Upcoming Events

Himalaya: The Geopolitics of Melting Mountains

November 8, 2021

Among the mountain ranges of the world, the Himalayas are perhaps the most spectacular, mysterious, and majestic. Along with the Tibetan Plateau, the Himalayas are home to 15,000 glaciers that carry as much as 12,000 cubic kilometers of ice down the mountains. The water they provide is a lifeline for more than 2.5 billion people, flowing through circuitous paths of the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Mekong, the Yangtze and the Huang He (Yellow River). While these mountains span geographic boundaries across India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, and Pakistan, sovereign states have sought to territorialize the land, the water, the air, the ecosystems, and the people. The climate crisis has exacerbated regional tensions because as the Himalayas melt and their water sources diminish, a race to secure access to fresh water is quickly turning into competition. This talk will explain how the Himalayan Melting Mountains brought together a group of students, alumni, and faculty to launch an interdisciplinary initiative that spotlights the urgent call to action necessitated by a problem that should be driving the conversation in Asia. Our run-away carbon footprint combined with increasingly fraught power relations constitute an explosive cocktail that will destabilize the lives and welfare of billions of people with massive spill-over effects across the globe.

Past Events

RIHST Conference: Rich Rocks, the Climate Crisis, and the Tech Imperium 

July 12-14

The decarbonization of the global economy in response to the climate crisis and the fourth industrial revolution, featuring artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G networks (accelerated in response to the coronavirus pandemic), has triggered a race to secure uninterrupted access to critical raw minerals (CRMs) that are indispensable inputs for high-technology applications. Access to necessary resources has become a strategic security question, in light of the projected rapid increase in global demand for these essential inputs. This conference is divided into four sessions, including discussions on geopolitics, views from the industry, and insights on the social and environmental impacts. 

Between rocks and hard places: critical minerals, climate change and the future of globalization

February 4

2021 finds us in the midst of a pandemic and a growing appreciation that the climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our time. Plans to become carbon neutral by mid-century have been announced by major economies making decarbonization urgent.  This major transformation requires unprecedented amounts of minerals as inputs and some are considered especially critical. Which ones are they? What makes them critical? Chris Berry President of House Mountain Partners, LLC and Sophia Kalantzakos, Professor at New York University/ NYU Abu Dhabi will be talking about these developments. They will discuss the complex series of challenges and opportunities that are emerging as countries around the world move to decarbonize their economies in line with their Paris commitments. 

The Himalayas Geopolitics & Ecology of Melting Mountains

October 29-30

This conference was organized by  The Geopolitics and Ecology of Himalayan Water – under the eARThumanities at NYU Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center of LMU Munich. It aspires to bring together the expertise of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers in order to elicit a synthetic and holistic approach in studying and proposing solutions to this looming crisis.

The conference highlights has been provided to your right. 

Essential Cinema | Arlit, deuxième Paris/Arlit: Second Paris – Screening and Q&A

February 5, 2020 | 5:30 pm | C3-B101

Arlit is a case study in environmental racism set in a uranium mining town in the Sahara desert of Niger. Here European corporations extract nuclear power and profits leaving behind disease, contamination and unemployment. Ironically the primary activities of Arlit today is to die of radiation related sicknesses or to emigrate to find work in Europe itself.

Presented by Awam Amkpa, and followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Idrissou Mora-Kpai  

The Life Worlds of Middle Eastern Oil

April 15 – 16, 2019 | NYUAD 

In the one hundred years or so since the birth of the Middle Eastern oil industry petroleum saturates its societies, cultures and politics, fueling cars, airplanes and wars, supplying energy for fridges, fans and air conditioners, creating glitzy modern cities, and subverting man made landscapes and natural environments. Oil’s miracles, spectacles and miseries are still with us, and will remain for some time to come. This multidisciplinary workshop penetrates the bituminous layers of the inner life of Middle Eastern oil, exploring how it affectes people’s social, cultural and political lives in the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries.

Convened by
Nelida Fuccaro, Professor of Middle Eastern History; Associate Dean of Humanities, NYUAD
Mandana Limbert, Associate Professor of Anthropology, CUNY:Queens College

Hosted by
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute 

Eating Animals

April 3, 2019 | NYUAD 


Award winning filmmaker Christopher Quinn is visiting NYUAD during the first week of April. During his stay his movie Eating Animals will be screened followed by a Q&A with Christopher Quinn.  Eating Animals is based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer and narrated by Natalie Portman.  

Screening followed by Q&A with the film’s director Christopher Dillon Quinn

[Director: Christopher Dillon Quinn | USA | 2017 | 95 mins | English]

The Plant-People Relationship in Ancient Central Asia

Wed, March 13 | 12 to 1:30 pmA6-117

This talk explores the recent proliferation of studies on the plant-people relationship in ancient Central Asia.  Over the last 25 years, significant data sets of ancient plant remains and other dietary indicators have emerged from major and minor archaeological sites across the region.  Many of the studies that have produced these data pursue a wide-ranging picture of the transmission of domesticated plants across cultures and emphasize the role of the Silk Road in shaping food globalization in prehistory.  Contrasting these are other studies that examine the local, embedded, and indigenous facets of ancient plant usage and domestication within Central Asia itself.  Both perspectives capture fascinating aspects of ancient human-environment dynamics in Central Asia using novel approaches.  They also mirror contemporary discourse about globalization and its implications for human societies.  This talk will explore these bodies of emerging scholarship and present information on new research in Central Asia aimed at addressing some of the recent trends.

Elizabeth Brite is a clinical assistant professor in the Honors College, Purdue University.  She is also co-director of the Khorezm Ancient Agriculture Project in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.  Dr. Brite received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Anegeles in 2011.

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

February 10 & 11, 2019 | NYUAD 

 The Rachel Carson Center Conference (RCC) titled City Environments around the Globe will take place on the 10th and 11th of February, 2019.

The RCC of LMU and New York University (NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi) are pleased to announce the 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).

If you wish to contact NYUAD eARThumanities for collaboration, please contact Prof. Sophia Kalantzakos. 

The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement by Hal Crimmel

November 8, 2018 | 7 pm | NYUAD 


Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor and Department Chair of English Hal Crimmel teaches at Weber State University, a 26,000-student institution located just north of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, where the 3000m peaks of the Wasatch Mountains meet the arid spaces of the Great Basin Desert. Hal is Rodney H. Brady Distinguished Professor of English and founding co-chair of WSU’s Environmental Issues Committee. His interests include place-based pedagogy, wilderness, rivers, and applied sustainability, particularly as they relate to water issues and air pollution.
He will be visiting NYUAD in November to screen The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement‎, directed by Isaac Goeckeritz, Hal Crimmel, Valeria Berros (USA, 2018), on November 8 at 7pm.

Rachel Carson Center Conference: Transformations in Environment and Society

February 18 – 19, 2018 | NYUAD 

In 2018, the eARThumanities officially launched its collaboration with the renowned Rachel Carson Center of Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. An international, interdisciplinary center for research and education in the environmental humanities and social sciences, the Rachel Carson Center and eARTHumanities, NYUAD jointly organized a workshop on February 18-19, 2018 entitled “Transformations in Environment and Society.” Rachel Carson Fellows from all over the world discussed their work with NYUAD faculty and members of NYUs GNU on topics that ranged from music, poetry, and novels to include theater, art, migration, disaster relief, dessert landscapes and histories, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Green Wall of China.

We are excited about this collaboration and a joint effort in building a locus of intellectual research and debate from which to contribute robustly to the emerging field of environmental humanities. Together, we shall organize 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.

Sophia Kalantzakos

Global Distinguished Professor, NYU Abu Dhabi

What on Earth are the Animals Saying?

September 19, 2017 | 6:30 pm | NYUAD Institute 

A talk by NYUAD’s Award winning author and journalist, Professor Charles Siebert, Literature and Creative Writing talks of his many experiences visiting with, and writing about, non-human animals, and what they reveal to us about themselves and us. Through his interludes with everyone from a former cellist in an all chimpanzee circus orchestra; to an octopus escape artist; to elephant and whale ventriloquists; to traumatized orphaned parrots who heal equally traumatized war veterans, Siebert introduces us to the animal within all humans; the common biology and languages we share with other beings; and the costs of failing to hear “What On Earth They Are Saying

Engaging Children About the Environment

October 1, 2017| 7:30-8 PM | C3 Arts Building, In front of the black box

Talk with artist Davide Venturni “Compagnia TPO – Farfalle”

Visit by Harvey Molotch, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology, NYU

November 16, 2017
– Cities Conference hosted by The NYUAD Institute
– Oliver Kemeid’s version of Virgil’s The Aeneid.
 Panel discussion with Director Sarah Cameron Sunde, Harvey Molotch, and Sophia Kalantzakos