Modernity and globalization, two concepts that seem to have become inseparable, have had an undeniable impact on the natural world. For instance, the role of humanity in radically changing the environment in the last 200 years has been recently acknowledged with the coinage of the concept of anthropocene. In this course the environmental consequences and context of major themes in modern world history, including capitalism, industrialization, colonialism, and war, will be discussed. Central to the class will be the environmentally informed analysis of the two sides of the Hobsbawmian "age of empire : the final conquest and subjugation of the world by European colonial powers and the rise of a new form of economy and production. Moreover, the evolution of the perceptions of nature in an increasingly small world will be considered, as well as the wider social and political impact of such perceptions and their relationship with existing power structures.