CULT 7003 Environmental Humanities

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102339

Coordinator Josh Wodak Opens in new window

Description This subject provides an overview of the emerging interdisciplinary field of Environmental Humanities. It provides a space of dialogue for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students to work collaboratively in developing novel ways of thinking about the relationships between culture and nature. The subject centres on emerging conceptual trends interrogating notions such as: Anthropocene, extinction, planetary boundaries, critical zones, socio-ecological change dynamics, as a way of engaging with fundamental questions of meaning, justice, value, responsibility and purpose in a time of rapid and escalating change. The subject also focuses on methodological issues and tackles questions of co-construction between HASS and STEM disciplines.

School Graduate Research School

Discipline Society and Culture, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the historical, philosophical and political implications of human transformation of the environment and the ways we rethink our relations with other non-human beings.
  2. Define the major theoretical traditions in environmental humanities identifying the multiple subareas within environmental humanities and understanding their origins, connections, and divergences.
  3. Use a range of methods to analyse, critically interrogate, and offer solutions to diverse perspectives on contemporary environmental concerns and dilemmas.
  4. Use interdisciplinary approaches to tackling complex problems, including developing research, writing and presentation skills that successfully integrate knowledge from humanities, social sciences, science and technology, and the natural sciences.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to translate and present research in an academic forum.

Subject Content

This subject is offered through a combination of online and face-to-face delivery. Students are required to attend 5 x 2 hour lectures, 10 x 2 hour seminars and 1 x 2 hour symposium. The subject makes extensive use of blended learning for accessing resources and activities. Students are expected to spend approximately 120 hours on this subject, working through the reading program, contributing to online discussions, completing the assessment tasks and attending the compulsory lectures/seminars.
Preliminary content include:
1. Conceptualising the environmental humanities: concepts and methods for studying cultures/natures
2. Understanding living systems and coupled socio-ecological dynamics
3. Living in the Anthropocene: exceeding planetary boundaries
4. Approaches in Environmental History
5. Debates in Environmental Anthropology
6. Sustainability and Design
7. Normative principles of Environmental Justice
8. Science, democracy and citizenship
9. Researching global change; interdisciplinary challenges.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Literature review 2,000 words 25 N Individual
Research Article or Paper 4,000 words 35 N Individual
Symposium Presentation 15 minutes 35 N Individual
Provocation 3 images 5 N Individual