Environmental and Rural History of Urbanized Societies


 ‘Environmental and Rural History of Urbanized Societies’ – or ENVIRHUS – is a research cluster within the Centre for Urban History (CSG), in close collaboration with the Urban Studies Institute (USI) and the Antwerp Interdisciplinary Research Platform for Research into Inequality (AIPRIL).

This research cluster focuses upon the interaction between Environment and Society, and the comparative approach of nature-induced hazards and disasters.

Central to many of the research projects – both past and current – is the environmental impact of capitalism and urbanization on (rural) societies before 1900, through comparative studies that explore how different social groups coped with environmental challenges and shocks (such as floods, famines, droughts, soil-exhaustion, epidemics, etc.) in a context of accelerating urbanization and the transition to capitalism.

Special attention is given to the strategies employed by subgroups (such as small peasants or the urban poor), and to the interaction between power, technology and socio-economic and ecological inequalities.