The body and environmental history in the Anthropocene

Authored by: Linda Nash

The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138786745
eBook ISBN: 9781315766355
Adobe ISBN: 9781317660194

10.4324/9781315766355.ch38

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Abstract

Over the last decade and a half, the humanities have witnessed a material turn, one aspect of which is the emergence of the environment as a key area of study among humanists and a growing group of culturally focused social scientists. The reasons for this are clear enough: the magnitude of the contemporary environmental crisis has challenged any exclusive focus on culture and language. Equally important, the modernist framing of the “environment” as an object of the natural sciences has led to a research program based on the assumption that responses to this crisis will emanate primarily from the natural and policy sciences. The claim for environmental humanities is thus an argument that studies of culture are highly relevant and should not be marginalized within ongoing studies of global change (Palsson et al.). Sometimes it has the feel of a beggar knocking at the door for a few scraps of research funding.

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