This course is discontinued

NORAM4508 – Environment, Technology & Culture in North America

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course explores two related questions: first, how has the interaction of environment and society been conceptualized? Second what are the alternate environmental philosophies that support and shape the work of environmental historians, philosophers and social scientists who seek to understand the interaction of environment and society? The first issue is vetted by looking at three different examples by American historians of how to conceptualize techno-environmental interaction. These are classic studies that encompass colonization of the New World, the development of industrial agriculture and the perfection of massive water delivery systems in the arid West. The studies are important to understanding the shaping of the North American environment as a whole, but in addition each study proposes a distinctive understanding of environment offering us the opportunity to analyze the theoretical foundation of each work. Two additional volumes will discuss environmental philosophies from the perspective of cultural comparison (with India) and through histories of environmental ideas in the USA and elsewhere.

Learning outcome

Insight into American society, both historical and present, based on the influence of enironment on the devopment of North American culture and society. Expanded critical and analytical skills, through both reading material and written work.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the master program in North American area studies, LAP or other relevant master programs.

Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that you have taken NORAM2585 – Restoring the Earth/Renewing Culture: Critical Evaluations of the Green American Tradition (continued).


The class meets four times in the course of the semester for a discussion of the readings. Students are responsible for bringing questions and comments to the discussion meetings.


The evaluation is based on a four hour school exam.

Previous exams:

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

The results will be found on the StudentWeb within three weeks after the exam.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2009

The course will be offered as a directed readings course autumn 2009.


Autumn 2009

Teaching language