Launch Centre for Environmental Humanities


On 15 November, the Utrecht University Centre for Environmental Humanities will be launched. The Centre brings together academics (including students) from the Humanities who engage in sustainability-related research and education. Around 5 pm, after the launch lecture by Simon Richter, we will have a drink and toast to the Centre for Environmental Humanities. Dean Keimpe Algra will give the opening speech. 

The Humanities and environmental issues

The fight against climate change and biodiversity collapse features prominently in news media while technological developments are going fast. And yet, changing human ways of thinking, consuming, producing and engaging with other species proves difficult to say the least. We need the Humanities to understand environmental issues as an interface of social, cultural and political challenges. With this aim, the Centre for Environmental Humanities has been established. It will engage with questions of meaning, value, ethics, (climate and racial) justice, environmental politics, political economy, and the politics of knowledge production in the environmental domain. Its aim is to bring together academics (including students) from a variety of disciplines to reflect upon these questions, to stimulate interdisciplinary research and teaching and to engage with the world beyond academia.

Simon Richter on Dutch responses to climate change

This event marks the official launch of the Centre for Environmental Humanities. Our guest speaker will be Simon Richter, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania and involved in the Penn Programme in Environmental Humanities. In his talk “Room for Ambivalence: An Outsider’s Reflections on the Dutch Water Story, Professor Richter will speak about Dutch responses to rising seas and sinking cities. He will clarify myths about the Netherlands, often considered a model of adaptation. Although the country’s intimate historical relationship with water has taught it to live below sea level, the present-day situation shows that it does so only imperfectly.

Richter about the Dutch Sea Level

'Poldergeist' is Richter's Twitter persona for sharing information and opinion.
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To receive the link for this event, please send an email to Liesbeth van de Grift.

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This event is sponsored by the Centre for Global Challenges