Humanities for the Environment Report 2018: Some Reflections

by Cormac Walsh

In late 2017 / early 2018 two Special Issues of international journals (Global and Planetary Change and Humanities) were published which together constitute the Humanities for the Environment Report 2018 (HfE 2018). The HfE 2018 Report provides key examples of how “humanities research reveals and influences human capacity to perceive and cope with environmental change” and seeks to change perceptions of the Environmental Humanities (Holm & Brennan 2018, p. 1). Both Special Issues emanated from the European Observatory of the broader worldwide Humanities for the Environment initiative. In this context, the term humanities is defined very broadly to include the social sciences. The editors and authors focus very deliberately on the actual and potential role of the humanities and social sciences in relation to contemporary environmental challenges. The first Special Issue, edited by Poul Holm and Charles Travis, seeks to engage with the earth science readership of Global and Planetary Change. In what follows, I focus, quite selectively, on key insights from the Humanities Special Issue and in particular the introductory text (Holm & Brennan 2018) and the article of Billing et al (2017) on sectoral, policy and academic visions for the marine environment. Specifically, I focus on two insights concerning societal adaptation to change and the concept of ‘world-views’. Continue reading “Humanities for the Environment Report 2018: Some Reflections”

How we Started: From Roundtable Workshop to Research Blog

by Cormac Walsh, Frieda Gesing, Rapti Siriwardane

On January 23rd 2017 an interdisciplinary roundtable workshop took place at Hamburg University to explore questions of epistemology relating to the coast and marine. The concept of epistemology in its original philosophical sense refers to theory of knowledge. The term coastal and marine epistemologies has slightly broader connotations, signifying a plurality of alternative ways of knowing and conceptualizing the coast and marine , both within and beyond the academy (cf. Miller et al. 2008,  Siriwardane-de Zoysa & Hornidge 2016).

Continue reading “How we Started: From Roundtable Workshop to Research Blog”