ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES

This Connected Community is devoted to the innovative paradigm of the Environmental Humanities: it aims to explore the critical role of the humanities in a time of environmental crisis, generating socio-ecological awareness, raising informed critique of existing paradigms and systems, and sustaining social, cultural and ethical change to protect and nourish the diversity of life on our planet. Four European universities with different interdisciplinary perspectives, frameworks and experiences join to explore, compare and exchange pedagogical models and best practices, working toward a collective response to new global challenges.
 

PLANNED EDUCATION AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES


This CC provides a platform where students, researchers, academic and administrative staff, as well as artists, civil society and non academic audiences join forces to develop and promote collaborative pedagogical and research initiatives. It means to develop a teaching-research environment promoting not only curriculum but also potential research development. EH students will be involved in research activities, projects and workshops, in collaboration with PhD students and researchers. The CC offers EH research-based strategies for the transformation of pedagogy, in line with EH research on ecological consciousness, environmental affect, inclusive worldmaking and critical reflection on public understandings of sustainability, ecology, disruption, and climate crisis. The CC emphasises research-oriented learning, co-production with students, and the development of experimental interdisciplinary formats, such as:
 

  • Workshops, visits and field-trips (ex. to the lagoon in Venice, the post-extractivist zones around Dresden, the historic automotive transport industry in Coventry alongside Warwickshire’s ancient woodlands—remnants of Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden, the seascapes around Lisbon and ocean history and conservation exhibitions in Portugal);

  • Student exchanges;

  • Open courses;

  • EH Outreach seminars, Engaged Scholarship Workshops, Discussion forum;

  • Public exhibitions.

  • Co-creative Phd Training: Pathways to Caring & Sustainable Scholarship (based on Theory-U);

  • Joint publications (ex: Lagoonscapes, Ecozon@, Ecocene);

  • Joint participations in EH podcasts and blogs.

How to get involved?

Contacts 

Lead: Prof. Shaul Bassi (bassi@unive.it) 
Local Facilitator: Laura Cappellesso (eutopia@unive.it)

Connected Community Members
 
Lead: Shaul Bassi (UNIVE), Email: bassi@unive.it

Shaul Bassi is full professor of English literature and head of studies of the Master's Degree in Environmental Humanities. He has taught at Ca' Foscari University of Venice since 2000. His research, teaching and publications are divided between Shakespeare, environmental humanities, postcolonial theory and literature (India and Africa), and Jewish studies. He is the co-founder and former director of the international literary festival Incroci di civiltà and the former director of the International Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca' Foscari. 

Co-lead: Daniele Brombal (UNIVE), Email: daniele.brombal@unive.it

Daniele Brombal is Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, where he leads the Laboratory on Area Studies for Sustainability Transformations (LAST) and is deputy head of studies of the MA Programme in Environmental Humanities. In the last 15 years, his work has been exploring dynamics of institutional change for sustainability in China and beyond. Daniele has published extensively on environmental politics, blending traditional policy-oriented research with participatory and co-creative practices. His current work locates at the intersection between political ecology and ecolinguistics. Besides his work in academia, Daniele is passionate about mountains and wilderness. Whenever possible, he seeks refuge in his hometown in the Dolomites with his life partner Angela, their daughter Leda Marie, and their dog Pepper. 

Partner: Jonathan Skinner (UoW), Email: j.e.skinner@warwick.ac.uk

Jonathan Skinner is Reader (Associate Professor) in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, where he directs the Centre for Ecopoetics. Best known for founding the journal ecopoetics, Jonathan holds a PhD from the University at Buffalo Poetics Program and an MA in Translation Studies from UCL. Jonathan’s research across numerous published essays focuses on ecocritical approaches to contemporary and post-war poetry and poetics, alongside ongoing interest in garden theory and field recording and a developing interest in the energy humanities. He is also a published poet and field recordist, with a special interest in avian vocalisation, and active as an editor and translator. Jonathan’s teaching runs from the theoretical and literary (Question of the Animal) to the creative and practice-led (Ecopoetics, Small Press Publishing) including numerous PhD supervisions in ecopoetics and related areas.

Partner: Graeme Macdonald (UoW), Email: g.macdonald@warwick.ac .uk

Dr Graeme Macdonald is full Professor in the Dept. of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. He has a PhD in English Literature and Sociology from the University of Glasgow and an MA (Jt Hons Literature and Sociology) from Aberdeen. He gained a PGCHE at Warwick, where he is the convenor of the MA in Environmental Humanities degree. His teaching and research are in the field of Energy Humanities and Petrocultures. He is a longstanding member of the Petrocultures Research Group and the After Oil project. He was also a recent member of the Low-Carbon Scotland and Climaginaries research projects, with a particular interest in speculative narratives and creative practices of energy, environmental and climate futures.

Partner: Cristina Brito (NOVA), Email: cbrito@fcsh.unl.pt

Cristina Brito is Associate Professor at the History Department at NOVA FCSH in Lisbon, and a researcher at CHAM - Center for the Humanities, where she is also a member of the Board. She is the subdirector for research and scientific strategy at NOVA FCSH, Lisbon. Currently, she is the co-PI of the ERC Synergy Grant 4-OCEANS: Human History of Marine Life (2021-2027) and the PI of two EEA Grants Bilateral Funds Initiatives. She holds a PhD in History, a Masters in Ethology and a bachelor’s degree in biology – Marine Resources, Lisbon. She is interested in the history of the Anthropocene, human/non-human entanglements, and the Blue Humanities. Her new book - Humans and Aquatic Animals in Early Modern Africa and Americas - is now published by Amsterdam University Press. 

Partner: Nina Vieira (NOVA), Email: ninavieira@fcsh.unl.pt

Nina Vieira is an invited Assistant Researcher and Professor of NOVA FCSH, Lisbon. She is a sub-director and researcher at CHAM - Centre for the Humanities, as a team member of the ERC Synergy Grant 4-OCEANS. She holds a Doctorate in History from NOVA FCSH, a Masters in Marine Ecology and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She participates in several research projects and networks, namely at the European Society for Environmental History and the Oceans Past Initiative. Her main research interests regard marine mammals exploitation in a large chronological frame, being specialised in whaling history both in the North and South Atlantic. Her work fits within the scope of Environmental History, Animal History, Blue Humanities and Marine Historical Ecology. 

Partner: Isabel Gomes de Almeida (NOVA), Email: isalmeida@fcsh.unl.pt

Isabel Gomes de Almeida is an Assistant Professor at the History Department at NOVA FCSH, Lisbon, and a researcher of CHAM- Centre for the Humanities. She has a PhD in History - Ancient History, by Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (2015), a MA in History - specialization field in Ancient Civilizations of Asia and Middle East, and a BA in History, with a minor in Asian History. Her research revolves around History of Religions, namely in what concerns the syncretic processes in ancient Western Asian religious systems, and the construction processes of divine figures. Lately she has been developing a line of research on the significances of ancient southern Mesopotamia aquatic symbols and metaphors, by intertwining History of Religions and Environmental History, to enable a renewed examination on the human's relation with Nature, within this specific context. 

Partner: Moritz Ingwersen (TUD), Email: moritz.ingwersen@tu-dresden.de

Moritz Ingwersen is Professor of North American Literature and Future Studies at TU Dresden where he also serves as a co-PI of the interdisciplinary research project “Transformative Placemaking for Uncertain Futures” affiliated with the TU Dresden Center for Disruption and Societal Change (TUDiSC). Building on a PhD in Cultural Studies from Trent University and an MA in English and Physics from the University of Cologne, his research and teaching focus on critical intersections of the environmental and energy humanities, transformative pedagogy, speculative fiction, science & technology studies, and North American literatures. He is a member of the board of editorial consultants for Science Fiction Studies and the co-editor of the book series Critical Futures (Transcript, 2023–). 

Partner: Orit Halpern (TUD), Email: orit.halpern@tu-dresden.de

Orit Halpern is a Lighthouse Professor and the Chair of Digital Cultures at Technische Universität Dresden. Her research is on histories of cybernetics, design, and artificial intelligence. Her most recent book with Robert Mitchell (MIT Press 2023) is titled the Smartness Mandate. It examines how we have come to believe that digital computing is essential to human survival, and how “smart” technologies and ideologies are remaking planetary futures.  She is also the director of the  Against Catastrophe, a laboratory bridging the arts, environmental sciences, media, and the social sciences to envision non-catastrophic futures. She is currently writing a book on extreme infrastructures and the history of experimentation at planetary scales in design, science, and engineering.