Department of History &
the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment
Society, Policy & Environment
Professor Lekan teaches specialized undergraduate courses and seminars on environmental history, the urban experience in modern Europe, and German social history. His research focuses on European environmental history and the global dimensions of nature conservation, ecotourism, and green imperialism; comparative urban and regional planning history; and the environmental humanities.
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My current book manuscript, Saving the Serengeti: Tourism, the Cold War, and the Paradox of European Conservation in Postcolonial Africa, 1950-1985, investigates the blind spots and unintended consequences of wildlife protection, national parks, and nature tourism in the context of decolonization, the Cold War, mass tourism, and new media representations of nature. I am also revising interdisciplinary essays in the environmental humanities that explore the visual culture of global environmentalism and the Anthropocene from postcolonial and post-humanist perspectives. These projects have received generous fellowship support from several institutions, including the American Council for Learned Societies, the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., Princeton University’s Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, the National Humanities Center, and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.