Teaching about Environmental/Climate Issues

Christoph Strobel's picture

Dear H-World Subscribers:

I was hoping to get some suggestions on documentaries that you have succesfully used in your world history classrooms on climate change or other environmental issues. Suggestions on the "non-western" world would be particularly appreciated.



Hi Christoph, I am preparing a syllabus for a women's global history course and plan to give a lecture tracing the history of women's clothing from handmade homespun to the Godey's Ladies Book to the "Mother Hubbard" dress (introduced by missionaries to the South Pacific) to fast fashion. I plan to assign a few short (about 30 min) documentaries about the environmental impact of fast fashion, especially in places like South Asia and South America. Since women around the world are often both the primary consumers and clothing constructors of fast fashion, I think this topic works well in this course. Here are a few documentaries that I think are well done:

"The Environmental Disaster that is Fueled by Used Clothes and Fast Fashion" | Foreign Correspondent

"Fast fashion - The shady world of cheap clothing" | DW Documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhPPP_w3kNo

"Fast fashion - Dumped in the desert" | DW Documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QicSkPNx4Ho

And, for a deep dive on how the Godey's Lady's Book and other 19th-century women's publications shaped consumer behavior and public opinion, see this lecture, "Proper Behavior in the Era of Domesticity," by Vassar professors Ronald D. Patkus, director of Special Collections and adjunct associate professor of history, and Rebecca Edwards, Eloise Ellery Professor of History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPga5wRF2-E

I hope this helps!
Janika Dillon, Ph.D. student in World History at Northeastern University