"Keywords for Environmental Studies"
William Gleason is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Princeton, where he is also affiliated with American Studies, African American Studies, Environmental Studies, Urban Studies, and the Center for Digital Humanities. He is the author of The Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840–1940 (1999) and Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature (2011), a runner-up for the 2012 John Hope Franklin Prize in American Studies. He is also the co-editor, with Joni Adamson and David N. Pellow, of the forthcoming volume Keywords for Environmental Studies (NYU Press, 2016).
In February 2016, New York University Press will publish Keywords for Environmental Studies, a volume of essays analyzing the central terms and debates currently structuring the most exciting research in and across environmental studies, including the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature. Sixty essays from humanists, social scientists, and scientists, each written about a single term, reveal the broad range of quantitative and qualitative approaches critical to the state of the field today. From “ecotourism” to “ecoterrorism,” from “genome” to “species,” the volume illustrates the ways in which scholars are collaborating across disciplinary boundaries to reach shared understandings of key issues—such as extreme weather events or increasing global environmental inequities— in order to facilitate the pursuit of broad collective goals and actions. The book underscores the crucial realization that every discipline has a stake in the central environmental questions of our time, and that interdisciplinary conversations not only enhance, but are requisite to environmental studies today.
In this session, volume co-editor Gleason will present an overview of the book, including its origins and rationale, and will invite discussion of the usefulness of the “keywords” concept for inter- and transdisciplinary communication. Participants will also be encouraged to suggest keywords of their own for inclusion in an expanded volume.
Four sample essays from the volume, along with the introduction and table of contents, are available for reading in advance of the session: “Biosphere,” “Climate Change,” “Democracy,” and “Ethics.”