graphic element

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

CHE Graduate Associate Marcos Colón wins international recognition for documentary film "Beyond Fordlândia”

Written and directed by CHE Graduate Associate Marcos Colón, documentary film "Beyond Fordlândia" (2017, 75 min) presents an environmental account of Henry Ford’s Amazon experience decades after its failure. The story addressed by the film begins in 1927, when the Ford Motor Company attempted to establish rubber plantations on the Tapajós River, a primary tributary of the Amazon. This film addresses the recent transition from failed rubber to successful soybean cultivation for export, and its implication for land usage. "Beyond Fordlândia" has been recognized with the best feature-length documentary award from the Cabo Verde International Film Festival, an Award of Excellence from Impact Docs, and the WWF award for Best Awareness-Raising Documentary.


This film was made with support from the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, the Nelson Institute, and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the Unversity of Wisconsin-Madison. Visit the Beyond Fordlândia website for screening schedule and additional features.

Read and Listen: Edge Effects Digital Magazine and Podcast

Edge Effects, CHE's Digital Magazine, has a lineup of exciting original essays, commentary, and podcasts this fall. Enjoy recent recommendations of environmental books for the classroom , learn why Americans recycle, and listen to inspiring conversations with podcast guests including Anna Tsing and Louis Warren.  Coming soon Jesse Gant will interview Richard White about his new book on Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Faron Levesque will give a take on the queer geography of Stranger Things, and Kevin Walters will explore the origins of the Wisconsin Idea. 


Find all content on the Edge Effects  website. Get the podcast sent straight to your mobile device or computer by subscribing through the iTunes store. You can also find episodes on Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn, or stream or download directly on the Edge Effects website.


More news →

Upcoming Events

Environment and Africa: A panel discussion with UW-Madison Mandela Washington Fellows
Monday, July 23, 3:30 PM, Science Hall, 15
• Asmara Novellentia N Kaffer: Asmara is a Youth Officer/Worker at the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service in Namibia and is heading the Environmental Education department in the Youth Development Directorate. She has been in this position for the past seven years and has also been involved with line ministries that have similar programs and activities. • Eskedar Awgichew: Eskedar is an environmental law specialist from Ethiopia. He is the director of Environment and Natural Resources Law Center at Mekelle University where he also teaches at the law school. • Marie-Josee Houénou: Marie-Josee is an environmental lawyer from Côte d'Ivoire . Passionate about climate issues, she is currently working on building the Ivorian climate change framework. She is also leading the organization of the upcoming Conference of Youth in Abidjan to sensitize youths on international environmental negotiations. • Shaban Senyange: Shaban is a wildlife health and environment specialist from Uganda, who pairs his dedication to environmental conservation with his passion for media and travel to create a TV show called "ECOZONE". Shaban uses his show to raise awareness about environment and wildlife conservation and to advocate for local communities affected by ecotourism.

More events →