7.24.2017
By Roanoke College News

Professor examines environmental humanities, age of humans in two books

A professor of environmental studies at Roanoke College, whose teaching and research focuses on environmental humanities, has co-written a book about the subject, while another publication examining the history of humans is on the way. 

"The Environmental Humanities," written by Dr. Robert Emmett, a visiting assistant professor at Roanoke, and Dr. David Nye, a professor of American studies at the University of Southern Denmark and award-winning scholar, is available through the MIT Press. The book is a critical introduction to environmental humanities and the ways that humanists can improve society's understanding of complex environmental problems such as species extinction and global warming. 

Emmett, who started work on the book in 2015, already has used parts of it for teaching environmental studies at Roanoke. He expects to use it more this fall during a course that he will teach about consumption.

Emmett also is one of three editors of another publication, "Future Remains - A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene." 

“The result is a book that interrogates the origins, implications and potential dangers of the Anthropocene and makes us wonder anew about what exactly human history is made of.”

University of Chicago Press, about “Future Remains – A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene”

The book, which is planned for publication in January 2018, features essays and color photographs of 15 objects chosen to provoke wonder and curiosity and help to explain the meaning of the Anthropocene, or the age of humans.

Geo-scientists are currently debating whether to adopt the "Anthropocene epoch" to describe the period in geological history marked by the planetary impact of human activities. The essay collection resulted from an "Anthropocene Slam," in which people pitched objects for an exhibit. 

Emmett is co-editor of the book, along with Dr. Gregg Mitman, a professor of the history of science, medical history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dr. Marco Armiero, an environmental historian. Armiero also is associate professor of environmental history at the Environmental Humanities Lab at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. 

The book "interrogates the origins, implications and potential dangers of the Anthropocene and makes us wonder anew about what exactly human history is made of," according to the University of Chicago Press, its publisher.