Environmental Humanities Initiative


The IHR’s Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI) has long played a leading role in developing the international environmental humanities. From 2009, when the Environmental Humanities Certificate was launched at the Poly and Tempe campuses, to 2013, when the Institute of Humanities Research, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and in collaboration with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, founded the world’s leading environmental humanities network, the Humanities for the Environment Global Observatories (HFE), the EHI has become centrally-placed in the governance structure of ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory (GFL) and a co-founding partner with the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) for the humanities-led BRIDGES Sustainability Coalition.

As of 2022, the UNESCO BRIDGES Sustainability Coalition is headquartered in the new ISTB7 Global Futures Laboratory. This humanities-led coalition will open during Earth Day Week of 2022 and bring unique opportunities for faculty affiliates of the EHI to secure grants and innovate projects that aim to stimulate and guide transdisciplinary efforts to meet the challenges and goals of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ASU’s BRIDGES ‘flagship hub’ will also offer EHI affiliates opportunities to collaborate with humanists at other BRIDGES hubs located in New York (CUNY/Princeton), Paris (Sorbonne), Pretoria (U of Pretoria), and Madrid (Club of Rome) and with the 40 institutions and NGOs, including Future Earth, currently a part of the Coalition.  

EHI affiliates are recognized as Global Futures Scholars and work with their colleagues from across ASU at the IHR and within the `Human Sciences,’ one of 13 governing focal areas within GFL. These collaborations bring together scholars, researchers, and students from the interdisciplinary humanities, social sciences, and arts into diverse collaborations and projects.

Spring 2022 Events

2022 Environmental Humanities Initiative Distinguished Lecture featuring chef Brian Yazzie, "Cooking in Two Worlds: A Food Sovereignty Journey," Wednesday, April 20, 2022, Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building (ISTB) 7, Auditorium, 777 E University Drive, 4:30-5:30pm. More information

Ecologies and Infrastructures: Cultural Techniques of Environmental Management, Kings College London/Arizona State University jointly-hosted Spring Symposium event, featuring Lisa Han, Jacob Greene, Ed Finn, from ASU, and Joanna Zylinska, Günes Tavmen, Jonathan Gray, and Gabriele Colombo, Friday, April 22, 2022, Zoom, Register


BRIDGES will be working closely with ASU’s Humanities Lab to offer interdisciplinary BRIDGES Labs for innovating humanities-led sustainability curricula and student-centric projects.  Preference will be given to course proposals that draw on the environmental justice humanities, the energy humanities, the blue humanities, animal studies, the natural and sustainability sciences, environmental engineering and business. BRIDGES Labs will tackle the entangled connections between climate change, challenges to human and ecological well-being and social vulnerabilities of various kinds rooted in history, philosophies, human cultures, socio-economic circumstances, education-level, inequities associated with race, class and gender, and other institutionalized societal factors. 

Annually, the EHI hosts a Distinguished Lecture to bring faculty together with global thought leaders.  Previous Distinguished lecturers include Vandana Shiva, Mike Hulme, Tiffany King, and Elizabeth Hoover, among others. 

Initiative Director: Joni Adamson

Joni Adamson President's Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Department of English and Distinguished Global Futures Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory (GFL). Her organizational activities helped lay the foundations for environmental justice critical studies and the environmental humanities.  From 1998 to 2011, she founded and led the Environment and Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association (ASA-ECC) and, in 2012, she was elected president of the Association for the Study Literature and Environment (ASLE), the largest organization of environmental humanists in the world. She writes on environmental justice, the centrality of the environmental humanities to the sustainability sciences, Indigenous literatures and scientific literacies, the rights of nature movement, and the food justice movement.  Her research has been supported by many awards and grants, including the 2019 Benjamin N. Duke Fellowship at the National Humanities Center.

She is currently Founding Director of the UNESCO BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition Flagship Hub at GFL and Secretary General of the Humanities for the Environment Global Observatory Network. 

Environmental Humanities Initiative AffiliatesGlobal Futures Scholars