PPEH Continues to Grow

Monday, November 21, 2016

PPEH artists in residence, the Pig Iron Theatre Company presents a new symphonic theatrer hybrid that offers a meditation on life and planetary cycles, set in a time of rapid ecological and technological changes. Photo credit: Johanna Austin

Searches are underway at Penn Arts and Sciences to recruit at least three new tenure-track faculty who combine humanistic studies with environmental themes over the next three years. These faculty positions will allow the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) to build a curriculum in environmental humanities and implement a graduate certificate and minor for undergraduates. 

In a world of rising waters and temperatures, PPEH’s public programming in 2016-17 focuses on the theme “Float on Warmer Waters.” Two international conferences, a film series, and workshops and performances with artists in residence are among the scheduled events, while PPEH continues to build out collaborations with academic and community partners along the Schuylkill River. “PPEH’s work on campus and beyond recognizes that the environment is no less “in us” than “out there”—i.e., the environment resides in the city no less than on mountains’ majesty,” says founding director Bethany Wiggin. “PPEH foregrounds the various ways human lives are entangled with the nonhuman.”

These mutual entanglements inform the work by graduate and undergraduate research fellows as well as the new working group of faculty from across the University. “This bridge-building approach to environmental humanities distinguishes PPEH from programs at other universities, and it's allowing us to make significant contributions in academia and beyond,” says Wiggin.