Manifesto and Mission

As teachers and scholars in the humanities, we believe it is our responsibility to bring the perspectives and tools of our academic training to bear on environmental problems and possibilities. The humanities alone cannot grasp or solve the serious environmental crises that face us, but these crises cannot be fully understood or addressed without the unique resources provided by humanistic scholarship.  We seek both to bring the perspectives and insights of the humanities into environmental studies and to bring environmental perspectives into teaching and research in the humanities.  We believe, further, that environmental crises will not be resolved solely by technological fixes.  In order to address the environmental challenges ahead of us, we need a cultural shift in how we consider relations between humans and nonhuman nature.  Scholarship and teaching in the humanities and fine arts provide an opportunity to examine and rethink these relations through forms such as language, literature, rhetoric, art, religion, and history.

The University of Florida Environmental Humanities Initiative was developed to provide scholars, teachers, and students in the humanities and related areas a community in which to forward, discuss, and promote research and teaching strategies about environmental issues.  The University of Florida Environmental Humanities Initiative takes as its mission the imperative that humanistic scholarship must be central to environmental education and that environmental education must be central to all education.  With this in mind, this initiative strives to galvanize diverse conversations across the UF campus toward the unified goal of increased awareness of and support for research and teaching in environmental humanities.

Our specific goals include the following:
* to increase awareness of environmental humanities among UF scholars and teachers in the humanities and other disciplines
* to assist faculty from a wide range of disciplines to integrate material in environmental humanities into their classes
* to increase the number of environmentally themed classes taught in humanities disciplines at UF
* to encourage, facilitate, and promote research in environmental humanities
* to support workshops, lectures, and other events in the field
* to pursue internal and external support for these and other initiatives
* to connect teachers, researchers, and students interested in the environmental humanities

We invite comments and participation from scholars, teachers, and students in the humanities and interdisciplinary environmental sciences and studies at UF and beyond