Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Environmental Humanities 2022-23

By expanding the focus of research beyond the human experience to incorporate the natural world, the environmental humanities reveal many new topics of research. The 2022–23 programming of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB) dwelled especially on how we (re)compose our lived environments. In written narratives, visual art, and urban projects, fiction and nonfiction, invention and truth, reciprocity and estrangements overlap in complex ways.

The initiative hosted readings of new work by Catriona Sandilands (York University, Toronto) and Elizabeth Rush (Brown University) and cosponsored the on-campus visits of Maggie Nelson (hosted by Nonfiction@Brown) and Robin Wall Kimmerer (hosted by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative).

In spring 2023, two collaborative humanities graduate seminars, “Racial Ecologies” taught by Macarena Gómez-Barris (Modern Culture and Media) and “In the Wake of War: Ecologies of Displacement” team-taught by Daniel Y. Kim and Ada Smailbegovic (English), hosted public events with visual artist Carolina Caycedo and anthropologist Jerry Zee.

The reading group approached ideas of nature, experienced or imagined, through a variety of disciplinary lenses, including disability studies, gender studies, philosophy, ethnography, queer studies, and sound archives. A particular thread throughout the spring explored human and animal subjectivity and consumption of (and as) food.