River History

STSC 0668

John Kanbayashi

Tuesday, 12PM-2:59PM

Rivers provide and divide, they constrict and connect. Although a fundamental source of prosperity and transit for human societies, they resist even the most sophisticated attempts at human control. This class examines rivers as movers of history—as sites of contestation and transformation around the globe—with a focus on how diverse societies have understood and used them. Topics include: irrigation and political power, flooding and course changes, scientific measurement of river systems, the twentieth-century rise of the concrete dam, subsequent movements towards undamming, and recent efforts to grapple with climate change. For first-year students only.

Spring 2024