What are the Digital Environmental Humanities?


May 27, 2014 12:01 pm
Written by Leave your thoughts

Ashlee Cunsolo Willox‘s thoughts about the emerging field:

What are the Digital Environmental Humanities, in your opinion?
As someone who works on the periphery of the field, from my perspective, the digital environmental humanities are beginning to redraw the boundaries between humanities work and environmental studies in order to create new terrains of thought and explore new avenues of thinking to tackle some of the complex and pressing issues facing our planet. For me, digital environmental humanities are particularly exciting because the theoretical, critical, and text-interrogation strengths of humanities are being united with environmental research from numerous fields. The ability to bring together different perspectives, skills, and data-gathering methods, combined with the innovations in digital technologies, media, and data-management and mobilization, provides new points of understanding serious environmental challenges. In addition, the humanities brings philosophical and ethical considerations that are not often integrated into other fields, but have essential understanding and perspectives to assist in action and decision-making.

What kinds of projects fall within the domain of DEH?
I think the field of digital environmental humanities is, and should be, quite wide, and utilize various forms of digital media, data-management, and/or data-mobilization software. As someone who is quite new to the field, and works on the periphery by collaborating with environmental humanities folks, I know there are numerous excellent DEH projects happening, but am hesitant to list what falls within the domain. This may be a field that is best left unbounded while it grows…?

How do you see DEH evolving/developing in the future?
I think the digital environmental humanities will continue to grow and expand through the development of digital technologies and digital media, as well as through increasing collaboration with other disciplines. In particular, I think DEHs will continue to grow in the fields of climate change, sustainability, and biodiversity, and will continue to expand based on the fruitful and fecund partnerships with other disciplines and approaches.

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