The Nelson Institute's Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) draws together faculty, staff, graduate students, and others from a wide array of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to investigate environmental and cultural change in the full sweep of human history.

Latest News

"Finding the Words:" Erstwhile Blog editor Julia Frankenbach reflects on the CHE Symposium weekend

CU-Boulder graduate student and Erstwhile blog editor Julia Frankenbach was one of the many attendees at the March 4-6, 2016 CHE Graduate Symposium "E is for Environment: New Vocabularies for the Past, Present, and Future." In addition to describing the rich set of topics discussed at weekend paper workshops, panel presentations, and keynote from Dr. Kate Brown of University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Frankenbach remarks that the weekend was "a humbling place to be, think, and rejuvenate." But what new questions can one think on when, as Frankenbach aptly observes, environment's "capaciousness" as a term tends towards abstraction? Read more of her reflections and takeawways from the weekend in the article she has authored for Erstwhile:


Grads, faculty gather at UW to celebrate Gaylord Nelson's centennial at the 9th Annual CHE Graduate Symposium

Graduate students and faculty representing 13 different institutions from the US and Canada gathered in Madison for a rich weekend of conversation, debate, and service learning in celebration of Gaylord Nelson's centennial. The group, participants in the CHE Graduate Symposium, worked towards building a "new vocabulary" for the environment, a theme created by conference co-organizers and CHE associates Brian Hamilton and Kate Wersan.

Want to learn more?

Read an interview with Symposium participant Dr. Scott Kirsch. 

Peruse the full Symposium schedule and list of participants.

Read an interview with Symposium organizers Brian Hamilton and Kate Wersan.


Thanks to our many conference participants for joining us, and congratulations to the many CHE volunteers involved in hosting the event! 

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Upcoming Events

Sunday in the Park with CHE
Sunday, May 1, 2:00 PM, Yahara Place Park
Spring has sprung, the sun is shining, and you are probably staggering under the weight of classes, grading, prelims, dissertation defenses, job applications, or some other important investigation of environmental change over time. So take an afternoon off and come join us at Yahara place park! CHE GAOC will provide grillables, drinks, and some cheesy lawn games.

CHE Colloquium and End-of-Year Celebration
Wednesday, May 4, 12:00 PM, Helen C. White, 6191
**Note location change from Bradley Memorial to Helen C White Room 6191, where we held our first meeting of the year.** Please join us for lunch, provided CHE, to celebrate a year's worth of intellectual activity. We'll celebrate accomplishments, thank members of the community for their efforts, and look forward to the year ahead.

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