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06 February 2023

Environmental Humanities Network launched to address ‘planetary wellbeing'

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has launched the Environmental Humanities Network aimed at ‘addressing the past and future of the Anthropocene'.


The Environmental Humanities Network has been launched by King’s, pulling together research and events programmes from across the sector.

Based in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and working in collaboration with PLuS Alliance partners, Arizona State University and the University of New South Wales, the Environmental Humanities Network is designed to highlight the ethical and moral considerations that underpin societies’ response to environmental challenges.

It is essential that the knowledge, expertise and methods of Arts and Humanities scholars are brought to bear on the most fundamental questions of planetary wellbeing. The challenges are such that we will only be able to address them if we come together across the disciplines, fully understanding the cultural, ethical and historical dimensions to the current crisis, and recognising the power of representation in helping us to articulate and respond to them.

Professor Marion Thain, Executive Dean - Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Projects included in the network include the SUPERB project – aimed at encouraging reforestation in Europe, Cosmological Visionaries – aimed at understanding climate change at ethnic borderlands of China and Russia and Bees in the medieval world – understanding what history can tell us about our relationship with these crucial cross-pollinators.

The network will be led by Dr Rowan Rose Boyson, Reader in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature in the Department of English and Professor Paul Readman, Professor in Modern British History from the Department of History. 

The field of Environmental Humanities has been rapidly growing over the past decade. Both a highly urgent and ethically meaningful area of research, this field is also producing some of the most critically exciting new scholarship around. At King’s, we have a wealth of scholars, whose deeply interdisciplinary work frames history, arts, literature and culture in relation to ecology, science and the web of planetary connections, with a sharp awareness of justice and injustice. Our new Network will stimulate collaboration and ideas to address the past and future of the Anthropocene.

Dr Rowan Rose Boyson, Reader in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature

Recent events have also taken place to highlight the theme of Environmental Humanities – including The Rights of Nature and the Crime of Ecocide and a summit on Air.

In this story

Marion Thain

Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Rowan Rose Boyson

Reader in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature

Paul Readman

Professor in Modern British History