Environmental Humanities


The environmental crisis has found its way into many disciplines of the humanities such as environmental philosophy, ecocriticism, cultural anthropology, environmental history, political ecology, and many others. And each of these disciplines has their own unique approach to the environmental problems engulfing us today. The environmental humanities is an interdisciplinary area of study that brings together these environmental perspectives. 

The western tradition has long examined Earth’s natural processes through the eye of objective science. And while the value of science is not to be undermined, we have simultaneously maintained a dangerous divide between “nature” and “culture.” The environmental humanities asks what it means to be “human” as we examine the complex relationships between humans (culturally, economically, politically, etc.) and the environment. As Environmental historian, Sverker Sörlin, says, “We cannot dream of sustainability unless we start to pay more attention to the human agents of the planetary pressure that environmental experts are masters at measuring but that they seem unable to prevent.”

The Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI) at the University of Montana promotes discourse and engagement within the environmental humanities. Led by faculty and graduate students, the EHI is a place for interdisciplinary exchange. Join the EHI for environmental humanities roundtables every semester and other environmental humanities opportunities. This collective effort offers space for those working, researching, writing, or simply interested in the environmental humanities to have illuminating conversations. Additionally, the EHI aims to promote interdisciplinary work by offering a space to share research, classes, and events that may otherwise go unseen by fellow environmental humanities scholars.