The Humanities and Our Natural World


Our evolving relationship with the natural world we inhabit and questions of environmental sustainability in an era of climate change figure among the most pressing issues that we face today. Debates relating to the environment and questions of sustainability often center on work by scientists, yet humanities scholars and creative writers have much to contribute to these conversations. The rapidly growing field of environmental humanities incorporates a range of disciplinary approaches, including but not limited to history, literary studies, philosophy, and religious studies. The Hall Center for the Humanities’ 2021-2022 speaker series, In Search of Harmony:The Humanities and Our Natural World, features a range of humanities scholars and creative writers whose exciting, thought-provoking work explores the complicated relationships between humans and the living world that surrounds us.

We hope to host in-person events this coming fall, yet the situation due to COVID-19 remains volatile: we will need to be adaptable based on the concerns of our speakers and audience members, and in response to mandated restrictions.  Regardless of the format that we end up using for each event in this speaker series -- whether in-person, hybrid, or entirely virtual – all events will be live-streamed via the Hall Center's Crowdcast Page. We will announce details regarding venue, registration, or ticketing for live events two weeks prior to each event. Please follow the Hall Center on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or check our website calendar website for further details.

Upcoming Events

Bathsheba Demuth

WED OCT 27, 7:30 PM
"Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait"
This is an online event.
Author Bathsheba Demuth smiling, in blue blazer over black and white striped shirtm, alongside the cover for her book 'Floating Coast'.

Robin Wall Kimmerer

WED NOV 10, 2021, 7:30 PM
"Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants", in partnership with the KU Common Book Program, this event will be live-streamed via Crowdcast, please register via link below...
Author Robin Wall Kimmerer, wearing a print pullover, leaning against a tree with her arm around it, alongside the cover of her book 'Braiding Sweetgrass'.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

TUE MAR 22, 2022, 7:30 PM
"Dub: Finding Ceremony", live-stream via Crowdcast, in-person event details to be announced two weeks prior.
Headshot of poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs, smiling, with large circular silver earrings, white shirt and green silk scarf, alongside book cover for 'Dub: finding Ceremony'.

Terry Tempest Williams

WED APR 13, 2022, 7:30 PM
"The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks", live-stream via Crowdcast, in-person event details to be announced two weeks prior.
Author Terry Tempest Williams standing in a filed of tallgrass, with mountain range in background, wearing gray sweater, alongside cover of her book 'The Hour of Land'.

Previous Events

Amitav Ghosh

TUE SEP 21, 7:30 PM
Woodruff Auditorium
(masks required)
"The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis"
This is a hybrid event.
Author Amitav Ghosh, in black shirt with dark green vest, holding an umbrella, alongside Nutmeg's Curse book cover.