Oxford-Penn-Toronto International Doctoral Cluster (OPT IDC) international research cluster in the Environmental Humanities

Oxford Penn Toronto International Doctoral Cluster text and logos from each institution

The Oxford-Penn-Toronto International Doctoral Cluster (OPT IDC) is an international research cluster in the Environmental Humanities which launched in fall 2021, by faculty and graduate students, at the Universities of Oxford, Pennsylvania, and Toronto. This year, we are collaborating on a virtual lecture-seminar series: a forum to collectively imagine and design what comes next. This series is 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?


March 29, 2023: Dr. Melody Jue, Holding Sway: Sustainability and the Photomedia of Seaweeds, OPT IDC Working Wednesday
February 28, 2023: Dr. Janelle Baker, Eating in the Oil Sands: How Boreal Forest Foods Speak to us
October 12, 2022: OPT IDC Working Wednesday
March 3, 2022: Dr. David Farrier, Anthropocene Storytelling: Homecoming or far from home
February 3, 2022: Dr. Justin Hosbey, Race, Justice, and the Ecological Legacy of the Plantation in Southern Louisiana
December 1, 2021: Dr. Kim Ruffin, Teaching and Knowing an Anti-Racist Nature
October 28, 2021: Dr. Linda T Smith, Decolonising the way we know the world, ourselves and other entities

In the news
Check out this article in Penn Today!