Published 02 October 2019
The SEI and the Environmental Humanities
The Environmental Humanities is a space for experimental, interdisciplinary, and engaged scholarship. At its core, the field is an effort to bring the insights and approaches of the humanities into conversation around some of the most pressing challenges of our day, from climate change and mass extinction, to urbanisation and extraction. It is a field grounded in the insistence that these ‘environmental’ challenges are also inherently social and cultural, and as such they require understandings and responses that take the complexity of human life as seriously as they do the complexity of ecological, geophysical, and climatic systems. In this way, work in the environmental humanities has sought to foreground human diversity—modes of meaning-making, of valuing, of exposure and vulnerability—to explore how we might move forward in ways that are not only sustainable, but also just, inclusive, and genuinely life-enhancing.
Since its foundation in 2013 the Sydney Environment Institute has played a leading role in fostering the environmental humanities in Australia and beyond. We have hosted key conferences and workshops, been partners in the launch of important book series and journals, and we serve as the hub of the Australia-Pacific observatory within the international Humanities for the Environment initiative.
At present we are home to a variety of collaborative environmental humanities projects in areas that range from Multispecies Justice and Unsettling Ecological Poetics, to Extinction Studies and Everyday Militarisms. In the coming years we aim to deepen and strengthen the conversations and collaborations at the core of the environmental humanities. This means working across disciplines, across universities, but also beyond the university entirely. At the heart of this effort is a desire to cultivate an environmental humanities that is deeply rooted in the insights and approaches of Indigenous, feminist, anti-racist, and multispecies scholarship, an approach that takes seriously both the immense challenges and the incredible possibilities of our current moment.
Our Visiting Scholar Program
We are delighted to announce that applications are now open to scholars working within the Environmental Humanities. Our 2020 program will enable two scholars to spend time with us in Sydney collaborating, sharing ideas and facilitating conversation in this broad field of research. Visitors will have the opportunity to present a seminar or workshop for postgraduate students or early career researchers, and we are open to other ideas for creative and novel collaboration.
SEI will cover a return airfare, accomodation and per diem for a period of two weeks, as well as providing a desk, library access and research support for the visitor’s entire stay. While our funding only covers two weeks in Sydney, we hope that some visitors will be able to connect this funding to a sabbatical or period of study leave to stay on for a longer period.
The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion, and we particularly encourage applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ+; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.
For more information on funding, visitor activities, eligibility criteria and the application process, please see a detailed description of the program here.
Prospective applicants are welcomed to contact Associate Professor Thom van Dooren (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any further questions.
Applications will close on Friday January 17, 2020.