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. The Near East and Northern and Eastern Africa are seriously 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. 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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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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Environmental Dialogues at NYUAD

Every year, Earthumanities and the Rachel Carson Center of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München host a conference at New York University Abu Dhabi.

This year’s theme was ‘Environmental Dialogues’ and it brought together faculty, students, artists, activists, and professionals for an examination of the ways in which we have changed our planet and our lives and to discuss critical global challenges that are facing future generations.

’Environmental Dialogues’ brought together 11 unique fellows, scholars, and researchers in environmental and social studies. Together, they got to experience Abu Dhabi’s history, culture, and heritage. Check out the highlights in the pictures above. 


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Urban Environments- International Perspectives- October 10-12, 2019 in Munich

The twenty-first century planet is an urban planet. The urban population in 2015 accounted for 54% of the total global population, up from 30% in 1950. It is expected to increase to 60% of the world population by 2030. Wherever we look on the globe, growing cities are facing environmental and social challenges, and we can find a plethora of policy initiatives that seek to create “greener,” more “sustainable,” and more “resilient” cities for the future. 

On October 10, 2019 a Munich based workshop brought together fellows of the Rachel Carson Center (RCC), scholars from Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU) and two of its partner universities – Cambridge, UK  and New York University NY/Abu Dhabi – alongside members of Munich’s Technical University and urban “practitioners” to understand and analyze urban ecologies and planning as well as biophysical transformation over time. 

The workshop was designed as a multi-disciplinary project with anthropologists and architects, environmental historians and geographers, ecologist and urban planners. It included an urban field excursion, keynote lectures and a sneak-peak event featuring Ecopolis Munich (an exhibition of the RCC’s Environmental Studies Certificate Program).    

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City Environments around the Globe: A Multidisciplinary Research, Teaching and Exchange Project 

A gallery from the Rachel Carson Center Conference (RCC) titled City Environments around the Globe that took place on the 10th and 11th of February, 2019.

The RCC of LMU and New York University (NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi) collaborated to  launch of City Environments around the Globe, a multidisciplinary research, teaching and exchange project that aims to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU Munich) and New York University (NY and AD).
Read the testimonials from our guests who attended the conference here.

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Regional Academic Seminar to Nepal

NYUAD students enrolled in a class entitled “Reading the Earth” visited Nepal to study urbanization, as well as environmental and cultural conservation efforts there.

Jane Goodall: humanity is finished if it fails to adapt after Covid-19

Primatologist calls for overhaul of food habits to prevent a future pandemic. Read the gull article here.

EC presents Arlit: Second Paris with filmmaker Idrissou Mora-Kpai by video

Essential Cinema presented a screening of Idrissou Mora-Kpai's Arlit, dieuxième Paris which investigates the environmental racism associated with uranium extraction in Mali. Once a vibrant “second Paris” from migrants from different parts of Africa, Arlit became an...

Food after oil: how urban farmers are preparing us for a self-sufficient future

Bristol is at the head of a food phenomenon that is helping residents better connect with their cities and each other. Read the full article here.

Core Team

Meet the eARThumanities team!

Sophia Kalantzakos, Head of eARThumanities, Global Distinguished Professor, Environmental Studies and Public Policy, NYU/NYU Abu Dhabi

Mark Swislocki, Associate Professor of History, NYU Abu Dhabi 

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

Network of Scholars from the NYU GNU:

Yifei Lee, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Assistant Professor, NYU

Andrew Bell, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU NY

Rana Tomaira, Lecturer NYUAD 


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