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Grant number: FA-252332-17

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FA-252332-17

Tait Siddhartha Keller
Rhodes College (Memphis, TN 38112-1624)

A Global Environmental History of the First World War

Research for an environmental history of World War I.

I am applying for NEH funding to write "A Global Environmental History of the First World War." My book project focuses on how energy geopolitics linked the battle lines and home fronts with industry and agriculture in ways that fundamentally shaped the twentieth century. While battlegrounds seemingly suffered devastation, the resulting damage to nature was normally short-lived. Paradoxically, major environmental change occurred behind the lines, away from the killing fields. To keep soldiers and engines in action, belligerent countries commandeered food and fossil fuels throughout the biosphere, which in turn transformed relationships from global geopolitics down to individual consumption patterns. By understanding how warfare and energy regimes coevolved over the course of the First World War we can better appreciate the intersections of armed conflict, human victimization, and environmental exploitation during the twentieth century.

Project fields:
History, Other; Military History

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017