Human activity has significantly altered the geology of our planet. Climate change and human engagement with it will determine the future of life on Earth. The urgency of this predicament, although widely perceived and lamented, has yet to yield the kind of global consensus-based actions that existing science tells us will be necessary to reverse, slow, or even successfully adapt to the changes to our world already underway. The concept of the Anthropocene increasingly figures in humanities reaserch, as more scholars join this vast transdisciplinary project to give this topic its due. Momentum is building among the myriad research fields comprising the environmental humanities, where scholars and students have exciting new opportunities to lend our expertise to the work already occupying many of our colleagues in the social and natural sciences.
We in the humanities know that narratives are not merely instruments of direct, objective communication. We are proficient in the language of stories: we bring our knowledge of aesthetics, representation, and emotional engagement to this endeavor. The stories we tell about our world are important and deserve all the tools at our disposal as we work to shape a sustainable future. Environmental Humanities at NTNU seeks to establish a network for environmental humanities scholars across the disciplines and departments of our institution, and to enable and support the developement of research beyond NTNU. Part of our task in the environmental humanities is to emphasize that the environment is not only a backdrop for human activities, and thus we are also interested in widening the notion of storytelling to make space for the perspectives of non-humans sharing the planet with us. The group also aims to build bridges from academia to the public arena, and to contribute to telling more varied stories about human relationships with the environment and other species.