Interview: J. Donald Hughes

Document Type



Environmental Analysis (Pomona)

Publication Date



J. Donald Hughes, environmental history, interview


J. Donald Hughes has been a pioneer among scholars of the environmental history of the ancient world: a prolific writer, he published his seminal work Ecology in Ancient Civilizations thirty-five years ago, and his Pan's Travail: Environmental Problems of the Ancient Greeks and Romans (1996) is already a classic. But, to paraphrase the Roman writer Terence, nothing in the field of environmental history seems to be alien to him. As the interview and the appended bibliography below demonstrate, he has done fundamental work in Native American, Pacific Island, and South Asian environmental history, and in recent years he has undertaken a sweeping environmental history of the Mediterranean (2005) and gone global with An Environmental History of the World (2001). We are delighted that he has agreed to discuss with us the shape of his distinguished career, his participation in the early development of the ASEH, and his aspiration to write a kind of environmental history that combines “the total picture … [and] the revelatory detail.”

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© 2010 American Society for Environmental History and Forest History Society

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