the human being, despite the homogenising demands of the Anthropocene. This thesis will argue that changes in the ways that people situate themselves in the natural world have caused a shift in the sublime from an anthropocentric conception of nature, seen in Kant’s theory, towards a perspective that appreciates the intrinsic value of nature outside human experience. In this way, my research examines how the sublime can be harnessed in the pursuit of an environmental ethic that seeks to protect nature for its own sake.“
Daniel May: 2019–20 Australian bushfires—frequently asked questions (updates). Parliamentary Library Research Papers 2021-22, 2 July 2021. https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp2122/201920AustralianBushfiresFAQupdate.
“This quick guide provides updates on the various scientific, conservation, and political responses to the 2019-20 Australian bushfires. It compiles handy information and links for future research.”
Joy McCann,Narissa Bax, Camilla Novaglio, Kimberley H. Maxwell, et al.: Ocean Resource Use: Building the Coastal Blue Economy; in: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-021-09636-0.
“Humans have relied on coastal resources for centuries. However, current growth in population and increased accessibility of coastal resources through technology have resulted in overcrowded and often conflicted spaces. The recent global move towards development of national blue economy strategies further highlights the increased focus on coastal resources to address a broad range of blue growth industries. The need to manage sustainable development and future exploitation of both over-utilised and emergent coastal resources is both a political and environmental complexity. To address this complexity, we draw on the perspectives of a multi-disciplinary team, utilising two in depth exemplary case studies in New Zealand and within the Myanmar Delta Landscape, to showcase barriers, pathways and actions that facilitate a move from Business as Usual (BAU) to a future aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021–2030. We provide key recommendations to guide interest groups, and nations globally, towards sustainable utilisation, conservation and preservation of their marine environments in a fair and equitable way, and in collaboration with those who directly rely upon coastal ecosystems.”
Russell McGregor: Alec Chisholm and the Extinction of the Paradise Parrot; in: Historical Records of Australian Science 32 (2/2021) pp. 156-167. https://doi.org/10.1071/HR20019.
“Rediscovered in 1921 after several decades of feared extinction, the resurrection of the Paradise Parrot was brief. Within a few decades more, the parrot was actually extinct, making it the only mainland Australian bird species known to have suffered that fate since colonisation. This article explores the reasons for the paucity and ineffectuality of attempts to preserve the species in the interwar years. By examining the contemporary state of ornithological knowledge on endangered species and the limited repertoire of conservationist strategies then available, the article extends our understanding of early twentieth-century discourses on avian extinction in Australia. It also offers an assessment of the conservationist efforts of Alec Chisholm, an amateur ornithologist who had a major role in the rediscovery of the Paradise Parrot and in subsequently publicising its plight.”
Julie McIntyre: Nature, Labour and Agriculture: Towards Common Ground in New Histories of Capitalism; in: Labour History 121 (November) pp. 73-98. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/837602.
“Goods developed and exchanged in the production of capital value are commodified nature that is acted upon by humans. Yet new histories of capitalism have for the most part ignored nature as impacted by this economic, social, and environmental system, and the agency of nature in commodification processes. This article responds to the call from a leading historian of capitalism to consider “the countryside” as a neglected geography of human–nature relations that is integral to generating capital value. It asks whether co-exploitation of “the soil and the worker,” as Marx stated of industrialising agriculture in Britain, also occurred in Australia. To answer this, I have drawn together histories of environment, economy, and labour that are concerned with soils and labour for agriculture, which has resulted in a twofold conclusion. First, it is a feature of capitalist production in Australia that the tenacity of “yeoman” or family farming as the model for Australian market-based agriculture did not exploit labour. Farming has, however, transformed Australian soils in many places from their natural state. This transformation is viewed as necessary from a resource perspective but damaging from an ecological view. Second, Australian historians of labour and environment do not participate in international debates about whether or how to consider the historical intersection of nature and labour, or, indeed, nature, labour, and capitalism. The reasons for this are historical and methodological. The environment–labour divide among historians is relevant as global environmental and social crises motivate the search for new sources and relational methods to historicise these connected crises.”
Julie McIntyre and J. Germov: The Hunter Valley: Historicising a Multi-Form Wine-World in the Grape-Wine-Complex; in: Stéphanie Lachaud-Martin, Corinne Marache and Julie McIntyre (eds.): Wine, Networks and Scales: Intermediation in the Production, Distribution and Consumption of Wine, Bruxelles: Peter Lang. pp. 199-216 (2021). dx.doi.org/10.3726/b17374.
“Wine as a product arises from human connections in know-how and trade as much as from the natural environment in which grapes are grown. At each stage of decision-making about growing grapes, making wine, selling and drinking it, people with different roles are networked together into systems of production and distribution. The authors in this collection offer new studies of the individuals and groups who act as connectors in these networked systems, intermediating in the delivery of wine from growers’ vines to consumers’ glasses. These actors operate at multi-layered scales of geography or within multiple regimes of governance, all the while taking account of arbitrations of quality and taste. This collection highlights how intermediators in many different wine countries and periods of history are, and have been, significant agents of continuity and change in the wine industry.”
K. Deroover, M. Siegrist, K. Brain, Julie McIntyre and T. Bucher: A Scoping Review on Consumer Behaviour Related to Wine and Health; in: Trends in Food Science & Technology 112 (2021) pp. 559-580. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2021.03.057.
“Understanding how people perceive and value health aspects of wine may help to promote sustainable consumer behaviour and the development of healthier wine products.”
Ruth A. Morgan: Health, Hearth and Empire: Climate, Race and Reproduction in British India and Western Australia; in: Environment and History 27 (2/2021) pp. 229-250. https://doi.org/10.3197/096734021X16076828553511.
“In the wake of the Indian Uprising in 1857, British sanitary campaigner and statistician Florence Nightingale renewed her efforts to reform Britain’s military forces at home and in India. With the Uprising following so soon after the Crimean War (1854-56), where poor sanitary conditions had also taken an enormous toll, in 1859 Nightingale pressed the British Parliament to establish a Royal Commission on the Sanitary State of the Army in India, which delivered its report in 1863. Western Australia was the only colony to present its case before the Commissioners as an ideal location for a foreign sanatorium, with glowing assessments offered by colonial elites and military physicians. In the meantime, Nightingale had also commenced an investigation into the health of Indigenous children across the British Empire. Nearly 150 schools responded to her survey from Ceylon, Natal, West Africa, Canada and Australia. The latter’s returns came from just three schools in Western Australia: New Norcia, Annesfield in Albany and the Sisters of Mercy in Perth, which together yielded the highest death rate of the respondents. Although Nightingale herself saw these inquiries as separate, their juxtaposition invites closer analysis of the ways in which metropolitan elites envisioned particular racial futures for Anglo and indigenous populations of empire, and sought to steer them accordingly. The reports reflect prevailing expectations and anxieties about the social and biological reproduction of white society in the colonies, and the concomitant decline of Indigenous peoples. Read together, these two inquiries reveal the complex ways in which colonial matters of reproduction and dispossession, displacement and replacement, were mutually constituting concerns of empire. In this article I situate the efforts to attract white women and their wombs to the temperate colony of Western Australia from British India in the context of contemporary concerns about Anglo and Aboriginal mortality. In doing so, I reflect on the intersections of gender, race, medicine and environment in the imaginaries of empire in the mid-nineteenth century.”
Ruth A. Morgan and Margaret Cook: Gender, Environment and History: New Methods and Approaches in Environmental History; in: International Review of Environmental History 7 (1/2021) pp. 1-16. http://doi.org/10.22459/IREH.07.01.2021.
“We are far from the first, and expect we will not be the last, to wonder at the paucity of research on women, gender and sexuality in (Anglophone) environmental history. To borrow from Virginia Scharff, who was writing in 1999, environmental history still has a ‘sex secret’. For all the insights of feminist scholarship, science studies, queer studies, women’s history, gender history and histories of sexuality that have accumulated since then, many environmental historians still seem to find ‘forest fires more fascinating than cooking fires’, at least in Australia and the United States. Yet historical studies of women’s garden making, environmental and animal welfare movements, domestic labour, knowledge making, ‘alternative’ environments and mountaineering (just to name a few areas of dynamic scholarship) show that women have indeed been agents of environmental change in ways that either conformed to or contested contemporary gender and sexual expectations. Arising from the ‘Placing Gender’ workshop held in Melbourne in 2018, this collection brings together four contributions that demonstrate different approaches to undertaking gender analysis in environmental history. Focusing on non-Indigenous women and men in the Anglo-world from the mid-nineteenth century, some adopt new tools to excavate familiar terrain, while others listen closely to voices that have been rarely heard in the field. Recasting the making of settler places in terms of their gendered production and experience not only enriches their own environmental history, we argue, but also broadens the historian’s enquiry to encompass the other lands implicated in the production of settler places.”
Heather Goodall: Georges River Blues: Swamps, Mangroves and Resident action, 1945-1980. Canberra: ANU Press 2021. http://doi.org/10.22459/GRB.2021.
“The lower Georges River, on Dharawal and Dharug lands, was a place of fishing grounds, swimming holes and picnics in the early twentieth century. But this all changed after World War II, when rapidly expanding industry and increasing population fell heaviest on this river, polluting its waters and destroying its bush.
Local people campaigned to defend their river. They battled municipal councils, who were themselves struggling against an explosion of garbage as population and economy changed. In these blues (an Australian term for conflict), it was mangroves and swamps that became the focus of the fight. Mangroves were expanding because of increasing pollution and early climate change. Councils wanted to solve their garbage problems by bulldozing mangroves and bushland, dumping garbage and, eventually, building playing fields. So they attacked mangroves as useless swamps that harboured disease. Residents defended mangroves by mobilising ecological science to show that these plants nurtured immature fish and protected the river’s health.
These suburban resident action campaigns have been ignored by histories of the Australian environmental movement, which have instead focused on campaigns to save distant ‘wilderness’ or inner-city built environments. The Georges River environmental conflicts may have been less theatrical, but they were fought out just as bitterly. And local Georges River campaigners – men, women and often children – were just as tenacious. They struggled to ‘keep bushland in our suburbs’, laying the foundation for today’s widespread urban environmental consciousness.”
Emily O’Gorman: Wetlands in a Dry Land: More-than-human Histories of Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin. Seattle: University of Washington Press 2021. https://emilyogorman.net/wetlands-in-a-dry-land-more-than-human-histories-of-australias-murray-darling-basin/.
“In the name of agriculture, urban growth, and disease control, humans have drained, filled, or otherwise destroyed nearly 87 percent of the world’s wetlands over the past three centuries. Unintended consequences include biodiversity loss, poor water quality, and the erosion of cultural sites, and only in the past few decades have wetlands been widely recognized as worth preserving. Emily O’Gorman asks, What has counted as a wetland, for whom, and with what consequences?
Using the Murray-Darling Basin—a massive river system in eastern Australia that includes over 30,000 wetland areas—as a case study and drawing on archival research and original interviews, O’Gorman examines how people and animals have shaped wetlands from the late nineteenth century to today. She illuminates deeper dynamics by relating how Aboriginal peoples acted then and now as custodians of the landscape, despite the policies of the Australian government; how the movements of water birds affected farmers; and how mosquitoes have defied efforts to fully understand, let alone control, them. Situating the region’s history within global environmental humanities conversations, O’Gorman argues that we need to understand wetlands as socioecological landscapes in order to create new kinds of relationships with and futures for these places.”
Sara Fuller, Kristian Ruming, Andrew Burridge, Richard Carter-White, Donna Houston, Linda Kelly, Kate Lloyd, Andrew McGregor, Jessica McLean, Fiona P. Miller, Emily O’Gorman, et al: Delivering the Discipline: Teaching Geography and Planning in Covid-19; Geographical Research 2021. https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-5871.12472.
“COVID-19 has radically changed the higher education sector in Australia and beyond. Restrictions on student movement (especially for international students) and on gatherings (which limited on-campus sessions) saw universities transition to fully online teaching modes almost overnight. In this commentary, we reflect on this transition and consider the implications for teaching the disciplines of geography and planning. Reflecting on experiences at the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, we explore a series of challenges, responses and opportunities for teaching core disciplinary skills and knowledge across three COVID-19 moments: transition, advocacy, and hybridity. Our focus is on the teaching of core disciplinary skills and knowledge and specifically on geographical theory, methods, and fieldwork and professional practice skills. In drawing on this case from Macquarie University, we offer insights for the future of teaching geography and planning in universities more broadly.“
Emily O’Gorman and Ruth A. Morgan: Fluid Terrains: Approaches in Environmental History; in: Australian Historical Studies 52 (2/2021) pp.141-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2021.1882514.
“Focusing on a particular environment, the urban wetland, this article demonstrates and examines two different approaches that are emerging in Australian environmental history, and are beginning to play prominent roles in shaping the field. The first engages with postcolonial studies, and the second with more-than-human or multispecies scholarship, perspectives that respond in part to wider environmental and cultural concerns that call for more diverse and inclusive histories that reflect the complex nature of past interactions between peoples and their environments more fully. As we show, their discernibly different genealogies reflect the fluid terrain of environmental history. Here, we engage with these different approaches through two case studies of urban wetlands in settler Australia, the first in Perth, Western Australia, and the other in Toowoomba, Queensland, during the long nineteenth century. We conclude with a consideration of the implications of these genealogies and approaches for the field of environmental history.”
Robert Onfray: A Charred Landscape. Published online on 01 July 2021. https://www.robertonfray.com/2021/07/01/a-charred-landscape/.
“Since 1939, the high-country forests in Victoria were relatively free of devastating wildfires. The only other major fire was at Mount Buffalo and surrounding areas in 1984 which threatened the small town of Wandiligong. Things changed in January 1998 when 35,000 hectares of the foothill, sub-alpine and alpine vegetation burnt in the Caledonia River fire. The fire became a portent warning for what was to come. The Victorian Alps have been exposed to as many as four different severe bushfires this century that has decimated the integrity of the forests to maintain themselves into the future. Heavy fuel loads that were allowed to build up over many years produced high-intensity fires that were unstoppable. Some commentators have directed blame for the fires solely on climate change. I believe there are more fundamental reasons for the fires and current management structures need to change.“
Robert Onfray: Fires, Farms and Forests. A Human History of Surrey Hills, North-West Tasmania. Lindisfarne 2021. https://shop.fortysouth.com.au/products/fires-farms-and-forests-by-robert-onfray-hardback.
“Inspired by the writing style of renowned Australian farmer and author Eric Rolls (A Million Wild Acres), Robert Onfray has created a [.] human and anecdotal regional history which brings to life the rich past of Surrey Hills, a unique tract of land in north-west Tasmania.
Fires, Farms and Forests is an environmental and cultural account of the changes in the landscape from the last ice age to the present day. It takes the reader on a journey of discovery: How the native grasslands were created using fire; the introduction of European farming; the search for valuable minerals; the construction of what is claimed to be the world’s longest wooden tramway; unique hunting for fur in the short, mandated open season during winter; the genesis of the pulp and paper industry in Tasmania and the development of Australia’s largest industrial-scale eucalypt plantation estate; and a remarkable account of one of the most isolated towns in Tasmania that existed for 87 years and suddenly disappeared.”
Alison Pouliot and Tom May: Wild Mushrooming A Guide for Foragers. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing 2021. https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7894/.
“Fungi are diverse, delicious and sometimes deadly. With interest in foraging for wild food on the rise, learning to accurately identify fungi reduces both poisoning risk to humans and harm to the environment. This extensively illustrated guide takes a ‘slow mushrooming’ approach – providing the information to correctly identify a few edible species thoroughly, rather than many superficially.”
Mike Roche: 2021 – Another New Zealand Forestry Centenary; in: New Zealand Journal of Forestry 65 (4/2021) pp. 32-36. https://www.nzjf.org.nz/search_result.php?s_keyword=rotorua.
“On 24 September 2019, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the New Zealand Forest Service was marked at Parliament with speeches and presentations. In 2018 Te Uru Rakau Forestry New Zealand was established to ‘strengthen and grow the forestry sector in New Zealand.’ This in itself signals that the existence of state forestry agencies has not been unbroken, nor has their purpose been unchanging. Consider also the disestablishment of the New Zealand Forest Service in 1987 to make way for a Ministry of Forestry, a Department of Conservation and a Forestry Corporation, of which only the Department of Conservation remains in 2021.”
Daniel Rothenburg: Too Much Water: How Salinisation Transformed Australia’s ‘Food Bowl’, 1945–2017; in: International Review of Environmental History 7 (2/2021) pp. 145-168. http://doi.org/10.22459/IREH.07.02.2021.06.
“Australia’s ‘food bowl’, its largest irrigation region—the Goulburn–Murray Irrigation District (GMID) in Northern Victoria, in the south-east of the Murray–Darling Basin—was transformed dramatically between 1945 and 1994. The reason was salinisation, a result of ‘too much water’. Unsustainable irrigation practices caused what in 1987 was called ‘Australia’s greatest environmental threat’.
While the environmental degradation brought about by salinisation caused a variety of social conflicts between rural communities about access to water and ‘rights’ to pollute rivers, and undermined many farmers’ productive base, its story is also one of hope and self-organisation. Concerned people in Kerang and Shepparton founded research farms and action committees that collaborated with government departments to develop ways of farming in a saline environment and encourage environmental awareness. After the Victorian government launched a long-term strategy in 1988, this brought about some success. However, the decisive event was the ‘Millennium Drought’, from 1996 to 2010, which drastically reduced the water table levels and brought the GMID a reprieve from salinisation.
Therefore, while this story is instructive to study environment–society interactions during a time of degradation, it also vividly shows how the natural world shapes the conditions under which humans act, even in a highly modified, anthropogenic environment.“
Kirstie Ross: Tasmania’s Mystery Train Hikes of 1932 and the Commercialisation of Bushwalking. Published online on 17 September 2021. https://thra.org.au/podcasts/kirstie-ross-tasmanias-mystery-train-hikes-1932-and-commercialisation-bushwalking.
“On the King’s Birthday, 6 June 1932, 1700 people left Melbourne’s Flinders Station on Australia’s first ever mystery hike express, its destination a well-kept secret until departure. Over the next four months, thousands of people around Australia participated in similar excursions designed to turn a profit from hiking. The concept was simple. Curious day-trippers in search of something to do on a Sunday paid a cheap flat fare for a return trip to an unknown destination. Participants usually hiked 12-15km between two stations, with tea breaks and musical entertainment adding to the day’s conviviality. The Tasmanian response to this commercialised form of hiking has been ignored by historians. In this talk Kirstie Ross explores the local contexts that shaped mystery hiking in Tasmania, providing a lens on popular culture, commercial leisure, and modernity in the state in the 1920s and 30s.“
Philip Steer: The Climates of the Victorian Novel: Seasonality, Weather, and Regional Fiction in Britain and Australia; in: PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 136 (3/2021) pp. 370-385. https://doi.org/10.1632/S0030812921000286.
“Anthropocene criticism of Victorian literature has focused more on questions of temporality and predictability than on those related to climate in the nineteenth century. Climate knowledge is central to the regional novel, which is attuned to the seasonal basis of agriculture and sociality, but the formal influence of the British climate also becomes more apparent through a consideration of the genre’s adaptation to colonial conditions. Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge highlights how a known seasonal cycle underpins the differentiation of climate and weather and explores the role of economic systems in mediating the experience of climate. Rolf Boldrewood’s The Squatter’s Dream, set amid the nonannual seasonal change of Australia, demonstrates the fracturing of the regional novel form under the stress of sustained drought. Such a comparative approach highlights the importance of regular seasonality as the basis of the Victorian novel’s ability to conceptualize the relation of climate, weather, and capital.”
Philip Steer: The Culture of Erosion: Settler Colonialism, Geological Agency, and New Zealand Literature, 1930s–1950s; The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (July 2021) https://doi.org/10.1177/00219894211022716.
“The Pākehā (settler) writing that flourished in New Zealand in the middle decades of the twentieth century is often seen as an attempt to ground settler culture in the precolonial earth. Produced at a time when erosion was seen as a pressing national and global environmental crisis, however, this essay argues New Zealand literary culture in fact was suffused with awareness of settlement’s profoundly damaged landscape. Returning to prominent critical statements, prose, and poetry from this period — notably by Allen Curnow, Charles Brasch, Monte Holcroft, and Frank Sargeson — reveals that imagery of erosion was central to imagining the nature and impact of settlement in geological terms. In contrast to the antagonistic relationship with nature plotted in these texts, writers such as Ursula Bethell and Herbert Guthrie-Smith offered alternative possibilities for environmental thought through models of geological understanding that drew on religious vocabularies and Māori thought. At the broadest level, focusing on settler literature produced in a moment of environmental crisis framed in geological terms has the potential to illuminate critical responses to the challenges posed by the Anthropocene.”
Karen Twigg: The Green Years: The Role of Abundant Water in Shaping Postwar Constructions of Rural Femininity; in: Environment and History 27 (2/2021) pp. 277-301. https://doi.org/10.3197/096734021X16076828553539.
“This article offers one of the first studies to pay attention to the influence of abundant rain in advancing post-war agendas and shaping new constructions of rural femininity. Enriching an understanding of modernity, I use oral history testimony and private archives to illuminate women’s emotional, social and sensory responses to plentiful water and the possibilities it fostered. While previous tropes had warned that close engagement with the elements would leave women ‘unsexed’ and drained of feminine vitality, the verdure that characterised the post-war era made the environment appear pliable, acquiescent and drought-proof, no longer threatening but actively inviting women’s involvement. Informed by scientific agriculture, the modern rural woman, was constructed as ‘feminine’ and ‘attractive’ but also well-equipped to contribute her labour to the forward momentum of Australian farming.”
Benjamin Wilkie: Ngamadjidj Encounters with the Tappoc gundidj: Mount Napier and Buckley Swamp, 1836-41; in: Victorian Historical Journal. https://doi.org/10.26181/60dd4e5f39de8.
“This brief article retrieves a narrative of European encounters with Tappoc, Konungiyoke, and the Tappoc gundidj people from otherwise well-trod sources for the early history of the Port Phillip District. The aim of this article is twofold. First, it highlights an inherently important landscape in western Victoria. It provides a more detailed historical narrative for a site that is geologically unique and ecologically significant, but historically and publicly poorly recognised. Second, by adhering to relatively limited spatial, temporal, and archival boundaries, this article demonstrates the continuing value of more localised narratives of colonial encounters.”
Fiona Williamson: Disaster, State and Science: Historical Narratives of Extreme Weather in East Asia and the Pacific; in: Disaster Prevention and Management 20 (1/2021) https://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/3332.
“This curated special issue asks how history can be used as a lens into disaster and disaster management. It takes as its premise the idea that approaches from different disciplines – including the humanities and social sciences – can offer new perspectives on understanding disaster, managing disaster and disaster risk.”
Fiona Williamson: Building a Long-time Series for Weather and Extreme Weather in the Straits Settlements: A Multi-disciplinary Approach to the Archives of Societies; in: Climate of the Past 17 (2021) pp. 791–803. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-17-791-2021.
“In comparison to the Northern Hemisphere, especially Europe and North America, there is a scarcity of information regarding the historic weather and climate of Southeast Asia and the Southern Hemisphere in general. The reasons for this are both historic and political, yet that does not mean that such data do not exist. Much of the early instrumental weather records for Southeast Asia stem from the colonial period and, with some countries and regions changing hands between the European powers, surviving information tends to be scattered across the globe making its recovery a long and often arduous task. This paper focuses on data recovery for two countries that were once joined under British governance: Singapore and Malaysia. It will explore the early stage of a project that aims to recover surviving instrumental weather records for both countries from the late 1780s to the 1950s, with early research completed for the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang and Malacca) between 1786 and 1917. Taking a historical approach, the main focus here is to explore the types of records available and the circumstances of their production. In so doing, it will consider the potential for inaccuracy, highlight gaps in the record and use historical context to explain how and why these problems and omissions may have occurred. It will also explore the availability of narrative and data evidence to pinpoint extreme periods of weather such as drought or flood and consider the usefulness of historical narrative in identifying and analysing extreme events.”
Fiona Williamson: Just Doing Their Job: The Hidden Meteorologists of Colonial Hong Kong C.1883–1914; in: The British Journal for the History of Science 54 (3/2021) pp. 341–59. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007087421000182.
“This article investigates the contribution made by indigenous employees to the work of the Hong Kong Observatory from its inception and into the early twentieth century. As has so often been the case in Western histories of science, the significance of indigenous workers and of women in the Hong Kong Observatory has been obscured by the stories of the government officials and observatory director(s). Yet without the employees, the service could not have functioned or grown. While the glimpses of their work and lives are fleeting, often only revealed in minor archival references, this article seeks to interrogate these sources to make these workers’ lives visible and to offer an examination of everyday working relationships at this place and point in time. It focuses on three areas. First, an exploration of who these workers were, and the role they played at the observatory. Second, an investigation of their contribution to the nascent science of meteorology. Third, an examination of available evidence – levels of high staff turnover, complaints, instances of foot dragging, or working to rule, as well as the tenacity to continue for years under difficult working conditions – to demonstrate the ability of workers to reject or to negotiate with colonial/patriarchal authority. In profiling their stories, this article will add to the literature examining the lives of scientific workers and their contributions to science, the everyday cultural and social contexts of colonial meteorology, and the role of ordinary men and women in producing meteorological knowledge at this time.”
Fiona Williamson: Framing Asian Atmospheres: Imperial Weather Science and the Problem of the Local c. 1880–1950.; in: The British Journal for the History of Science 54 (3/2021) pp. 301–4. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007087421000054.
“‘It would be of the greatest importance to meteorology’, noted the editor of the Singapore Chronicle in 1829, ‘if a set of hourly meteorological observations could be instituted at Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Singapore, Malacca, and some station on the elevated plains of Hindostan’. Of course, the author’s comments speak from a uniquely imperial perspective, whereby such observations would benefit the colonial service of – in this case – the British Empire, enabling enhanced knowledge of imperial atmospheres and the related economic and scientific benefits that this could bring. That meteorology was closely linked to empire and imperial control has long been acknowledged, as the ability to institutionalize knowledge about an environment, and thus to define what constituted legitimate knowledge, was ultimately a question of power.”