GW4 Environmental Humanities Group

Following our successful application to the GW4 Initiator Fund, the first GW4 Environmental Humanities Group meeting will take place at the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus on the 1st and 2nd December. This network will bring together colleagues from GW4 universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter) working on similar issues, from different disciplinary backgrounds, who often have little opportunity to speak to one another.

The first workshop responds to the urgent need to develop new ways of addressing the challenge of climate and environmental change by communicating and harnessing research in individual humanities disciplines on sustainability, place and cultural memory. The concept of place has generated rich scholarly engagement on a range of issues including emotional attachment, memory, identity, belonging, resilience, social cohesion, as well as the effects of mobility, displacement, and inequality. Less work has been done to probe either the temporal dynamics of being in and out of place, or the role of memory in constructing personal and collective senses of the ecological past over time and place. It is our contention that more needs to be done to explore place, as both concept and practice, as a point of connectivity between communities with different histories, cultural beliefs, values and memories. Participants will be invited to consider their theoretical, methodological and the practical application of their work in order to produce a coherent and practicable set of research questions.

The second meeting Future Connections, will bring members together to reflect upon the previous days discussions and to identify the key areas we might pursue in building a lasting collaborative research community that will bridge our disciplines and institutions, and nurture the next generation of researchers.

The core applicants met at the CEAH launch in September 2013. They are Peter Coates (Bristol), Ria Dunkley (Cardiff), Axel Goodbody (Bath), and Nicola Whyte (Exeter).