Culture & Sustainability Discussion Group

Spring 2012: Sustainability as a Pedagogical Project

The UNH Sustainability Academy and the UNH Center for the Humanities are launching a monthly working group devoted to sustainability and the humanities as part of UNH's Culture and Sustainability Initiative.

If, as UNH Chief Sustainability Officer Dr. Tom Kelly puts it, sustainability is a “shared outlook” that “attends to interactions” among ecological, social, political, and cultural realms, then what does it mean to teach the Humanities within this shared outlook? What roles can the Humanities play in sustainability efforts? How should we sustain the Humanities, and our Humanities teaching, especially given the conditions currently facing public universities?

This spring we’ll explore the three winning proposals (in Classics, English, and Women’s Studies) from the UNH Sustainability Academy’s Fall 2011 call for Liberal Arts & Sustainability courses. We hope to use these discussions to generate teaching units that could be used across the curriculum and repeated over time, allowing faculty and students to collaboratively build knowledge about sustainability’s larger questions through a series of concrete exercises. The group is also intended to help us build community across the various disciplines and groups of teaching professionals.