Foreign Languages and the Environment: Seed Projects for Sustainable Humanities

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

Keynote speaker
Katherine Arens (University of Texas-Austin)

Plenary speakers 
Elena Past (Wayne State University)
Maggie Broner (St. Olaf College)

Environmental studies are becoming a prime catalyst for change in foreign language programs as faculty have begun to explore the capacity of the humanities to address complex issues through interdisciplinary research, innovative teaching, and public engagement. While departments of language, literatures and cultures have rightly questioned their role in discussions of STEM, climate change is a pressing challenge for all. This symposium will bring together experienced teacher/scholars for a discussion of curricular reform efforts in relation to environmental initiatives emerging in language programs. It will furthermore incorporate the perspectives of literary, cultural studies, and second language acquisition scholars. The environmental humanities offer a robust model for bridging the divide between academic analysis and environmental discourse and practice in the public sphere. Individual faculty research and teaching initiatives at diverse institutions demonstrate that interdisciplinary collaboration of this kind can stimulate curricular innovation in a way that revitalizes foreign language teaching and learning. This symposium will provide an opportunity for dialogue about how the content integration of environmental perspectives can become a vehicle for the teaching of cultural narratives, values, and perspectives at every level of the curriculum.

Sponsored by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition

Minneapolis, MN