Announcing the Oxford-Penn-Toronto International Doctoral Cluster in Environmental Humanities

September 8, 2021

PPEH, University of Oxford, and University of Toronto logos

We are excited to announce the development of an international research cluster in the Environmental Humanities, being launched by faculty and graduate students at the Universities of Oxford, Pennsylvania, and Toronto. We’re beginning this year with a collaborative, virtual lecture-seminar series: a forum to collectively imagine and design what comes next. We see this series as an opportunity to investigate the themes and questions that will guide the cluster. It’s important to us to acknowledge that this research collective is not settled. We’re also seeking partners --institutional participants beyond the current trio of Penn, Toronto and Oxford, as well as partners envisioning the iterative and exploratory work of the cluster going forward.

In this moment, we are particularly animated by pressing issues surrounding the relationship of institutional regimes and their logics of power to environmental injustice --of which the recent censure of the University of Toronto is only the most recent marker in a long global history.

If environmental humanities attend to the histories and practices that have severed thought from place, cleaving culture from nature, how might this collaborative cluster for training future leaders in environmental humanities support practices that institute better relations? How might we bring critical university studies into fresh dialogue with discourses of environment and ecology? How can we engage with communities to work toward environmental justice in our local and connected spaces? How can such a seminar series, and more broadly, a research cluster hosted by three colonial institutions, do meaningful restorative and anti-colonial work?