Friday, 15 April 2016 — 12:00 noon — WAG 316

Brett Bennett, Univ. of Western Sydney and Univ. of Johannesburg

“Doing Interdisciplinary Environmental History: Opportunities and Challenges”

How can historians utilize disciplinary insights from the sciences and social sciences when writing environmental history? Brett’s talk will focus on two different models of interdisciplinary environmental history: collaborations with scientists and single-authored scholarship for historical and scientific audiences. There are many opportunities—larger audiences, policy impact, increased funding—associated with this type of history but there are challenges, particularly the danger of dilettantism and superficiality, possible career pitfalls, and disillusionment with history.


Brett Bennett earned his PhD in History from UT in 2010 and is now a Senior Lecturer in History at Western Sydney University in Australia and a Senior Research Associate in History at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He is the author of Plantations and Protected Areas: A Global History of Forest Management (MIT Press, 2015) and, with Fred Kruger, of Forestry and Water Conservation in South Africa: History, Science and Policy (ANU Press, 2015). His ongoing research utilizes insights from the history of science, environmental history, and the sciences.