In recent years, scholars across the globe covering a wide range of disciplines have come to believe that environmental challenges need to be addressed not solely – and perhaps not even primarily – from an engineering or a natural science perspective, but from a wider humanities based understanding and analysis of the relationship between humans and their environment.

With the creation of the eARThumanities research initiative launched in the spring of 2017, NYUAD has taken a bold and significant step in building a locus of intellectual research and debate from which to contribute robustly to the emerging field of environmental humanities. Moreover, at NYUAD the eARThumanities research initiative is emphasizing the significance of the arts in this wider conversation, while also drawing on the social sciences and the physical sciences and engineering to foster interdisciplinary dialogue. West Asia and North and East Africa are under-researched in major aspects of their human and environmental relations. The research and study of their past and present challenges is of crucial importance as we move forward into a period of increased demographic pressure and global climate change.


eARThumanities Functions


Research in the NYUAD eARTHumanities Initiative will feature projects and contributions by faculty members from a plethora of disciplines and fields. The initiative has also launched a collaboration with The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC), of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, (LMU Munich) with which it organizes annual scholarly workshops.

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Open Dialogue

Open Dialogues will occur in courses across the disciplines covering a wide range of options for students at NYU Abu Dhabi. Students will be able to choose from a variety of disciplines by which to examine topics pertaining to the environment through the perspective of global literary traditions, philosophy, history, the social sciences, the sciences, creative writing and the arts.

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The eARThumanities Team


Seminars, talks and other interactive events open to the wider community of Abu Dhabi will seek to advance meaningful common understandings of environmental justice, sustainability, the arts in the Anthropocene, as well as current perceptions and attitudes about the relationship between humans and nature.

View list of upcoming events.

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Sophia Kalantzakos is Global Distinguished Professor in Environmental Studies and Public Policy at NYU and a long-term affiliate at NYUAD.  Kalantzakos founded and heads the eARThumanities, the Environmental Humanities Research Initiative at NYUAD.

Sophia Kalantzakos

Global Distinguished Professor, NYU / NYU Abu Dhabi

A poet, journalist, essayist, and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Prof. Siebert has written for The New YorkerHarper’s MagazineVanity FairEsquireOutsideMen’s JournalNational Geographic, and numerous other publications.

Charles Siebert

Professor of Practice of Literature and Creative Writing, NYU Abu Dhabi

Mark Swislocki specializes in the history of China. His current research focuses on the environmental history of southwest China. He is the author of Culinary Nostalgia: Regional Food Culture and the Urban Experience in Shanghai (Stanford, 2009) and numerous other publications. 

Mark Swislocki

Program Head of History; Associate Professor of History, NYU Abu Dhabi

Yifei Li is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU Shanghai and Global Network Assistant Professor at NYU. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, he taught sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also been a Residential Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.

Yifei Li

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU Shanghai

Kunda Dixit is an adjunct Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and the founder and editor of Nepali Times. He writes about the media’s interface with climate, conflict and the Internet. He is the author of the media textbook, Dateline Earth: Journalism As If the Planet Mattered, as well as curator of the triology of photobooks on the Nepal conflict.

Kunda Dixit

Adjunct Professor, NYU Abu Dhabi

Rana’s teaching and research fall in the area of development and public policy. She is particularly interested in comparative development policies and practices in the Arab world from various lenses. She holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning and a Masters in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Rana Tomaira

Research Scientist and Lecturer, Social Sciences, NYU Abu Dhabi

Rastra is a Visiting Research Fellow at eARThumanities, NYU Abu Dhabi. He is a founding member of the Himalayan Water Project, a contributing author for the Nepali Times, and specializes in climate finance and policy. Rastra has a BA in Economics from NYUAD and a MA in Economics & Management from Peking University where he was a Yenching Scholar.  

Rastraraj Bhandari

Visiting Research Fellow , NYU Abu Dhabi

Haewon graduated with a BA in Social Research and Public Policy from NYUAD, where she is working as an instructor of the Undergraduate Writing Program. As a member of the Big Wave, South Korean Youth Climate Change Network, Haewon has worked in climate journalism and climate docu-series that focus on wildlife conservation in Jeju, South Korea and Cairns, Australia. 

Haewon Yoon

Instructor, NYU Abu Dhabi

 Benjamin is  a member of the Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change to the UN Secretary-General and the co-chair of Student Energy Summit 2023,  scheduled to take place in the UAE in November 2023. As a youth representative and advisor, Beniamin has worked with the UN and other intergovernmental agencies on projects focused on climate action, energy transition and youth empowerment. 

Beniamin Strzelecki

Class of 2023, NYU Abu Dhabi

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