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Library Research Guides

Environmental Humanities

A resource designed to help scholars respond to environmental problems within the context of human, social, and cultural perspective

What is Environmental Humanities?

The Environmental Humanities are an expansive interdisciplinary field that challenges expectations of the boundaries around humanities scholarship and which kinds of work can have an impact environmental change and crisis. The Environmental Humanities embrace the traditional tools of humanities disciplines, including critique and textual analysis, while integrating the crucial humanist commitments of cultural approaches to sustainability and public engagement with environmental challenges. Many projects emerging from this field trouble the division between nature and culture which many scholars argue stands as an obstacle to repairing the relationship between humans and the nonhuman. Other investments range from environmental history, ethics of the nonhuman world, and environmental justice. Just a few of the directions that the Environmental Humanities take are into ecofeminism, animal studies, and disability studies.

 

A key element that distinguishes the field is its commitment to collaboration and building a new kind of academic community that fosters dialogue across disciplines in order to offer innovative and effective solutions from a capacious and diverse pool of expertise. Literature, history, philosophy, art, media, religion, and each area of study from the humanities are brought into productive conversation with the scholarship of geography, anthropology, economics, education, and the sciences. The Environmental Humanities are an energetic and progressive field committed to tackling climate change, challenging environmental injustice, mobilizing communities, changing policy, and lessening the gap between human progress and the future survival of the planet and all of its inhabitants.

Credits

This guide was created by Catherine Fairfield in July 2017 as a means of capturing her work as a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow. The page is currently maintained by Lori Tschirhart (ltz@ umich.edu)