Summer Seminar - Ecology and Ethnicity: Sustainability Studies' Contributions to Place


The Summer Institute is postponed until 2015. Please check back in January for more details!

Ecology and Ethnicity: Sustainability Studies' Contribution to Place UNH Summer Seminar 

Ecology and Ethnicity: Sustainability Studies' Contribution to Place 2013 UNH Summer Seminar

For humanities scholars looking to expand their knowledge of sustainability science and transform their scholarship in sustainability studies


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Our Topic

The University of New
Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute (UNHSI) is pleased to offer its second
summer faculty seminar in Culture and Sustainability. “Race, Space and Place:
Sustaining Harriet Wilson” will explore the relationship between the Humanities
and Sustainability through a case study of the first African-American woman
novelist—and New Hampshire resident--Harriet Wilson.

The UNHSI aims to
expand discussions of sustainability beyond purely ecological and/or economic
terms, and to do so by strengthening partnerships between academics and
community leaders.  Communities of color across the globe have long argued
that “sustainable development” will never happen without attention to social
justice and cultural diversity.  In this seminar, we will review the
history of sustainability organizing that has emerged from such communities,
and learn from a local heritage project that is sustaining African-American
cultural heritage in an apparently unlikely place: the Harriet Wilson
in Milford, NH. 

We invite participants working on race and
ethnicity, public memory, and cultural heritage management to join us with
their work in progress: essays, books, grant proposals. Mornings will be
devoted to readings and discussions; afternoons are free for research, writing
and consulting.  A field trip to the
Wilson Project is included, and optional workshops in digital tools for
cultural heritage management will be offered.


Our Seminar Leaders and Their Topics

Rhondda Robinson Thomas is assistant professor in the Department
of English at Clemson University where she teaches African American and
American literature. She is author of Claiming Exodus: a Cultural History of
Afro-Atlantic Identity, 1874-1803
(Baylor University Press, 2013), editor
of the scholarly edition of Jane Edna Hunter's autobiography A Nickel and a
(West Virginia University Press, 2013), and co-editor of The
South Carolina Roots of African American Thought, A Reader
(University of
South Carolina Press, 2014). She worked as a research assistant with for the
Penguin edition of Harriet Wilson's Our Nig. She is a contributor to the
new Oxford Handbook to the African-American Slave Narrative and had
published essays in African American Review and Southern Quarterly. Her
current project is a book to be titled Slaves of the State: Colored Convicts
and Ivory Towers in Postbellum South Carolina, 1889-1908.
Thomas received
her PhD in English from the University of Maryland and her MA in Literature
from the University of New Hampshire.

JerriAnne Boggis is a longtime community activist and Director of the Harriet Wilson Project

Courtney Marshall is Assistant Professor of English at UNH, where she teaches classes on
African-American literature, law and culture. 
She is working on a book about African-American women’s literature and

Reginald Wilburn is Assistant Professor of English at UNH and author of Preaching the Gospel of Black Revolt (2014).

Siobhan Senier is Associate Professor of English at UNH and editor of Writing of Indigenous
New England

She has written about race and sustainability for journals including Resilience and Journal of Ecocriticism.



Seminar Site

  • The Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Durham campus is a convener, cultivator and champion of sustainability on campus, in the state and region, and around the world.
  • UNH Durham is located about an hour north of Boston, in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the White Mountains.




  • Campus housing is available at the rate of $239.50 for an air conditioned single (6 nights) or $202.50 for an air-conditioned double. (Without air conditioning: $193 for a single and $160 for a double).
  • Parking is available for a fee of $8/day. Participants who would prefer to stay off campus must stay in one of several area hotels. 
  • Breakfast and snacks are included in institute registration fees, and Durham offers a number of casual restaurants for lunch and dinner.


Application & Registration: Apply by March 15, 2013

  • To apply for the seminar, please send a 1-page c.v. and 1-page statement describing your current research project to by March 15, 2013. You will be notified in April.
  • Registration information coming soon.



  • Faculty: $750
  • Graduate Students: $500
  • Some scholarship support is available; please inquire.

More Information

Contact JerriAnne Boggis at or The Sustainability Institute at