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

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.  


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.


Claiming Space: 12th Annual CHE Graduate Student Symposium- Call for Papers Now Open

The Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) will host their 12th annual Graduate Student Symposium on Saturday, February 16th, 2019. The symposium’s goal is to provide a supportive setting for graduate students to present and receive feedback on current work related to environmental and cultural change in the full sweep of human history. Work on all geographic locations, time periods, from all disciplines, and in a variety of forms and modes is welcome. Although we encourage presentations to be along the theme of “Claiming Space,” this title should be interpreted as broadly and loosely as you desire. Presentations may approach environmental and cultural change from diverse perspectives and methodologies: scientific, historical, theoretical, artistic. Graduate students are warmly invited to submit single-paper proposals, a round-table discussion panel of 3 or 4 on a related topic, poster proposals, or creative works.


For individual presentations, please submit a 250-word proposal and brief biographical sketch. For a joint panel, please submit a brief overview of the panel, 250-word proposals for each paper, and a brief biography of each presenter. For a poster, please submit a 250-word description of the project and the images you might use.

For all proposals, please indicate whether presenting at the symposium will help fulfill the requirements of the CHE Certificate. If you are interested in serving as a commentator/discussant this year, please let the CHE symposium planning committee know. For all submissions or to serve as a commentator, please email by Friday, December 21, 2018.

More news →

Upcoming Events

"Extreme Weather" with Judith Helfand, Dan Vimont, Richard Keller & Heather Swan, moderated by Steve Paulson
Thursday, March 7, 5:30 PM, Discovery Building, H.F. DeLuca Forum
This Humanities NOW event begins with a screening of Cooked: Survival by Zip Code by Sundance-award winning filmmaker Judith Helfand on the 1995 Chicago heat wave and how we think of disaster preparedness. The screening will take place at 5:30 PM and will be followed by light refreshments, and a panel discussion on the topic of extreme weather begins at 7:30 PM. The conversation will include Judith Helfand; Dan Vimont, director of the Nelson Institute’s Center for Climatic Research; Richard Keller, author of Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003; and Heather Swan, author of Where Honeybees Thrive. The panel will be moderated by Wisconsin Public Radio's Steve Paulson. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Culture, History, and Environment at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies.

"Chemical Violence and Decolonial Futures" with Michelle Murphy
Wednesday, March 27, 7:30 PM, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, H.F. DeLuca Forum
Michelle Murphy (Professor of History, University of Toronto) will give a Humanities Without Boundaries Lecture asking: what better concepts are there for understanding the relationship between settler colonialism and petrochemical-based economies of extraction and pollution? The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is also part of the 2019-2020 Mellon Sawyer Seminar on "Interrogating the Plantationocene," co-sponsored by the Center for Culture, History, and Environment.

More events →