Ecology and Equity: Environmental Justice Revisited – 2024 Tanner Lectures on Human Values

by Whitney Humanities Center

Lecture, Talk, or Panel Arts and Humanities Environmental Justice Environmentalism Humanities

Wed, Apr 3, 2024 4:30 PM –

Fri, Apr 5, 2024 11:30 AM EDT (GMT-4)

Add to Calendar

Humanities Quadrangle (HQ)

320 York Street, New Haven, CT 06520, United States


2024 Tanner Lectures on Human Values
Ecology and Equity: Environmental Justice Revisited (April 3–5)

At a time of surging interest in environmental justice and the environmental humanities, Rob Nixon’s 2024 Tanner Lectures on Human Values explore the crossroads where those two fields engage with research findings from the ecological and behavioral sciences.

Rob Nixon is the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment at Princeton University. He is the author of four books, including Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard), celebrated for its fundamental contributions to ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. Nixon is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, where he writes on environmentalism and on literature and culture from the global South. He has been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, a MacArthur Foundation Peace and Security Fellowship, and a National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship. Nixon’s new book, Blood at the Root: Environmental Martyrs and the Defense of Life, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.


Past Events

Fri, Apr 05, 2024
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Humanities Quadrangle (HQ) 134
Day 3 – Rob Nixon in conversation with Gerald Torres and Nurfadzilah Yahaya

A panel discussion and breakfast. Panelists include Rob Nixon, Gerald Torres, and Nurfadzilah Yahaya.

Gerald Torres is Professor of Environmental Justice at the Yale School of the Environment, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Law at the Law School.

Nurfadzilah Yahaya specializes in history of Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean history, legal history, history of infrastructure, and environmental history.

Thu, Apr 04, 2024
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Humanities Quadrangle (HQ) L02
Day 2 – Neoliberalism and the Science of Plant Cooperation

Multiple contemporary bestsellers, from Robin Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass to Richard Powers’s The Overstory, celebrate the wonders of the Wood Wide Web, a term coined by forest ecologist Suzanne Simard in 1997. Simard’s research reveals how vast, hidden mycorrhizal networks connect trees, allowing them to redistribute resources vital for individual and collective flourishing. How can we explain the sudden, popular fascination with this hitherto arcane corner of ecological science? Could it be that neoliberalism’s dog-eat-dog ideology and surging inequality have left readers eager for alternative, more cooperative models of governance and being? Could it be that the widening chasm between the mega-rich and the socially abandoned has created an audience responsive to the Wood Wide Web as an allegory of survival-through-collaboration?

Wed, Apr 03, 2024
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Humanities Quadrangle (HQ) L02
Day 1 – Environmental Justice and the Great Outdoors

In 2005, Richard Louv sounded the alarm that children were trading too much outdoor time for indoor time on screens. His coinage—nature deficit disorder—has inspired myriad studies into the benefits of getting outside. That research reveals a so-called “green dividend,” the measurable physiological and psychological improvements that accrue from natural immersion. Yet such peer-reviewed studies typically ignore the way natural spaces are implicated in topographies of social power. How can we acknowledge the health advantages nature may afford, while also acknowledging that “losing yourself” in nature is not an equally accessible ideal? For many communities, immediate risk and historical trauma shadow the great outdoors, making the ‘green dividend’ a more fraught, ambiguous attainment.

Hosted By

Whitney Humanities Center | Website | View More Events

Contact the organizers