Research Article

Frontiers of History in China

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 121-144

First online:

From the history of the environment to environmental history: A personal understanding of environmental history studies

  • Mei Xueqin Affiliated withSchool of History, Beijing Normal University Email author 


By and large, there are three kinds of research on environment: the history of environment as a field of natural history studies, the history of environment as within the scope of history of society studies, and environmental history as the study of the relationship between human and nature. The methodological perspective of the relationship between humanity and environmental distinguishes the third from the previous two. From this perspective, when we probe the mutual effects between human and nature, we will stress on their interactions. The new era and the realities of contemporary society foster the rise of environmental history, which has not only theoretical values but also practical significance.


the history of the environment environmental history natural history history of society historiography