The role of environmental humanities for the ecological civilisation

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.2, 2020


The role of environmental humanities for the ecological civilisation



Yunjeong Han


Environmental humanities are the responses of the humanities to the global ecological crisis, as well as the result of the theoretical development of the humanities. They have emerged as bridges between human and environment, humanities and natural sciences. However, as the scope is wide and the demands vary, academic identity and challenges are also complex and difficult. Discussions about the definition, research subjects, and methodologies are still in progress, but it is clear that “our hope is now in humanities”. In order to grasp the outline of the environmental humanities, this article examines the theoretical process of ecocriticism, which has adopted ecological thought as methodology for analyzing literary and cultural texts, shows the research subject of environmental humanities regarding to the ‘Anthropocene’ concept, and introduces the current status of environmental humanities research institutes in the United States and Europe. Whether or not environmental humanities, which are still at early stage, become practical studies to overcome the ecological crisis depends on how seriously the related disciplines cooperate with each other.