- About the Minor
- Where Climate Change and the Humanities Intersect
- The EACH Mission
- Minor Requirements
- Opportunities Inside and Outside the Classroom
- Career Paths
- Our Team
The practices and assumptions that guide the arts and humanities . . . . may well be the key to understanding why contemporary culture finds it so hard to deal with climate change. Indeed, this is perhaps the most important question ever to confront culture in the broadest sense—for let us make no mistake: the climate crisis is also a crisis of culture, and thus of the imagination
– (Amitav Ghosh, from The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, 2016)
The minor in Environmental and Climate Humanities (EACH) responds to the urgency of our current moment. Students are seeking greater attention to climate change and climate justice from all institutions, and Carleton University’s EACH minor speaks to this demand.
The first of its kind in Ontario, the interdisciplinary EACH minor introduces students to work being done in a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences that include English, French, History, Religious Studies, Visual Art, Film, Music, Curatorial Studies, Law, Geography, Economics, Sociology and Anthropology, Communication and Journalism, Human Rights, African Studies, and Indigenous and Canadian Studies.
As countless scholars have shown, the humanities and social sciences are integral to an adequate national and international response to our environmental and climate crises. The EACH Minor develops insights and approaches from these disciplines in four overlapping areas.
First, it highlights the frameworks through which problems are posed and solutions imagined. With an emphasis on the arts and humanities, this Minor asks what culture can contribute to our comprehension of and response to the climate crisis now. It is also keenly attuned to the ways questions of environmental and climate justice are linked to racial and socioeconomic equity and it prepares students to navigate intersecting positions, interests, and power relations.
Second, it contributes to the communication of environmental and climate change issues to the general public through sociological, anthropological, philosophical, historical, and cultural approaches (literature, visual art, performance, film, and music). It encourages the productive energy of interdisciplinary approaches, as well as the need for “undisciplined,” collaborative, and experiential initiatives.
Third, it contributes to climate action through critical thinking drawing on Indigenous perspectives and knowledges, ecomaterialist approaches, and the role of humans and more-than-humans in environmental and climate change debates.
Fourth, it fosters robust communities and networks both within Carleton university and beyond. It facilitates alliances and community-based learning initiatives with local environmental and climate change groups, museums and galleries, and youth movements.
Overall, the EACH Minor brings together interdisciplinary scholars and students united in the common project of seeking to understand and respond to the climate crisis. The final year of the Minor provides students with the opportunity to undertake a community engagement project building on the coalitions and connections built through their earlier years of study.
The EACH Minor combines and extends existing offerings at Carleton under a single umbrella. In doing so, it provides a program for students who are eager to see their interests in the environment, climate change, and the humanities formally recognized. It promotes synergies and the cross-fertilization of ideas while building communities within Carleton and forging partnerships with local environmental and climate groups and cultural institutions.
With its focus on interdisciplinary methodologies and experiential, collaborative pedagogies, the EACH Minor equips students—wisely, justly, and creatively—to address one of the most profound and consequential crises of our time.
The Minor includes two core 0.5 credit courses introduced at the 2nd-year level and 4th-year level in combination with a 0.5 science-inflected courses, 1.5 humanities-inflected courses, and 1.0 social-science-inflected courses, for a total of 4.0 credits (full list of minor requirements and approved courses viewable in the Undergraduate Calendar).
The EACH minor’s core courses, EACH 2000 [0.5 credit] and EACH 4000 [0.5 credit] are described below.
EACH 2000 – Introduction to the Environmental and Climate Humanities
An overview of approaches to environmental and climate change issues in the humanities. Drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives, students will engage with material depicting climate change and environmental topics, as well as develop research and communication strategies.
EACH 4000 – Seminar in the Environmental and Climate Humanities
A capstone seminar designed to refine analytic and research skills related to environmental and climate humanities and to provide students with the opportunity to engage in a research or community engagement project, either individually or in groups. Topics vary from year to year.
The EACH minor includes collaborative workshops, public-facing teaching, creative options, and action-oriented thinking. Students can expect to build on and collaborate with ground-breaking environmental and climate change work in arts and culture sectors, with climate change-focused groups in the Ottawa area, and with other faculties on campus (Science and Engineering and Design, for example).
Overall, students will graduate from the Minor with a firm foundation for the pursuit of post-graduate studies in environment or climate change studies as well as the skills and breadth to pursue a wide range of job options.
Career paths following from the new minor include positions in journalism, media studies, literature, visual studies, film, museums and curatorial studies, government and NGOs, policy work, environmental engineering, environmental design, youth advocacy, architecture, science, and business, among others.
Many students will also want to continue their studies in graduate programs, and graduate programs in the environmental and climate humanities. With its depth of inquiry and wide-ranging and innovative interdisciplinary approach, the EACH Minor perfectly prepares students for continued studies in advanced degrees.
Please contact the EACH Coordinator, Professor Leckie, with questions.