Launch event Utrecht Centre for Environmental Humanities

What: Launch event Utrecht Centre for Environmental Humanities

When: 15 November 15.30-17.00 followed by drinks

Where: Belle van Zuylenzaal, Academiegebouw

Registration: (Luzie Voß)

The fight against climate change and biodiversity collapse features prominently in news media while technological developments are going fast. And yet, changing human ways of thinking, consuming, producing and engaging with other species proves difficult to say the least. We need the Humanities to understand environmental issues as an interface of social, cultural and political challenges. With this aim, the Utrecht Centre for Environmental Humanities has been established. It will engage with questions of meaning, value, ethics, (climate and racial) justice, environmental politics, political economy, and the politics of knowledge production in the environmental domain. Its aim is to bring together academics from a variety of disciplines, including students, to reflect upon these questions, to stimulate interdisciplinary research and teaching and to engage with the world beyond academia.


This event marks the official launch of the Utrecht Centre for Environmental Humanities. Our guest speaker will be Simon Richter, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania and involved in the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. In his talk “Room for Ambivalence: An Outsider’s Reflections on the Dutch Water Story,” Professor Richter will talk about Dutch responses to rising seas and sinking cities. He will clarify myths about the Netherlands, often considered a model of adaptation. Although the country’s intimate historical relationship with water has taught it to live below sea level, the present-day situation shows that it does so only imperfectly.