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Environmental Infrastructure in African History offers a new approach for analyzing and narrating environmental change. Environmental change conventionally is understood as occurring in a linear fashion, moving from a state of more nature to a state of less nature and more culture. In this model, non-Western and premodern societies live off natural resources, whereas more modern societies rely on artifact, or nature that is transformed and domesticated through science and technology into culture. In contrast, Emmanuel Kreike argues that both non-Western and premodern societies inhabit a dynamic middle ground between nature and culture. He asserts that humans- in collaboration with plants, animals, and other animate and inanimate forces - create environmental infrastructure that constantly is remade and reimagined in the face of ongoing processes of change.
Table of Contents
The ends of nature and culture
Architects of nature
Dark earths: field and farm environmental infrastructure
Water and woodland harvesting: village environmental infrastructure
Browse and burn: bush savanna as environmental infrastructure
Valuing environmental infrastructure and the myth of natural resources management
Science and the failure to conquer nature: environing and the modern west
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