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Elizabeth Engelhardt (photo by Donn Young)

Mellon funding supports environmental humanities

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $150,000 two-year grant to pilot a consortium of four research institutions and their public partners to study coasts, climates and the environmental humanities.

The Coasts, Climates, the Humanities and the Environment Consortium (CCHEC) is a partnership of Louisiana State University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia and UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as an alliance of regional stakeholders.

“This opportunity to collaborate institutionally has the potential to transform individual partnerships into ongoing pipelines between our institutions and communities,” said Elizabeth Engelhardt, a co-principal investigator on the grant. She is interim senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in the College. “Moreover, the issues we are discussing demand that we work to scale. The problems are large; our partnerships need to be equally ambitious. This effort promises to be.”

Research into the diversity and complexity of coastal zones and cultures through the medium of environmental humanities approaches is growing rapidly in context of climate instability. CCHEC engages the sea and land grant missions of its member institutions via two initial clusters: “Coasts, Archives and Climates” and “Coastal Futures and the Public Humanities.”

These clusters will engage diverse community groups, students and faculty in projects that study the environmental history and impacts of storms and tidal waters on a series of specific locations. Each cluster will integrate archival research with public engagement in order to create humanities-informed models of understanding for contemporary and emerging challenges.