New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

CAS debuts new environmental humanities minor

The new offering, which was announced on Wednesday, will be open to students in all schools.
Dharma Niles
Una Chaudhuri, the dean for humanities and vice dean for interdisciplinary studies, speaks at Environmental Humanities minor launch. (Dharma Niles for WSN)

NYU’s College of Arts & Science launched its new environmental humanities minor at an event in the Silver Center on Wednesday, which will be offered under the environmental studies department and be open to students in all schools. 

Nine faculty members across several schools at NYU introduced the minor’s humanistic approach to environmental and climate studies, noting its increasing relevance to global issues. Una Chaudhuri, the dean for humanities and vice-dean for interdisciplinary initiatives, spoke about the significance of the minor and how students and faculty can work toward bringing awareness to climate change and environmental crises. 

“In the humanities, words matter a lot. In the environmental humanities, words take on the possibility of being both accurate and accessible, both clarifying and globalizing,” Chaudhuri said at the event. “The words that we use to describe our present, broken world, can shape the world we build for the future.” 

Four classes are required to complete the minor, with students being able to choose from four-credit courses including “Ethics and Animals” and “Reimagining ‘Nature.’”

“How we understand living in the anthropocene, in a climate-changed world, is a fundamentally important task that we have,” Christopher Schlottmann, the director of undergraduate studies, said at the event. “We’re taking some of the first official steps and consolidating some of this research and scholarship in this large, nebulous field of environment.”

Students and faculty at the event expressed interest in a general program focusing on environmental studies with a more humanitarian, communicative lens. Junior Emma Alvarez said the event encouraged her to take on the minor and pursue her interests in environmental studies.

“Hearing all the speeches was really inspiring; it’s definitely something I want to pursue,” Alvarez said. “What really draws me to it is how interdisciplinary it is, and that it emphasizes that need when studying environmental sciences and sustainability.”

Contact Dharma Niles at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Dharma Niles
Dharma Niles, Deputy News Editor
Dharma Niles is a first-year student currently studying journalism and politics at CAS, and has yet to choose between the six different minors she'd also like to pursue. You can generally find her playing NYT games, skittering around the city with a Celsius in hand or on Instagram @dharmaniles.

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