Environmental Arts and Humanities Research

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Elizabeth Cook

Professor Cook’s current research explores early modern writing about forests and trees, considering the shifting and sometimes colliding concepts of value and the history of environmental ethics. In her current project, “Talking Trees in Long 18th-Century British Literature,” she examines the simultaneous development of silviculture and silviphilia — often radically opposed ways of valuing trees that are still with us today — during the eighteenth century. Her work argues that this history of contradictory attitudes toward the environment can help us understand how we respond to and address critical environmental issues today.

Ken Hiltner

Ken Hiltner is a professor of English literature and Environmental Studies. He explores the history of literature and the relationship between literary history and our Earth in order to better understand how we arrived at our current environmental beliefs. Hiltner is active in examining environmental issues from various perspectives. He hosts a weekly podcast, the Environmental Humanities Podcast, where he conducts interviews with scholars and artists to discuss how environmental issues are taken up across the humanities. He also has given various talks, such as “Nature: How Much Does it Matter,” “The Role of Our Past In Our Environmental Future,” and “Environmental Criticism: What is at Stake?”

LeeAnne Kryder
Writing and Environmental Studies

Professor Kryder’s research involves sharing and refining the pedagogy of developing awareness and proposing remedies for environmental problems. Her students regularly study and conduct research in order to learn about environmental issues and concerns and work in teams to propose solutions for these issues or methods to expand awareness of problems and practices that could address the problems.

Teresa Shewry
English/ Carsey-Wolf Center

Professor Shewry’s research interests include pacific rim cultures, environmental studies, and oceans and water. She is the director of Literature and the Environment at UCSB. Her recent publications include “Possible Ecologies: Literature, Nature, and Hope in the Pacific” and “Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century.” Professor Shewry is currently co-organizing a Mellon Sawyer Seminar on “Sea Change: Integrating the Study of Human Cultures and Marine Environments in Three Pacific Regions.”

Jane Mulfinger

Jane Mulfinger’s art project at the Pasadena YWCA building exemplifies how art and sustainability go hand in hand. Mulfinger’s installation, “Autonomy Is No Longer Possible or Interesting,” features repurposed excercise bicycles that power LED lights in the buildings when used by visitors. By repurposing materials for her artwork, Mulfinger uses sustainable methods to create metaphors that enhance cultural/community awareness.

Colin Gardner

Dr. Colin Gardner’s current research explores the ways in which dissolving the Kantian dialectic structure between man, art, and world in favor of an anti-speciesist structure of assemblage, connectivity, and relationality between aesthetics, creativity, and machinic subjectivity can produce a new vision for a more ethical and ecologically sustainable world. His work brings together issues of accountability, affect, and ecosophy as revolutions through all media, focusing specifically on art, film, installation, and text, thereby opening the human to more ethical relations with the world.

Lisa Jevbratt

Lisa Jevbratt a professor in the art department and an artist who has focused her research and art on investigating human/animal relationships for several years. She is developing software that simulates how animals see, and she is teaches a yearly class in interspecies collaboration in the art department. Her work and teaching is continuously engaged with questions about sustainability though examining the relationships we create with other species and our shared environment.

Marko Peljhan

Professor Peljhan’s research focuses on art and technology. His recent projects involve the Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations, and weather systems research in an intersection of art and science from 1997-2007, and he is currently coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project which is focused on the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural, and cultural spheres.

Carsey-Wolf Center