fbpx Vulnerable Conquerors Humans & Env | Phillips Exeter Academy

HIS563: Vulnerable Conquerors Humans & Env

What drives human history? To a great extent, the pivotal factors lie beyond human control: climate, geography, soils, microbes, plants and animals.

What drives human history? To a great extent, the pivotal factors lie beyond human control: climate, geography, soils, microbes, plants and animals. This course examines the interactions between people and the natural world, over time. In struggling to master an often hostile environment, human societies have had an ever-increasing impact on the planet, and apparent success has often ended in failure. The course begins with the emergence of humans in the Paleolithic era and then explores the invention of agriculture, the emergence of global trade and migration networks, the discovery of the New World, and the Industrial Revolution. Students examine in depth one instance of humans managing - or mismanaging - a natural resource, and conclude the course with a close look at 20th-century trends and the future we collectively face. A core theme is the paradoxical nature of humans: their impressive ability to innovate, coupled with their talent for destroying the world around them. Open to seniors