environmental problems requires fundamentally new approaches. This report is based upon a survey of practitioners who work in the field of Environmental Humanities and summarizes ten steps for action and implementation.
Members: Norman Backhaus, Christoph Brunner, Olivier Ejderyan, Rachel Falcooner, Johanna Fassl, Fabrizio Frascaroli, Flurina Gradin, Brack Hale, Dennis Hansen, Claudia Hegglin, Angelika Hilbeck, Katherine Horgan, Marc Hufty, Florian Knaus, Patrick Kupper, Lars Larsson, Rachel Nisbet, Alison Pouliot, Simone Quatrini, Veronika Rall, Christian Rohr, Beni Rohrbach, Manuela Rossini, Rory Rowan, Philippe Saner, Juanita Schläpfer-Miller, Emily Scott, Dan Tamir, Yvonne Volkart, Caroline Weckerle, Caroline Wiedmer
Current Situation: 'Environmental Humanities' (EH, Umwelt-Geisteswissenschaften / Sciences humaines de l'environnement / Scienze umane dell'ambiente) is a new interdisciplinary research field that explores environmental issues through the methods and insights of the humanities. Historic, social, philosophical, and cultural insights offer fresh perspectives for addressing and understanding complex environmental problems. This rapidly growing research field aims to identify effective, sustainable, and equitable ways of living within the earth's natural limits. Such areas as history, human geography, philosophy, ethics, literature and arts, ethnobotany, and law provide important venues for understanding environmental issues, but combining synergistic and novel insights of these fields in new ways is the promise of environmental humanities. Natural sciences are also integral to environmental humanities, though not as ways to define environmental problems but as partners for enriching their humanistic understanding.
Selected Topics: Key research goals of environmental humanities include
Objectives of the Working Group: In Spring 2013, a new Working Group in Environmental Humanities was founded with the aim of strengthening this field in Switzerland while encouraging better networking and cooperative activities: holding periodic meetings and conferences, formulating key research agenda, coordinating and expanding EH course offerings at several universities, developing joint publications, organizing public outreach events such as film and lecture series. The EH Working Group aims to join researchers from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences from several Swiss universities working on both sides of the Röstigraben.
Marc Hall, Philippe Forêt und Christoph Küffer