Cultivating Environmental Attention: Course Development for Accessible Environmental Humanities Field Methodologies

Project Team

  • Astrida Neimanis, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Creative Studies, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (Lead Applicant)
  • Natalie Forssman, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Emilie Ovenden, MA candidate
  • Daisy Pullman, PhD candidate


  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Experiential Learning
  • Indigenizing Curriculum



About the Project

Drawing on emergent best practices in Environmental Humanities (EH) pedagogies, this project will develop and pilot a state-of-the-art field course, housed in the Department of English and Cultural Studies, as part of the new Bachelor in Sustainability (BSust) degree. It will address equity, diversity and access as key dimensions of sustainability through universal access, anti-oppressive pedagogies, cultural safety, and access to resources for community members.  EH is a new configuration of humanities disciplines, embodied in a concentration of the BSust, that foregrounds ethics, imagination, discourse and aesthetics as key to understanding environmental issues as inseparable from the cultural contexts in which they appear. Place-based conceptual frameworks, sometimes referred to as “the arts of noticing”, are prominent within such approaches, but comprehensive student-centred place-based pedagogies that animate and test these conceptual commitments are still under development. This is in contrast to foundational field-based methods within natural science, social science, and engineering disciplines.  Acknowledging the importance of Indigenous-led land-based education, this project will complement but not replace these efforts. The project takes seriously the need for guests (settlers, migrants, and others) to learn to perceive place in accountable, anticolonial, self-reflexive ways that also attend to tensions and connections between local and global environments (36-38). Referencing prominent EH scholarship, this project refers to this capacity as cultivating the arts of attention.


Awarded in Program and Learning Experience Enhancement Stream