Crossed Paths

The gentle curve of the Drochaid a’ Chaolais Chumhaing, a bridge across Scotland’s Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin, does not take the most direct route across the water. The bridge’s designers considered it more important that the bridge fit with its surroundings, that it cause as little a change as possible in its environment. But despite their efforts, humans’ impact on the environment is evident. Environments are spaces in which humans, plants, or even ideas can cross paths. They contain entangled networks of relationships and meanings. And they can be mapped, described, diagrammed, and explained. But which environments we choose to map—and what we do with those explanations—depends on both the perspective we want to represent and the one we bring to the table.

Photo: kbrembo/Unsplash. Image cropped.

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Perspectives on History May 2024 Cover.


L. Renato Grigoli, editor
Laura Ansley, senior managing editor
Lizzy Meggyesy, research and publications assistant
Alexandra F. Levy, communications director
Liz Townsend, manager, data administration and integrity