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SustainabilityApproaches to Environmental Justice and Social Power$
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Julie Sze

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479894567

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479894567.001.0001

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Situating New Constellations of Practice in the Humanities

Situating New Constellations of Practice in the Humanities

Toward a Just and Sustainable Future

(p.53) 2 Situating New Constellations of Practice in the Humanities
Joni Adamson
NYU Press

What forms will sustainability research that integrates the humanities take? This chapter seeks to explore this question. Adamson provides a brief field genealogy of the environmental humanities and situates this emerging field within a deepening critical engagement with the concepts of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” that has been taking shape since the publication of “The Future we Want,” the outcome document of the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and “On Care for Our Common Home: Laudato Si´,” the encyclical published in advance of the 2015 Paris Climate talks by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church. She then evaluates an ambitious humanities project emerging from calls at the international levels for more equity- and justice-focused definitions of sustainability. Titled “Humanities for the Environment,” or HfE, this project is designed to explore the roots and consequences of human caused change in the Anthropocene, or Age of the Human. Choosing the term “Observatory” as the formal mechanism they will use to network researchers, institutions, communities, NGOs, HfE projects are designed to align with other global scientific research projects, platforms and initiatives by evoking a sense of a humanities “laboratory” or “research space” where HfE researchers pilot new constellations of practice within the humanities and new forms of collaboration with the sustainability sciences. Adamson evaluates three HfE projects that bring humanists, scientists, policy-makers, and local communities together to creatively work for a more just and sustainable “future we want.”

Keywords:   humanities, sustainability, The Future We Want, observatory, Anthropocene, environmental justice, network, collaboration, interdisciplinary, integrated research

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