UW News

August 19, 2016

UW will host 2017 summer institute on teaching urban environmental issues

UW News

Faculty members from the University of Washington College of Built Environments, Jackson School of International Studies and departments of French and Italian studies and history will team up in 2017 to give a new, three-week course for university and college instructors on urban environmental humanities.

The 2017 NEH Summer Institute, titled “CITY/NATURE: Urban Environmental Humanities,” is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, part of a $79 million grant supporting 290 humanities projects across the United States. The summer institute, administered through the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities, was awarded a grant of $179,256 to fund the program.

The summer program for teachers “responds to the call for a broader and more inclusive approach” to the teaching of environmental studies, co-organizer Thaisa Way, associate professor of landscape architecture, wrote in a statement. “Intended for college and university faculty, the institute will explore the emerging landscape of the urban environmental humanities as it informs scholarship and teaching.”

Though the program’s readings and discussions “will engage a range of global cities, the institute will use Seattle as an urban case study throughout.” About 25 college and university teachers will attend.

Organizing the program with Way are Ken Yocom, associate professor of landscape architecture; and Richard Watts, associate professor of French and Italian studies. UW faculty joining them as guest speakers will be María Elena García, associate professor in the Jackson School and director of the Comparative History of Ideas Program; Anne C. Huppert, associate professor of architecture; Linda Nash, associate professor of history and Sarah Culpepper Stroup, associate professor of classics. Other guest speakers will include David Pellow of the University of California, Santa Barbara, William Gleason of Princeton University, Laura Pulido of the University of Southern California and Stephanie LeMenager of the University of Oregon.

“Cities are our greatest challenge and our greatest opportunity to steward the natural world,” Way said. “Humanists can help scientists and planners think about people, culture, and society in our understanding of the natural world, and scientists and planners can help humanists understand the role of the natural world in our global cultures.”


For more information about the 2017 NEH Summer Institute, contact Way at 206-685-2523 or tway@uw.edu.