Research
Changing Climate

Grand Research Challenge: The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate

With support from the A.W. Mellon Foundation, the Humanities Without Walls consortium launched a program funding cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students wishing to collaboratively pursue research topics related to “The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate" in fall 2016.

This research initiative links the consortium partners in a common commitment to intellectual exchange and dialogue, around a broad question that resonates with many contemporary humanist scholars—namely, what is the work of the humanities in a changing climate?

This rubric is intended to be both intellectually focused and capacious. In its narrowest interpretation, it calls for collaborative work on climate change, arguably the most pressing grand challenge of our time. We seek collaborative research in the field of environmental humanities, broadly conceived, as well as the development of new humanities-centered paradigms for thinking through the limits and possibilities of climate change policy. We do so out of a conviction that the current climate crisis has deep historical roots yet to be fully tapped; that it calls for new philosophies and theories of the human and the Anthropocene; that its fictions and visual cultures bear mightily on its material consequences, past, present and future; and that collaborative research on these questions and more is indispensable to scholarly expertise on the subject, in the humanities and beyond.

As a metaphor, climate change is pluripotent: it offers humanists the opportunity to think expansively about the meanings of “climate” and “change” as they manifest in their own research, and to bring their contributions to bear on cognate questions in the present. Thus “The Work of Humanities in a Changing Climate” also hails scholars who wish to consider the pressure of other forms of contemporary “climate change” on their fields of inquiry—from a changing racial climate to a changing economic climate to the changing notion of “the public” and what it means for the intellectual work environments of humanists.

Proposals for new projects are currently being accepted. Please review the UW-Madison specific guidelines at the application page. Application Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 5:00 p.m., Central Time

A full list of currently funded projects can be found here.

Projects with UW-Madison collaborators include:

Building Sustainable Worlds: Latinx Placemaking in the Midwest

Theresa Delgadillo, Project Leader and Co-PI (The Ohio State University)
Geraldo L. Cadava, Co-PI (Northwestern University) 
Claire F. Fox, Co-PI (University of Iowa) 
Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, Co-PI (The Ohio State University) 
Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Co-PI (Northwestern University) 
Karen Mary Davalos (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) 
Delia Fernández (Michigan State University) 
Larry LaFountain (University of Michigan) 
Sandra Ruiz (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) 
Ariana A. Ruiz (University of Iowa) 
Sergio M. González (University of Wisconsin-Madison) 
Elena R. Gutiérrez (University of Illinois at Chicago) 
Laura M. Fernandez (The Ohio State University) 
Leila Vieira de Jesus Gemelli (The Ohio State University) 
Tatiana Faria (The Ohio State University)

Political Ecology as Practice: A Regional Approach to the Anthropocene

Ömür Harmanşah, Project Leader and PI (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Ian G. Baird, Project Coordinator (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Molly Doane (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Ralph Cintron (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Beate Geissler (University of Illinois at Chicago)
David H. Wise (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Javairia Shahid (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Tannya Islas (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Katy Dye (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Alize Arıcan (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Charlie Corwin (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Zhe Yu Lee (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
W. Nathan Green (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Garden for a Changing Climate

Hannah Higgins, Project Leader and PI (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Noah Feinstein, Project Coordinator (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Lorelei Stewart (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Robyn Mericle (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Corinna West (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Alexandra Lakind (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Jenny Kendler, Chicago-based artist

Contact Megan Massino with questions.