As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change and strives to protect natural habitats and resources, there is a need to deftly write and speak knowledgeably about nature and the environment. These skills help to educate and bring environmental injustices affecting vulnerable communities and populations to light.

The minor in Environmental Humanities allows you to investigate how cultural narratives, attitudes and perceptions, ethics, social structures, and art shape our language about nature and interactions with the environment. You will learn to apply methods and modes of analysis traditionally associated with the arts and humanities to explore, better understand and write about nature and the environment. 

The minor is open to ϲʿ’s undergraduates of all disciplines and is based in the Department of Literature, Writing, and Rhetoric. Students may choose to couple this minor with related areas of study such as Environmental Biology and Climate Change, or create other interdisciplinary opportunities with majors such as Philosophy, Religious Studies, Communication or Writing and Rhetoric in the School of Arts and Humanities.

Outcomes

You will hone the creative, ethical and conceptual tools you need to create a more just and sustainable narrative of nature. Environmental agencies and nonprofits need clear, effective communicators to widen the reach of their programs. Government officials and NGOs need staffers with the skills and knowledge to produce clear, accurate, and powerful content to explain the effects of climate change and the need to act quickly to arrest its dangers. It is difficult to imagine a field that is not already being affected by the realities of climate change.

Requirements

In addition to the following 18 hours of minor requirements, students must satisfy all (page 44) to be eligible to complete this minor.

Environmental Writing Required Course, 3 hours selected from:

  1. WRIT 2304 Special Creative Writing Workshop (when topic is Environmental Writing)
  2. WRIT 2316 Environmental Writing
  3. WRIT 3310 Topics in Intermediate Creative Writing (when topic is Environmental Writing)

Moral Reasoning Required Course, 3 hours selected from:

  1. PHIL 3312 Environmental Ethics
  2. RELS 2342 Topics in Social Justice and Critical Methodologies (when topic is Faith and Ecology)

Social Justice in Practice Required Course, 3 hours selected from:

  1. COMM 3370 Social Movement Communication and Public Advocacy
  2. COMM 4382 Social and Environmental Corporate Communication
  3. THAR 2321 Theater for Social Change
  4. VISU 2399 Topics in Visual Studies (when topic is Art, Social Practice, and Activism)

An additional 9 hours are selected from directed electives in visual arts, journalism, literature or from the above areas of study. See Undergraduate Bulletin or DegreeWorks for current offerings.

For questions about the Environmental Humanities minor, contact your success coach or Dr. Sasha West, associate professor of Creative Writing, who coordinates the program: swest1@stedwards.edu. To declare the minor, fill out the “Student Curriculum Change Request” form on MyHilltop.