Fluid terrains: approaches in environmental history

Emily O'Gorman, Ruth A. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Focusing on a particular environment, the urban wetland, this article demonstrates and examines two different approaches that are emerging in Australian environmental history, and are beginning to play prominent roles in shaping the field. The first engages with postcolonial studies, and the second with more-than-human or multispecies scholarship, perspectives that respond in part to wider environmental and cultural concerns that call for more diverse and inclusive histories that reflect the complex nature of past interactions between peoples and their environments more fully. As we show, their discernibly different genealogies reflect the fluid terrain of environmental history. Here, we engage with these different approaches through two case studies of urban wetlands in settler Australia, the first in Perth, Western Australia, and the other in Toowoomba, Queensland, during the long nineteenth century. We conclude with a consideration of the implications of these genealogies and approaches for the field of environmental history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-170
Number of pages30
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Issue number2
Early online date10 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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