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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.

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Upcoming Events

New Directions in Environmental Publishing
Friday, November 16, 12:30 PM, Helen C. White, 6191
What are the trends in both academic and public scholarship in the environmental humanities? Editors Kate Cummings (Center for Humans and Nature) and Scott Gast (University of Chicago Press) will join us to speak about how they recruit new writers and work with authors to define an audience for their work, the challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary topics, and more. The University of Chicago Press publishes books that aim to enrich cultural life and promote interdisciplinary conversation; Scott acquires manuscripts about science and the natural world, with a particular interest in accessible writing that explores its subject through narrative and a sense of imagination. The Center for Humans and Nature amplifies the ideas of thinkers, writers, researchers, practitioners, artists, and activists whose work informs the evolution of moral thinking about human and nature relationships. This program is the inaugural event in the CHE Writers’ Group Speaker Series, intended to support creative and scholarly work in the environmental humanities.

Claiming Space: CHE's 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium
Saturday, February 16, 8:00 AM, Science Hall, 175
CHE's 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium provides 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. This year's symposium will feature a plenary address by CHE Graduate Associate Christopher Kelly and a keynote address by Dr. Elizabeth Hoover, Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University.

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