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2-2012 / Studie a eseje / Ondřej Hudeček

On Various Reasons for Lack of Interest in Environmental History among Czech Historians

Ondřej Hudeček

Ondřej Hudeček (*1985), doktorand na FHS UK , ondrej.hudecek@centrum.cz       Other contributions by the same author

The starting point of this study is the assumption that among Czech historians, there is insufficient interest in environmental history. In his critical analysis, the author focuses on texts published in the last twenty years by Leoš Jeleček, one of the main advocates and representatives of this historical discipline in our environment. Generally speaking, the author finds Jeleček’s texts rather problematic from a methodological perspective: they are written with excessively holistic ambitions, which potentially could lead to a strong criticism of environmental history from narrativist positions or might even place them outside the realm of science. Highly problematic are references to postulates of the ‘green’ ideology, whose concepts are often used in an uncritical manner, but imprecise definitions and insufficient consideration of tasks which environmental history should meet are no less troubling. In author’s view, Jeleček in his approach excessively relies on ‘objective’ science with whose help it should be – in his view – possible to describe natural environment and human society in the past. The author is convinced that there exists no such science since the form of any science is conditioned by broader social, cultural, and other contexts within which it evolves and with which it interacts.

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