“Environmental Humanities” designates more than the grouping together of various established concentrations within discrete humanities disciplines (literary/cultural eco-criticism, environmental history, philosophy of ecology, food studies, et cetera); it constitutes a new synthesis that seeks to change the disciplinary landscape by attending to scientific and social-scientific scholarship on environmental questions while refusing to accept the secondary importance of humanistic knowledge with respect to those questions.

Imbricated with our group’s focus on the environmental humanities is an investment in environmental justice. Environmental justice brings the experiences of human populations into the purview of environmental concerns; it seeks the inclusion of all people, regardless of nation, race, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, class or caste in the movement to repair the environment or the wellbeing of the interdependence of humans and nonhumans, and insists upon the right of all people to self-determination and freedom from environmental harm. By centering environmental justice, we hope to avoid a certain tendency within environmental humanism to focus on the Global North and to highlight white populations and narrowly-conceived conservationist efforts.

The CT-NJ-NY tri-state region is one that bridges some of the most urbanized landscapes on the planet with more agricultural and natural ones. Rutgers, one of this region’s major public R-1 universities, consists of students from diverse local, regional and global contexts that all face some level of environmental and ecocultural damage. We therefore believe that this institution has an important role to play in addressing these questions with and within its diverse academic and public communities.

The working group is composed of faculty and graduate students from a number of departments and is open to all. It will intersect with new campus initiatives such as ISJGR Signature Labs (The Black Ecologies Lab), the SAS Environmental Humanities initiative, the interschool Minor in Creative Expression and the Environment, the SAS Major/Minor in Environmental Studies, the MGSA Environmental Arts initiative, the Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute, the Rutgers Climate Action Group, etc.

For more information contact Dana Luciano (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and/or Jorge Marcone (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).