Libby Robin is the keynote speaker at the launch of the Environmental Humanities Center at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on Friday 4 November 2016.
The Environmental Humanities (EH) is a focus for collaborative projects between the humanities disciplines emerging in different forms in universities all over the world. Environmental ensures that EH engages with big global issues, including global climate change, energy transitions and the idea of the Anthropocene (the proposed geological epoch sometimes called the Age of Humans). Humanities shapes the ‘practice’, which can be profoundly local, ‘bottom up’, and inclusive. Literature, philosophy, history and cultural studies all bring theoretical perspectives to this project, but the practice demands an eclectic approach that enables partnerships with the broader public, as well as formally trained humanities scholars.
Drawing on personal experience in Australia, Sweden, Germany and the UK, Libby will consider the ways that EH works in practice in particular places. EH can enable collaborations between Universities and their communities, greening and knitting together scholars and the public through practical exercises reflecting on global change. Partnerships with museums, with artists, with natural scientists and with policy-makers can emerge as EH builds on many different sorts of collaboration, depending on the interests of its hub of practitioners and the local issues that engage them.
Libby Robin’s newest book is Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change (Routledge 2017, 298pp), a collaboration that created the Museums and Climate Change Network (http://www.amnh.org/our-research/anthropology/projects/museums-and-climate-change-network) She is Professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, and affiliated professor at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, in the KTH Environmental Humanities Lab and the National Museum of Australia.
Feature image Hortus Bridge Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam by Henk van der Eijk