Humanities for the Environment North American Observatory Update: South Cluster

September 11, 2013

“Regional Responses in Environmental Humanities” is the theme of the South Cluster of the Humanities for the Environment project, one of the collaborative projects incubated by CHCI member organizations and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Led by David Phillips at Wake Forest University’s Humanities Institute, the South Cluster includes collaborators at other institutions, not all of them in the South—Phillips, Ann Waltner (University of Minnesota), and Ann Kaplan (SUNY Stony Brook University).  Throughout the first half of 2013 the team held teleconference discussions and planning meetings, resulting in detailed plans for three regional investigations of the role of the humanities in the Anthropocene, as well as an ambitious plan for a website intended to serve as a collaborative research platform for all of the project partners.

The first project is the “Community Mapping Project,” based on collaborative, community-based research by scholars and students in eight courses at Wake Forest University and Stony Brook University.  The research consists of community-asset mapping, historical mapping, interviewing, and documentary filmmaking of local and regional contributions to environmental awareness, environmental reform, environmental conservation, and other sustainable practices.

The second project builds on the “River Life Project” at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota.  This is a web-based project using social media, a digital atlas, and case-study reports to develop and share knowledge on the science and professional practices that create inclusive, sustainable rivers.

The third project, entitled the “Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Project,” takes place at the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University.  It examines ethical, historical, and creative perspectives on the human role in the Anthropocene.

The South Cluster team also discussed the website plan with the Australian, and European Observatories, with a view toward coordinated sharing and cross-posting of project information.  The goal is to launch the site in the fall of 2013 and the three research projects in the spring of 2014.

This is the first of several planned updates on CHCI's Mellon projects.  Click the CHCI logo at the top of this page to return to the CHCI Home page.