Faculty Profile

Emily Pawley

Assistant Professor of History (2011)

Contact Information


239 W Louther St Room 205


environmental history, history of capitalism, history of the body, landscape, history of food and food production, history of science


  • B.A., University of Toronto, 2001
  • M.Phil., Cambridge University, M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2004
  • Ph.D., 2009

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

HIST 151 History of Environment
Examines the interaction between humans and the natural environment in long-term global context. Explores the problem of sustainable human uses of world environments in various societies from prehistory to the present. Also serves as an introduction to the subfield of environmental history, which integrates evidence from various scientific disciplines with traditional documentary and oral sources. Topics include: environmental effects of human occupation, the origins of agriculture, colonial encounters, industrial revolution, water and politics, natural resources frontiers, and diverse perceptions of nature.

FDST 201 Introduction to Food Studies
This course introduces students to Food Studies, an interdisciplinary field that examines food through biological, cultural, ecological, economic, and other perspectives. We will treat questions of hunger, food production/procurement, inequality, ecology, food labor, health, including psychology, and the diversity of ethical, cultural, and spiritual meanings regarding food. The course will include opportunities for students to engage in active observation, experimentation, and hands-on learning through community partnerships and the College Farm. Students will encounter reading/viewing assignments from a wide range of disciplines. This course will also be open to students who do not intend to complete the Food Studies certificate but would simply like an interdisciplinary understanding of the workings of food.

HIST 204 Intro Historical Methodology

HIST 500 Independent Study

Spring 2018

HIST 117 American Hist 1607 to 1877
This course covers colonial, revolutionary, and national America through Reconstruction. Include attention to historical interpretation. Multiple sections offered.

HIST 211 Food and American Environment
This class examines the ways that the culture and politics of food have reshaped North American landscapes and social relations from colonial to modern times. We will explore, for example, how the new taste for sweetness fueled the creation of plantations worked by enslaved, the ways that the distribution of frozen meat helped build cities and clear rangeland, and the ways that the eating of fresh fruit came to depend on both a new population of migrant laborers and a new regime of toxic chemicals. Other topics will include catastrophes such as the Dustbowl, the controversial transformations of the Green Revolution, and the modern debates about the obesity epidemic.