Speaker Series

Speaker Series

Environmental Humanities Speaker Series

Spring 2019

Our second Environmental Humanities Speaker Series event was March 14, 2019. Our guest was Dr. Bethany Wiggin, Founding Director of the University of Pennsylvania Program in Environmental Humanities and Associate Professor of German. Dr. Wiggin discussed her experiences with developing scholarly, curricular, and community relationships between the Humanities and sciences around critical environmental concern. Her talk, followed by audience discussion, was "Environmental Humanists & Climate Humanists: Partnerships & Program Building on American College Campuses". The flyer for the event as well as additional information about Dr. Wiggin appears further down the page. A video recording of the event appears below.

 wiggin event flyer

Dr. Wiggin describes the talk as follows: "In a present of accelerating, anthropogenically driven climate change, 'Environmental Humanities' articulates the need to situate the study of environment within specific locations, in partnership with science departments. This talk explores examples of environmental humanities research across the arts and sciences on several American college campuses, including the University of Pennsylvania. Four case studies highlight how partnerships both on campus and with communities can help grow the civic and collaborative infrastructure sorely needed in our climate-changed present."

Dr. Wiggin is the author of numerous research publications. Dr. Wiggin’s research connects with audiences beyond the academy as well, and has been featured on PBS Newshour, CBS Evening News, CNN, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Vice, Die Tagesschau, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, Le Monde, and Science Friday.


Fall 2018

The very first Environmental Humanities Speaker Series event happened on October 29, 2018. Our speaker was Dr. Mckay Jenkins. Dr. Jenkins is Tilghman Professor of English, Journalism, and Environmental Humanities at the University of Delaware. His talk, followed by a panel/audience discussion of NEH Faculty Fellows, was called "Foodsheds and Watersheds: Establishing Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations in the Environmental Humanities". The event ran from 2:00 - 3:15 pm in Business Hall 104A.  A video recording of Dr. Jenkins' talk and the audience discussion appears below. The flyer for the event as well as additional information about Dr. Jenkins appears further down the page.

 Jenkins Flyer

Dr. Jenkins shared his experiences developing innovative and experiential ways to engage students in the Environmental Humanities, including: student watershed field journaling; student volunteer farm work; Susquehanna River canoe trips; and invasive species removal projects — all happening outside the classroom.

Dr. Jenkins is an English and Journalism professor at the University of Delaware, specializing in environmental studies and the history, journalism, and literature of race relations and social justice. The Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, Journalism, and Environmental Humanities, he has been writing about people and the natural world for 25 years. Jenkins is the author of the book Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet (Avery, January, 2017), which examines the contentious national debate over the safety, politics, and environmental implications of genetic engineering and industrial food. Jenkins is also the author of ContamiNation (Avery, 2016 - previously published as What's Gotten Into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World (Random House, 2011), which chronicles his investigation into the myriad synthetic chemicals we encounter in our daily lives, and the growing body of evidence about the harm these chemicals do to our bodies and the environment. He is also the co-author (with E.G. Vallianatos) of Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA (Bloomsbury, 2014) that Booklist (in a starred review) called "a jaw-dropping expose" and "a resounding call for genuine and sustained environmental responsibility."