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

Objects of the past and future fill Anthropocene ‘cabinet of curiosities’
After reaching your hand into a Hazmat glove, you pull a BlackBerry Curve 8300 from a slick of crude oil. This BlackBerry — an icon of connectivity and productivity upon its release in 2007 — now seems unwieldy in comparison to today’s smartphones, which have driven it into obsolescence. The “extinct device” — meant to represent a future fossil — is one of 25 objects that will be presented Nov. 8-10 at The Anthropocene Slam: A Cabinet of Curiosities, a series of free public events at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. 
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Anna M. Gade: Exploring the confluence of religion and environment
Connections between faith and environmental stewardship have been the focus of a growing conversation in evangelical Christianity, led in part by Nelson Institute emeritus professor Cal Dewitt. But other religious communities, including Islam, have also been exploring this relationship, according to Nelson Institute professor Anna M. Gade. Gade, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and expert in religious studies who recently joined the Nelson faculty, teaches a variety of courses, ranging from Islam in Southeast Asia to Religion and the Environment.
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Upcoming Events

Mandy Martin: Vivitur ex Rapto (Man Lives Off Greed)
Tuesday, November 4, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Lecture Hall
Join Mandy Martin, one among 25 international artists, anthropologists, historians, literary scholars, and scientists who will be presenting an object for The Anthropocene Slam: A Cabinet of Curiosities, at a public lecture at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. She is represented in many public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia; the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the Guggenheim, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others. Martin lives in the Central West of New South Wales, Australia.


The Anthropocene Slam: A Cabinet of Curiosities
Saturday, November 8, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, DeLuca Forum
We are in the midst of a great reawakening to questions of time—across the spans of geological, ecological, evolutionary, and human history. It is a reawakening precipitated not by a nostalgia for the past but by a sense of urgency about the future. Join CHE as we host a three-day international workshop with scholars, artists, and activists engaged in imagining how humans are reshaping the world in the geological age which is named after them. Featuring keynote speaker Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction. See the Anthropocene Slam page for a full lineup of events.


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