Environmental Humanities Concentration

The Environmental Humanities (EH) concentration emphasizes the important role the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences can play not just in producing solutions to environmental problems but in understanding how those problems arose and reframing them to improve environmental outcomes. All humans, including environmental scientists, engage in the arts of imagination, narration, reflection, and persuasion that lie at the core of humanistic fields of study. The environmental humanities explore how the environment is constructed and represented in relation to humans, and how these divergent visions impact both knowledge and action. Courses exploring subjects such as art, culture, ethics, history, and literature can help students appreciate the underlying values and belief systems that drive much of human behavior vis-à-vis the biological and geo-physical systems that we inhabit and transform.

The Environmental Humanities concentration is designed for students who wonder why so many innovative, promising scientific and technical solutions to environmental problems have foundered in particular social, cultural, and political contexts—and are interested in learning how to mobilize humanistic knowledges and skills to ensure more sustainable and livable futures.

Career options available to students who complete the EH course of study include policy, media, corporate sustainability, education, law, and the non-profit sector.

If you are ready to declare your concentration, fill out this form.

Course requirements

Semester Key: F=Fall, S=Spring, Su=Summer

  • Minimum of 24 credits (8 courses) selected from the following list.
  • Additional courses may be considered including the Society for the Humanities and other one-time course offerings.
  • (*) marks courses common to both the humanities core requirement and the concentration. The same course may not fill both requirements. 
  • [ ] denotes course offered in alternate years. Check Courses of Study for availability.


  • [ANTHR 2201 - Early Agriculture] (S, 3 cr) (Next offered S27)
  • ANTHR/BSOC 2420* - Nature/ Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human-Environment Relations (F, 3 cr) 
  • [ANTHR/SHUM 2482 -  Anthropology of Climate Change] (S, 3 cr) (Not offered S24)
  • ANTHR 3152 - Peasant Economies and Ecologies (F, 3 cr)
  • ANTHR 3230 - Humans and Animals (F, 4 cr)
  • ANTHR 3248 - Finger Lakes and Beyond: Archaeology of the Native Northeast (S, 3 cr)
  • [ANTHR/ILRIC 3325 -  Food and Work] (F or S, 3 cr)
  • ANTHR 3422 - Culture, Politics, and Environment in the Circumpolar North (S, 3 cr)
  • [ANTHR 4101 - Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals] (F, 3 cr)
  • ANTHR 4442 - Toxicity (F, 4 cr)

Africana Studies

  • [ASRC/AMST/ENGL/FGSS 3565 - Black Ecoliterature] (F or S, 3 cr)

Asian Studies

  • [ASIAN 2257 – Vanishing Worlds: Religious Reflections on Climate Crisis, Mass Extinction, and Ecosystem Collapse] (S, 3 cr) (Next offered S25)
  • [ASIAN/RELST 2273 - Religion and Ecological Sustainability] (F, 3 cr)
  • ASIAN 3316 - Zen Buddhism: Ecology, Sustainability, and Daily Life  (S, 3 cr)

Biology & Society

  • BSOC 2061* - Ethics and the Environment (S, 4 cr)


  • CLASS 2010* - Discussions of Environment and Sustainability (cross-listed) (F, 3 cr)
  • [CLASS 2729 - Climate, Archaeology, and History] (S, 3 cr) (Next offered 2024 - 2025)
  • CLASS 3750 - Introduction to Dendrochronology (F, 4 cr)

Comparative Literature


  • [ENGL 4675 - The Environmental Imagination in American Literature] (S, 4 cr) (Next offered 2024 - 2025)
  • ENGL 3795* - Communicating Climate Change (F, 3 cr)


  • HIST/BSOC 2581* - Environmental History (S, 4 cr)
  • HIST/ENVS 4262 - Environmental Justice (F, 4 cr)

History of Art and Visual Studies

  • [ARTH 2255 - Ecocriticism and Visual Culture] (F, 3 cr) (Next offered 2024 - 2025)
  • ARTH 3620: After Nature: Art and Environmental Imagination (S, 3 cr)
  • VISST 2012/ENVS 2010* - Discussions of Environment and Sustainability (cross-listed) (F, 3 cr)

Natural Resources

  • NTRES/AIIS/AMST 3330* - Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Place-Based Ecological Knowledge (F, 3 cr)


  • [PHIL 1440 - Ethics of Eating] (F, 3 cr)

Science & Technology Studies

  • [STS 3181 - Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk] (S, 3 cr) (Next offered 2024 - 2025)
  • STS 4131 - Comparative Environmental History (S, 3 cr) 
  • [STS 4460 - Lightscapes] (F or S, 3 cr) (Next offered 2024 - 2025)

Society for the Humanities

  • SHUM 4697: Is Nature Silent? (F, 3 cr)  New Fall 2024!


More information

Students in the EH concentration will:

  1. Gain an in-depth understanding of the social, cultural, personal, political, and psychological dimensions of humans’ relationship with the environment.
  2. Learn the methods by which knowledge in this area of scholarship is acquired, interpreted, and evaluated.
  3. Apply frameworks of understanding from the environmental humanities to complex interdisciplinary environmental issues.