The diversity of people, geography and ecology in Latin America combine to make it one of the most diverse environments on the planet. Complementing this diversity is a rich history of human interactions with the environment. Knowing this history informs us about indigenous economic and cultural practices that offer alternative ways of thinking about how people relate to their environment. The history of conquest and colonization illustrate the dramatic, if not catastrophic, impact of European environmental practices, which helps us to further understand how modernity attempted to control nature, as well as the consequences of this effort. Learning the history also shows the troubled relationship between capitalism and the planet's resources, and how the troubles were important in shaping Latin America's social, political, economic and cultural landscapes. The history is important for our thinking about the contemporary and future challenges we face, especially in the areas of climate change, resource extraction, food sovereignty, disease and energy.
|Social Science||1 course|