Dear members of the history department,
It is with great pleasure that I'm writing to announce the publication of our colleague Richard C. Hoffmann’s new book: An Environmental History of Medieval Europe, (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Here's a brief description of the volume:
As the very first book of its kind, An Environmental History of Medieval Europe provides a highly original survey of medieval relations with the natural world. Engaging with the interdisciplinary enterprise of environmental history, it examines the way in which natural forces affected people, how people changed their surroundings, and how they thought about the world around them. Exploring key themes in medieval history – including the decline of Rome, religious doctrine, and the long fourteenth century – Hoffmann draws fresh conclusions about enduring questions regarding agrarian economies, tenurial rights, technology and urbanization. Revealing the significance of the natural world on events previously thought of as purely human, the book explores issues including the treatment of animals, sustainability, epidemic disease and climate change, and by introducing medieval history in the context of social ecology, brings the natural world into historiography as an agent and object of history itself.
The first overview of medieval Europeans' relationships with the natural world, presenting important new insights into how people shaped and were shaped by their environment Surveys current scholarly literature as well as new insights from the author's own research Structures narratives of medieval history around ecological and other principles of environmental studies, using an interdisciplinary approach which crosses the boundaries between social and natural sciences
On behalf of the Department of History, Richard, many congratulations!