In the end, arguments concerning environmental crisis can only come from the arts and humanities. Science can tell us with modest assurance the probability of future occurrences within the environment, why they are likely to happen, and perhaps what can be done to change them, but only the arts and humanities can call them a crisis, or label the occurrence as positive or negative. Once scientists do that, they are out of the realm of science. Protecting the environment is only arguable from a humanistic, if not anthropocentric, position.”

Critical Art Ensemble, Aesthetics, Necropolitics, and Environmental Struggle

The Notre Dame Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHUM) is an interdisciplinary initiative that seeks to foster scholarly research, creative endeavor, spiritual communion, undergraduate education, and international leadership on critical environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity collapse, environmental justice, and the human impact on the non-human world, through a humanities perspective that foregrounds questions of ethics, value, and meaning, with an emphasis on relational, environmental, and ecological thought. We believe that there is an intelligibility and a coherence to all reality, discoverable through spirit, mind, and imagination, and that we have an obligation to assist the world in creating justice grounded in love, especially in confronting the global crises of climate change, biodiversity collapse, and systemic environmental injustice. In our perspective, the environmental humanities have a key role to play today in cultivating moral judgment, nurturing a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good, promoting rigorous critical reasoning, and fostering intellectual and artistic creativity.

For more information, contact Roy Scranton