Nature’s Past Episode 11: Animals, History, and Environment

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Episode 11: Animals, History, and Environment

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Environmental history is primarily concerned with the relationship between humans and non-human nature, but the study of non-human nature holds a different set of problems and poses a different set of questions when considering non-human animals. As environmental historians continue to explore the place of animals in stories of the past, they increasingly cross into the rich literature and theory of historical animals studies.

This episode of the podcast looks at the place of animals in environmental history. We begin by speaking with Erica Fudge, the author of several books in historical animal studies, about her 2006 essay “The History of Animals” on the H-Animal Discussion Network. Then Sharon Kirsch joins us to discuss her new book What Species of Creatures: Animals Relations from the New World.

Image of book cover Kirsch, Sharon. What Species of Creatures: Animal Relations from the New World. Vancouver: New Star Books, 2008


Erica Fudge

Sharon Kirsch

Work Cited:

Sean Kheraj, Canadian History & Environment

Loo, Tina. States of Nature: Conserving Canada’s Wildlife in the Twentieth Century. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2006.

Sandlos, John. Hunters at the Margin: Native People and Wildlife Conservation in the Northwest Territories. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007.

Colpitts, George. Game in the Garden: A Human History of Wildlife in Western Canada to 1940. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002.

Ritvo, Harriet. “Animal Planet.” Environmental History 9, no. 2 (2004): 204-220.

Fudge, Erica. “The History of Animals.” Ruminations, H-Animal discussion network, no. 1 (2006).

Kirsch, Sharon. What Species of Creatures: Animal Relations from the New World. Vancouver: New Star Books, 2008.

Kheraj, Sean. “What Species Of Creatures: Animal Relations from the New World.” H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. H-Net, 2010.

Music Credits:

Septiembre” by BlondBlood – FG3 Free Guitars Project

Mirando al Horizonte” Jaime Heras – FG3 Free Guitars Project

Rumba Sudamericana” by Paco Santiago – FG3 Free Guitars Project

Epiclatinarabrock” by Daniel Bautista – FG3 Free Guitars Project

Photo Credits:

held still just long enough to focus” by jeffreyw


Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 11: Animals, History, and Environment.” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 22 November 2009.

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Sean Kheraj is the director of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and vice dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at

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