Subject: Video Suggestion Date sent: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 12:23:34 -0600 (CST) From: Kenn Hermann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A while back we were discussing good videos to use in class. I would like to suggest one that is valuable for what it does NOT say about environmental history. The video is "The Columbian Exchange," one of the series celebrating Columbus's 'stumbling' into the western hemisphere. You would think that the title would at least touch on the themes Alfred Crosby has made us all realize. It most clearly does not do that. In fact, it celebrates the mutual enrichment that the exchange of flora and fauna has provided for cultures of Native American Sioux to African Nigerians to the Irish. I had my students watch this for what it left out--obviously plenty. Not so surprisingly, they had a difficult time realizing what was left out, even though this was a course in Am. env. history, until they read selected chapters of Crosby; then they saw it again. What a difference in perception. I would suggest this as an effective tool in your classes as well.
Date sent: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 14:30:33 -0800 (PST) From: LORNE HAMMOND <lhammond@UVic.CA Subject: Re: Video Suggestion
I also use "Columbian Exchange", and follow it up with a demography and disease lecture, lots of las casa's and sauer's Spanish Main, plus the recent work on demography reviewed by Richard White. From there you can go to Plague of Sheep and then head North to the New europe's.
The video is very "cheery", but the students at an introductory level pick up the examples almost immediately, and then we can move on from there. For fun, try the video on Cane Toads, from Australia. Its a great way to get into Charles Elton and that sort of scientific approach to animal invasions, and the unintended consequences of bio-engineered solutions.
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