Environmental Humanities at UNSW

Rethink your relationship with nature

It has become increasingly apparent that environmental issues need to be examined using new approaches to think outside existing frameworks.

Environmental Humanities at UNSW is a leader in this emerging field which addresses contemporary environmental challenges in a way that is historically, philosophically and culturally informed.

Study options

About Environmental Humanities

Environmental Humanities focuses on the ‘remaking’ of the natural world and the proposition that environmental problems are undeniably connected to social and cultural practices and questions of politics, knowledge, meaning, value and ethics. This is particularly critical at a time when issues related to the environment have become highly politicised, with public opinion and even policy influenced by misinformation in the media.

Environmental Humanities at UNSW brings together leading researchers across the disciplines of history, philosophy, cultural studies, literature, science and technology studies, and social theory, working towards a critical ‘politics of nature’.

With a commitment to global impact and social engagement, UNSW staff are co-editors of the field's flagship journal, Environmental Humanities, a peer-reviewed, international, open-access journal. In addition, UNSW are co-conveners of the Australian Environmental Humanities Hub, a central site for research news and events, and in 2016 launched the free online course Environmental Humanities: Remaking Nature.

Visit the Environmental Humanities Discipline Hub for more information.

Study options

Environmental Humanities is an interdisciplinary field of study that is designed to provide students with a solid foundation from which to understand and critically engage with contemporary environmental issues.

Drawing on resources from across the humanities and social sciences, UNSW provides students with a valuable and distinctive approach to the environment, grounded in the fields of history, philosophy, geography, cultural studies, literature, science and technology studies and social theory.

Undergraduate student

Undergraduate programs

Environmental Humanities is designed to be complementary with other undergraduate areas. Many students combine their studies with majors in environmental science, engineering, law, media and many other areas. Students are also encouraged to take electives from across the University that will broaden their understanding of environmental issues.

Degree options

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate programs

Master of Environmental Management

In 2017, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences introduced the Master of Environmental Management to our suite of postgraduate programs. This 1-2 year full time program offers students an interdisciplinary and applied set of courses which outline some of the main decision-making frameworks and tools for environmental management. The program can be taken by environmental specialists and non-specialists from a wide range of disciplines and interests.

Postgraduate research

Students can study a Masters by Research (MA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the area of Environmental Humanities.

Young woman on her laptop

Environmental Humanities MOOC

In 2016, UNSW launched Environmental Humanities: Remaking Nature, a free online course providing a broad overview of this emerging area of interdisciplinary research. The course examines contemporary environmental challenges using approaches from philosophy, literature, language, history, anthropology, cultural studies and the arts.

Delivered over a six week period, the course is suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates or researchers with a professional interest in Environmental Humanities or related disciplines.

Research highlights

  • Four key areas of research strength in the Environmental Humanities:
    • Environment, technology and the politics of knowledge
    • Multispecies studies and politics of life
    • Social change, participatory politics and community engagement
    • Rethinking the humanities through the environment.
  • Significant funding received from the ARC Discovery and Linkage programs, UK Economic and Social Research Council, British Academy, European Commission, Chilean National Research Fund, CSIRO and Australian Council for the Arts.
  • First international journal in the field, Environmental Humanities, launched by UNSW and co-edited by our academic staff. The journal is published by Duke University Press and run in partnership with other leading Environmental Humanities programmes at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), Concordia University Montreal, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm and the University of Sydney.

View a list of our Environmental Humanities researchers

Environmental sustainability across UNSW

Wind farm

With world-renowned cutting-edge researchers and academics, UNSW is an international leader in environmental sustainability. Visit the UNSW Research website to find out more about our research strengths in water, climate, environment and sustainability.

Our students also have the opportunity to learn sustainably at UNSW. For a full list of undergraduate and postgraduate environmental courses and research, visit the Environment at UNSW gateway.

Whatever your goals and dreams, becoming a climate change scientist, clean-tech entrepreneur, or environmental campaigner, UNSW can help you reach them!