The Environmental Humanities Initiative

We are pleased to announce the formation of the Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI), made possible by the generous support of the College of Liberal Arts.

The name "Environmental Humanities" has emerged as an umbrella term to describe the work of humanistic scholars, artists, and teachers broadly motivated by concerns about the environment. Rather than focusing solely on scientific and technological solutions to problems, the environmental humanities address these complex issues through the multiple lenses of history, philosophy, literature, language, culture, religion, and the visual and performing arts. In addition, the environmental humanities engage a wide range of related fields, including indigenous studies, political ecology, food studies, cultural geography, animal studies, and cultural anthropology, and investigate such keywords as sustainability, the Anthropocene, and posthumanism. Many who identify as part of the environmental humanities also seek to bridge the divide between academic analysis and environmental discourse and practice in the public sphere.

The Environmental Humanities Initiative seeks to catalyze research, foster pedagogical innovation, and enhance public outreach among CLA faculty and graduate students interested in broadly humanistic approaches to environmental issues. In particular, we aim to create a curricular and programmatic presence for the Environmental Humanities that will have high visibility both on and off campus and will be distinguished from allied programs at other universities by its transnational orientation. We are aware of at least twenty CLA faculty currently involved in research, teaching, and outreach related to the Environmental Humanities, and we hope to involve as many faculty as possible in this endeavor. All are welcome!

In the next two years, we will also be seeking to develop an interdisciplinary graduate concentration for study in environmental humanities that addresses the human and cultural dimensions of global environmental change in the 21st century. Finally, we plan to organize an interdisciplinary conference in this area in Fall 2018.

For more information, please contact us at

Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 9:30am to Friday, March 2, 2018 - 4:30pm
Minneapolis, MN