Ecocritical Inquiries: Current Student Work in the Environmental Humanities
The recent debate around the term "Anthropocene" underscores the historic lack of communication between the disciplines, especially between the humanities and the natural sciences. In the wake of this renewed attention to interdisciplinarity, the editors of the 2012 inaugural issue of Environmental Humanities write that "the emergence of the environmental humanities indicates a renewed emphasis on bringing various approaches to environmental scholarship into conversation with each other in numerous and diverse ways." It also offers a renewed chance to re-think the traditional organization of knowledge in the academy, which may have contributed—and continues to contribute—to the various environmental crises . "Environmental humanities," then, might be a misnomer, since this interdisciplinary field seeks an ecological "unsettling" of the humanities as a discrete branch of knowledge and strives to work closely with the social and natural sciences "to inhabit a difficult space of simultaneous critique and action." "How can our accumulated knowledge and practice...be refashioned to meet these new challenges," the editors of the journal ask, "and to productively rethink 'the human' in more than human terms?" This Friday Forum will take up this question by showcasing work from several Graduate Center students working around the environmental humanities and whose work takes on the task of interdisciplinarity in different ways. The panel will be moderated by Professor Alexander Schlutz, whose current course "Anthropocene Investigations" is centered around many of these questions.