Cornell Faculty to Expand Sustainability Conversation

The Atkinson Center launched the faculty-in-residence program in 2015 to broaden Cornell’s culture of sustainability by providing targeted support to scholars in the social sciences, humanities and arts...

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By Sheri Englund via Cornell Chronicle, 5/3/16

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) has announced 10 faculty-in-residence fellows in the social sciences, humanities and arts for 2016-17. Their sustainability projects range from an original theatrical performance that will travel to schools, to a legal study of Japanese nuclear policy and the Fukushima disaster, to a new book on how race and gender affect “food justice.”

The Atkinson Center launched the faculty-in-residence program in 2015 to broaden Cornell’s culture of sustainability by providing targeted support to scholars in the social sciences, humanities and arts. Working in residence in ACSF’s offices in Rice Hall, the fellows receive a semester of teaching leave and research funding to pursue projects related to sustainability, including exploratory research, artistic work, public engagement, books and articles, and course development.

Next year’s interdisciplinary group of fellows – representing five Cornell colleges and schools – will work on sustainability projects that span the globe, from the United States to Burkina Faso and India to Beijing. Religious studies scholar Kim Haines-Eitzen will focus on the ancient Mediterranean world. She plans to use her semester in residence to complete a book and design a new course on the interplay between desert ecology and religion.

“As we work to address increasingly urgent global environmental issues, the humanities can provide an important and deep sense of historical context,” she explained. “Artists have a similarly important role to play, by creating musical compositions, visual images, films and so forth that express effectively and aesthetically how humans have impacted the environment and, in turn, how the environment has impacted human life.”

Next fall’s fellows are Carolyn Goelzer, performing and media arts; Haines-Eitzen, Near Eastern studies; George Hutchinson, English; Neema Kudva, city and regional planning; Annelise Riles, law and anthropology; and Mildred Warner, city and regional planning.

Spring 2017 fellows are Adam Levine, government; Shanjun Li, applied economics and management; Noliwe Rooks, Africana studies; and Wesley Sine, management.

“I greatly look forward to being in residence at ACSF,” Levine said. “I’m in the middle of a book-length project on communication and citizen engagement related to climate change, and this fellowship will give me the time and intellectual stimulation I need to complete the project next year.”

Sheri Englund is science writer and editor for the Atkinson Center.

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