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Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities

Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities

Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities

The Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities brings together colleagues from across disciplines who are united by a common concern and challenge: the work of the arts and humanities in current debates around environment and sustainability, cultures and communities, narrative and representation. CEAH aims to promote research and discussion concerning historical and cultural narratives of ‘nature’ and natural resources, landscape and place, cultural knowledges and values. We are committed to contributing to scientific work on questions of human resilience and sustainability by discovering and describing the textual and cultural constitution of present and past meanings and experiences of environmental change and societal transition.

Our work in the Arts and Humanities contributes to contemporary thinking about environment and sustainability by historicizing, contesting and problematizing the terms of environmental debate. This work is crucial in an area of urgent political action and public engagement, where an awareness of arts and humanities perspectives has the potential to change present understanding, policy and activity. Forms of artistic representation and cultural imagination, including literary texts, artworks, poems, pictures, sculptures and monuments, crafts and film, create popular ideas and beliefs about the relationships between individuals, societies and the environment. CEAH exists to provide common ground to explore these material entanglements from different disciplinary points of view.

Together we provide a range of expertise, experience and perspectives in reaching a critical understanding of the workings and re-workings of the past and present in current debates on the environmental and social challenges of our time.

Image by Thomas Moule (1850) ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our research areas

  • Society, politics and nature
  • Communities, cultures and identities
  • Critical heritage studies
  • Militarised landscapes
  • Memory, loss and memorialization
  • The body, embodiment and experience
  • Landscape, place and space
  • Knowledge economies and the politics of the archive
  • Narrative framing and storytelling
  • Histories of science and technology

Find out more about our research:


Current and recent projects

  • Tim Cooper: 'Catastrophe, Community and Environment: The Impact of the Torrey Canyon Oil Disaster on Cornwall and the Isles of Sicily', (British Academy)
  • Bryony Onciul: Troubled Waters, Stormy Futures: heritage in times of accelerated climate change (AHRC)
  • Catriona PennellFirst World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme 
  • Nicola Whyte: Stories of Change: Exploring Energy and Community in the Past, Present and Future (AHRC, 2014-2017); The Past in its Place (ERC, 2012-2016) 



Nicola Whyte (History, Cornwall)

Freyja Cox Jenson (History, Streatham)

Wendy McMahon (Literature, Cornwall)


Core Members;

Rob Smith (Creative Writing, Cornwall)

Natalie Pollard (Literature, Streatham)

Katharine Earnshaw (Classics, Streatham)

Semih Celik (History, Streatham)

Jamie Hampson (Archaeology, Cornwall)

Ine Linge (Languages, Streatham)

Emma Kluge (History, Cornwall)

Cathy Turner (Drama, Streatham)

Evelyn O'Malley (Drama, Streatham)

Jim Scown (History, Cornwall)


Environmental Humanities

Join our new Environmental Humanities undergraduate programme in Cornwall and learn how the Humanities can bring critical insight to understanding and solving current and global problems of climate and environmental change. You will benefit from world-class research-led teaching and will join a close-knit community of scholars and students committed to making a difference through actively engaging in the climate and environmental crisis.

Environmental Humanities is a global interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field of study, enabling you to discover new and fresh ways of thinking and acting upon urgent environmental, ecological and societal problems. During your degree you will explore the key contribution of humanities methods (including from history, literature, creative arts, archaeology and cultural geography) to scientific and political understandings of local and global crises and challenges.

You will examine the problems and limitations of dealing with these challenges from a single disciplinary perspective and the rich potential of working together and collaboratively across disciplines. You will pursue humanities-led questions on a range of connected issues from climate change, environmental and social injustice, oceanic and aerial pollution, and global resource depletion, and will engage in critical enquiry of the narratives and representations, infrastructures and inequalities that continue to reproduce environmental and societal problems.

Other Modules:

Level One Undergraduate

  • Climate Emergency! An Introduction to Environmental Humanities
  • HIC1301 World History: Science, Environment and Sustainability

Level Two Undergraduate

  • HUC2014 Mapping and the Environmental Imaginary: Literature, History, Politics - 15
  • credits
  • HUC2004 Literature and the Environment - 15 credits
  • HIC2028 Art and Archaeology in Postcolonial Nations - 15 credits
  • HIC2328 Landscape History: Power and Protest, c. 1500-c1800 -15 credits
  • TRU2904 Human Animal

Level Three Undergraduate

  • HUC3044 Contemporary Literature and Diaspora: Politics, Identity and Place
  • HUC3014 21st-century Literature and the Global City
  • HUC3016 Irish Stories: History, Politics, Literature and Heritage
  • TRU3913 The Air in Literature
  • HIC3307 The Politics of Nature
  • HIC3311 Indigenous History, Colonialism and Identity in Western Canada
  • HIC3305 Society, Landscape and Environment, 1500-1800