The 98th RIHN seminar

Date: 3 December 2013 (Tue.)
Time: 15:00 –16:30
Place: Lecture Hall ( → Access)
Title: Environmental Humanities and a Transdisciplinary Response to Global Environmental Change. The experience of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.
Speaker: Dr. EMMETT, Robert (Director of Academic Programs, Rachel Carson Centor for Environment and Society, Germany) .


The environmental humanities have been described as an “unsettling” of discipline (Rose et al 2012) with several goals. First, the environmental humanities combine strands of theoretical and historical work fragmented across disciplinary movements in cultural studies, ecocriticism, history of technology, and environmental history. Second, environmental humanities analyze and provide a critical framework for questioning narratives of global environmental change produced in the physical sciences―including urgent debates over climate change and the crypto-normative discourse that has developed around the Anthropocene. Third, research and education undertaken in an environmental humanities framework must connect with transdisciplinary environmental research at the level of communities of practice and through the concepts of environmental literacy, justice, and citizenship. These are the principles, but how do we put them into practice in research institutions? The practical question I hope to shed light on and discuss with you is: How might the environmental humanities, which have thus far been an interdisciplinary project of humanities research into global environmental change, effectively collaborate with social and natural scientists? I will describe the projects and approaches to sponsoring environmental humanities research at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, an initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research at the LMU Munich.

Brief Curriculum Vitae:

Dr. Robert Emmett completed his PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin with an emphasis on U.S. environmental literature and environmental history. Since January 2013 he has served as Director of Academic Programs at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, where he helps develop strategic partnerships, serves as the co-convener for RCC events and workshops, and teaches in the new Environmental Studies certificate program. His research interests include U.S. environmental writing, new media, the protest novel, urban ecology, and the environmental history of public spaces. His recent research has focused on U.S. urban gardens and the cultivation of environmental justice, ecomedia representations of land loss in coastal Louisiana, and conceptualizing the emerging the interdisciplinary environmental humanities. Emmett is a founding member of the European Environmental Humanities Alliance, a coalition of professional associations, research centers, and networks for humanities and social sciences research to address the social challenges of environmental degradation.

KURATA Takashi (Associate Professor, RIHN)
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
457-4 Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8047, Japan
Phone : +81-75-707-2382
Fax : +81-75-707-2513