The environmental humanities respond to pressing issues such as climate change, waste and sustainability, or the relations between humans and animals, from the perspective of the humanities. The growing field is grounded in the realization that culture is a major factor in the problems that currently challenge us, and that the humanities possess key tools and insights to approach these problems. The field is dynamic and combines methods and theories from several disciplines to confront the multifaceted problems of the Anthropocene era.
The Environmental Humanities Center at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam aims to bring together teachers and researchers who approach the relation between culture and environment from a humanities perspective. In order to educate a new generation of academics who are prepared for the problems of the Anthropocene, traditional academic structures no longer suffice. Researchers and students from disciplines such as history, literary studies, art and design studies, archaeology, philosophy, theology (and more) are ready to learn from each other and find new perspectives, questions and answers in the field of environmental humanities. From this basis, the environmental humanities aims to connect with researchers from other sciences concerned with the environment (geologists, climate scientists, anthropologists, social scientists, and many more). It is also an explicit aim of the center to make our knowledge available and accessible to the general public.