An NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers
Hosted by University of Washington, The Simpson Center for the Humanities, and Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities
Program Dates: June 26 to July 14, 2017
Location: University of Washington, Seattle
“CITY/ NATURE: Exploring the landscape of the urban
environmental humanities” is a summer institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program is open to college and university faculty, and will explore the emerging landscape of the urban environmental humanities as it informs scholarship and teaching. Such an examination opens the door to a more complex understanding of how scholars conceptualize cities and nature and in turn, expand the potential of collaborative thinking across the humanities and sciences.
In an effort to open doors to a more complex and rich understanding of how scholars conceptualize cities and nature, CITY/NATURE will build upon a broad interdisciplinary foundation within the emerging context of urban environmental humanities. The institute will work toward establishing this understanding through the prevalent legacies of the city/nature duality in contemporary culture in an effort to catalyze critical analyses in scholarship and teaching and encourage a synthetic and collaborative approach to further understand the processes and forms of urban nature in our contemporary and future urban landscapes.
By exploring how humanists and natural and social scientists are shaping contemporary urban and environmental research and teaching, this institute seeks to expand upon the humanistic dimensions of the built and natural environments.
Three broad questions ground the institute and directly support participant engagement by building a substantial foundation for research and teaching projects. First, how have scholars portrayed the duality of city/nature and how did it come to be deeply embedded in western culture? Second, how has the interdisciplinary scholarship of those in the humanities and natural sciences challenged and shaped research and teaching on cities and nature? And, third, how can humanists push the boundaries of scholarship and teaching further in order to understand the implications of an increasingly urban world and, perhaps, “articulate,” as Allison Carruth suggests, “the public engagements of the environmental humanities itself, that is to consider both the potentials and pitfalls for what we might call a scholarly social practice”?
Through these questions, participants will contribute to a more robust reading of the impact of an increasingly urban world that is facing significant environmental changes, by pushing the boundaries of scholarship and teaching in the urban environmental humanities.
Throughout the Institute, participants will focus on a scholarly research investigation or the development of an undergraduate course syllabus that incorporates an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to advancing the scholarship and pedagogies of the urban environmental humanities. Each week, participants will engage in seminars and discussions led by core and visiting scholars, partake in local fieldtrips, work on their own investigations.
This Summer Institute is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Any views, finding, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.