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The lab is a global hub of research and PhD training in the Environmental Humanities. Research in the Laboratory combines various strands of the humanities, including anthropological, aesthetic, literary, architectural, spatial, archaeological, technological, etcetera, all informed by historical approaches. It is fundamental research conducted in a post-disciplinary spirit aimed at providing new knowledge of relevance for human understanding of the world as well as for sustainable development.

The research is organized in experimental forms, combining a set of Research Tracks under the title ‘Environing Technologies’ with individual research projects and workshops. A basic feature of Environing Technologies is the idea that the environment is a historical formation by people and societies which shape their surroundings and themselves through time and thereby use knowledge, technology, and aesthetics. In the Environmental Humanities Laboratory it is the environment as described, perceived, monitored, represented, documented, etcetera, that we have put at centre stage. The actual environmental changes brought by human environing ‘out there’ remain essential and exchange is necessary with scholars and scientists that specialize in the study of that change.

The Research Tracks are wide categories that should be seen as open arenas for interaction of scholars with similar interests, including PhD students. The four Research Tracks below reflect both current interests of scholars affiliated with the Laboratory and the Division and emerging areas of interest. These Tracks may expand, change or merge as the Laboratory moves on.

Field work in Berlin. Photo: Daniele Valisena

The Four Tracks

Track 1: Writing

Exploring scripture and sign based documentation as means of communicating knowledge and meaning in genres ranging from novels and poetry to non-fiction writing, journalism, and scientific literature from the field, the laboratory, the studio, the museum, and other sites of writing the environment.

Track 2: Seeing

Exploring visual technologies, including instruments, models and representations, as a means of documenting, shaping and formatting images, photography, film, and digital media and how they are used in the framing and understanding of nature and environment.

Track 3: Sensing

Exploring the experiences of environing – how societies, groups, and individuals have encountered nature with their bodies, stationary, traveling, or migrating, and how the senses have become part of the understanding of environment.

Track 4: Shaping

Exploring the quest to design and shape the surrounding world into structures and forms which can make the world livable and sustainable and aesthetically pleasing, but which can also destruct and dehumanize nature and environment.