The NYU Center for the Humanities is pleased to announce a series of events addressing the Environmental Humanities. Convening conversations already taking place among faculty across NYU’s campuses and beyond, the environmental humanities interweave the University’s sustainability initiatives with established and emerging academic fields in environmentalism and ecology (including the Animal Studies Initiative within the Department of Environmental Studies, the Department of Food Studies, and English Literature).

The environmental humanities are a quickly evolving interdisciplinary movement that combines research from the social and natural sciences with the humanities. Scholars, writers, filmmakers, and others active in this field seek new modes for communicating research and are deeply invested in the public’s input on issues ranging from environmental justice to climate change, food security, economic sustainability, and animal welfare and rights. In several of its units NYU fosters humanistic scholarship that underlines the importance of adequately and responsibly representing research about the environment and that critically considers the ethics and aesthetics of politicizing nature. The environmental humanities events at the Center thus deepen a dialogue with other faculty-driven initiatives across campus.

Spring 2017

The Sexual Politics of Meat

February 21, 6:00-8:00PM
Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room 802

In this multi-media lecture and discussion, author and activist Carol J. Adams discusses the animalizing of women in contemporary cultural images and the sexualizing of animals used for food. Adams is the author of the pioneering volumes “The Sexual Politics of Meat” and “The Pornography of Meat,” and her work has been formative to both ecofeminism and to new directions in critical animal studies. Her lecture will offer an ecofeminist analysis of the interconnected oppressions of sexism, racism, and speciesism by exploring the way popular culture draws on dominant Western philosophical viewpoints regarding race, gender, and species. One of her ambitions is to show how Western epistemologies actually further the objectification of multiple Others, human and non-. In this lecture, she identifies how meat has been a valued masculine-identified protein source and indicates how assumptions about meat eating and its promotion via advertisements, for example, privilege some beings to the violent exclusion of many others. Complimentary vegan food reception to follow.

Hosted by the Animal Welfare Collective
Co-sponsored by Animal Studies Initiative, Asian American Women’s Alliance, Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality, and The Feminist Society

Climate Action Conference

March 10 and 11, all day
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place
Stern School of Business, 44 West 4th Street

Humanity is facing a global climate emergency, and we must act now to address the environmental, economic and political issues contributing to the problem. The Climate Action Conference aims to mobilize individuals and groups across disciplines and practices. The conference will feature some of the leading figures in the environmental movement as well as leaders from diverse fields such as climate science, medicine, public policy and the arts, as well as elected officials and impacted citizens.

Hosted by Tisch School of the Arts
Co-sponsored by Hip Hop Caucus and Justice Action Mobilization Network

Modern Meat: The Science and Culture of Meat Substitutes

April 21, 2:00PM
Theater 101, Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street

The Science and Culture of Meat Substitutes will be hosted by NYU Animal Studies Initiative and the Experimental Cuisine Collective. The Collective was launched in 2007 by NYU’s Kent Kirshenbaum (Chemistry) and Amy Bentley (Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health). The event — featuring Prof. Kirshenbaum, Isha Datar (CEO, New Harvest), Alan Levinovitz (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, JMU), and Ben Wurgaft (Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT) — consists of two panels: the science and business of meat substitutes and the societal dimensions of meat substitutes (history, culture, technology).

Hosted by the Animal Studies Initiative and Experimental Cuisine Collective

Vegan Living: Fashion, Food, and Fitness

April 25, 6:00-8:00PM
Theater 200, Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street

Join us for a conversation about various aspects of what it means to live as a vegan. Panelists include David Carter, Chloe Coscarelli, Josh Katcher, and Dominick Thompson.

Fall 2016

Human Futures

September 23, 2016, 6-7:30pm
20 Cooper Square, 5th floor

Ursula Heise in conversation with Robert Nixon
Moderated by Una Chaudhuri
Co-sponsored by Department of Environmental Studies, Department of English, and Department of Comparative Literature

Sparks of Life: Electricity, Animality, and Film

October 6, 2016, 6-7:30pm
20 Cooper Square, 5th floor

Conversation with Anat Pick
Moderated by Una Chaudhuri
Co-sponsored by Animal Studies Initiative, Department of English, and Department of Cinema Studies

An Inquiry into the Metaphysics of Others

October 13, 2016, 6-7:30pm
NYU Law, Vanderbilt Hall, Room 204

Co-sponsored by Animal Studies Initiative, Department of Anthropology, Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of French Studies, and Maison Française

Love and Death in the Anthropocene

October 24, 2016, 6-7:30pm
20 Cooper Square, 5th floor

Conversation with Ulrich Baer, Dale Jamieson, Bonnie Nadzam, and Roy Scranton. Moderated by Yanoula Athanassakis
Co-sponsored by Animal Studies Initiative, Department of Environmental Studies, and Department of English

Captured at Sea, Trafficking, Slavery, & Illegal Fishing on the Open Ocean

November 1, 2016, 6-7:30pm
NYU Law, Tishman Auditorium

Conversation with Daniel Pauly, Abby McGill, John Hocevar, and Ian Urbina
Moderated by Jennifer Jacquet

Spring 2016

On Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 (5-7pm) we welcomed Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction and staff writer for The New Yorker, in conversation with Professor Eric Klinenberg (NYU Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge), to talk about environmental catastrophes.

On Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 (5-7pm), we organized a Q&A panel with the directors and producers of Cowspiracy (now streaming on Netflix): Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn.

For their support and suggestions on this open-ended series we thank the Institute for Public Knowledge; Una Chaudhuri, Collegiate Professor and Professor of English, Drama, and Environmental Studies; Colin Jerolmack, Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Director of Animal Studies Initiative; and NYU Sustainability. Co-facilitators included Vice Provost of Faculty, Arts, Humanities and Diversity, Professor Ulrich Baer; Director of the Center for the Humanities, Gwynneth C. Malin, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Provost, Yanoula Athanassakis.

Event list:

February 10th, 5-7pm. “Disaster and Environmental Justice.”
Elizabeth Kolbert in conversation with Eric Klinenberg.
Introduced by Ulrich C. Baer

March 8th, 5-7pm. “Food and Animals.”
A conversation with directors and producers of the film, Cowspiracy, Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn.
Introduced by Gwynneth Malin

March 22nd, 5-7pm. “Vegan Athletes.”
David Carter, Rich Roll, Dominick Thompson, and Michelle McMacken (MD).
Moderated by Yanoula Athanassakis
Introduced by Nicolas Delon