Environmental Anthropology – Teaching Workshop 20 APRIL 2021

Teaching Environmental Anthropology in Fearful and Inspiring Times

An Online Workshop on Goals, Ethics and Resources

Convenors: Jeanne Féaux de la Croix, Alessandro Rippa

21 April 2021, 10am-3pm (CET)

In a time of profound anthropogenic environmental change and severe ecological crises, environmental anthropology is a key subject in helping us understand our shared world and futures. As scholars, practitioners and students, we want to hone our learning and teaching on these crucial themes and anchor them at the core of the anthropological endeavour.

The “Teaching Environmental Anthropology Working Group” was recently founded through the EASA Environmental Anthropology Network. Its aim is to foster conversations around key dimensions of teaching environmental anthropology. We are particularly interested in the ethical and pedagogical aspects of teaching an often-overwhelming subject, and in the interdisciplinary impetus of environmental issues. How can we encourage scholars, practitioners and students to engage with the subject beyond academia? How can we ensure that critically discussing the environmental challenges we face is not only anxiety-inducing, but also generative of tangible change and healing? 

This short online workshop aims to inspire learning through environmental anthropology. We therefore explicitly welcome not only academics but also students and other kinds of practitioners in the arts of environmental teaching. In addition to reflecting on goals and teaching practices, we will gather and comment on available teaching resources such as syllabi, literature, objects, practices and films. We envision each participant briefly introducing their ‘problematic’ and sharing a favourite resource that helped meet their teaching or learning goals. We are particularly interested in examples that speak to the following issues, but also definitely welcome suggestions well beyond these concerns:

●     The “ethics” of teaching environmental issues that may spell the end of the world as we know it and can generate significant anxieties.

●     Interdisciplinary resources, and ways of bridging the gap between anthropology, environmental sciences and activism.

●     Non-English resources, particularly indigenous scholarship on environmental change that might challenge some of our dominant assumptions.

●     Perspectives from students or activists who want or have taken courses on environmental anthropology.

We intend to share some of the outputs of the workshop, particularly in the form of short commentaries by participants, on the EASA network website. We hope the website will grow into a lively arena for resources, recommendations and connections for developing a pedagogy of environmental anthropology in many styles. Confirmed speakers include Anna Antonova (Rachel Carson Center), Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen), and Ursula Münster (University of Oslo).

Participants are asked to pre-record:

●     a brief (1 minute) introduction of yourself, your work and interest in environmental anthropology.

●     a brief (3-4 minute) presentation of a particular resource that you find useful when teaching/learning a related topic. This could well be a favourite reading, but also a practice, a field-trip, object lesson or audio-visual material. 

Following presentations, we will take time for a common discussion around some of the themes that are certain to emerge and further ideas for the working group and website. The event is limited to 20 participants on a first come first serve basis, with additional listening slots. If there are more requests, we will work towards a second event. We will include breaks and off-screen time as part of the workshop’s programme.

If you are interested, please register by sending an email to Jeanne Féaux de la Croix (jeanne.feaux@uni-tuebingen.de) or Alessandro Rippa (alessandro.rippa@rcc.lmu.de) with a brief abstract (max 200 words) detailing your presentation idea and resource, as well as a short bio (max 150 words). The deadline for registration is January 22, 2021.

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