Department of History

Sarah Hamilton

Sarah Hamilton Assistant Professor
320F Thach Hall (office hours held outside Mell 3520)

Office Hours

  • Monday 9-10 and 11-12, outside Mell 3520
  • Wednesday 9-10 and 11-12, outside Mell 3520
  • Friday 9-10 and 11-12, outside Mell 3520


Sarah Hamilton joined Auburn's faculty in the fall of 2014 following a postdoctoral fellowship with the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research on contemporary environmental history focuses on conservation and environmental change in working landscapes, specifically the extensive agricultural lands of modern Spain. Her first book, Cultivating Nature: The Conservation of a Valencian Working Landscape, was published in March 2018 by the University of Washington Press. It tells a story of 20th century Spanish modernization through a close study of the tensions between urban and rural communities in and around the Albufera Natural Park in eastern Spain. Integrating work on public policy, social movements, and geography, it suggests the need for a closer focus on the personal and local dimensions of conservation work within highly modified landscapes, and argues that actively exploited landscapes play crucial roles in European biodiversity and cultural heritage. Fieldwork for this project, supported by a Fullbright Research Grant, a Jean Monnet Graduate Fellowship on European Integration, and Humanities Research and Predoctoral fellowships from the Rackham Graduate School of the University of Michigan, took Dr. Hamilton from the dusty government archives of Madrid to the fragrant orange groves of Valencia. Her new project focuses on the postwar history of groundwater exploitation and its interactions with local politics and the global environmental movement. 

Prof. Hamilton’s enthusiasm for world history as both a research and teaching field has led to her extensive involvement with the World History Association, the World History Bulletin, and the Middle Ground Journal of World History. She is also an active member of the steering committee for the Women in Environmental History Network. At Auburn, she offers survey and seminar classes on world history and environmental history. Her classes frequently incorporate games from the "Reacting to the Past" series as well as other active pedagogical methods.


PhD University of Michigan

JD University of Colorado

BA Duke University

Representative Publications

Cultivating Nature: The Conservation of a Valencian Working Landscape (University of Washington Press, 2018).

Environmental Change and Protest in Franco’s Spain, 1939-1975.” Environmental History 22 (2017): 257-281.

Activismo Medioambiental en la Época Tardofranquista. El caso de El Saler.” Arbor: Ciencia, Pensamiento, Cultura (journal of the Spanish National Research Council), 192 no. 781 (Sept-Oct. 2016): a346.

Classes Taught

Honors World History: The Rise and Fall of the Nation State

World History I and II

American Environmental History

Global Environmental History

Theory and Methods of Environmental History

Graduate seminar in World History

Last Updated: August 29, 2018