Next event / lecture(s); and record of previous, inc photos and videos

Next Event(s)

(03 06 2016) things are quietening down for the summer. New event TBC

Previous Events, Public Lectures. Some with photos and videos 

Wednesday 24 May 2017

The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities presents:

‘Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities’

A Free Public Lecture by Professor Joni Adamson

Newton Campus; Stanton G01, 18:00 – 19:30

In this lecture, Joni will range from the global to the local, across geographies, ecosystems, climates and weather regimes, moving from icy, melting Arctic landscapes to the bleaching Australian Great Barrier Reef, and from an urban pedagogical “laboratory” in Phoenix, Arizona to Vatican City in Rome. Joni will explore how Environmental Humanities projects and scholarship is showcasing the ways that humanists and social scientists are working to “integrate knowledges” from diverse cultures and ontologies and pilot new “constellations of practice” that are moving beyond traditional contemplative or reflective scholarly outcomes (the book, the essay). These innovative projects are affirming what Mike Hulme (2009) has observed: that framing complex environmental changes as “mega-problems” necessarily demands “mega-solutions,” and this perception “has led us down the wrong road”. These projects are illustrating how humanists and social scientists can work with local community-based alliances, not to find one solution but a range of evidence-based, reasoned, scaled, and culturally diverse responses “reflective of life in a plural world” (Castree et al. 2014).

Joni Adamson is Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Department of English and Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University where she directs the Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI).  She lectures internationally and is the author and/or co-editor of many books that helped to establish and expand the environmental humanities, including Keywords for Environmental Studies  (New York University Press, 2016) and Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledge, Forging New Constellations of Practice (Routledge, 2016). She is a Convener of the North American Observatory of the Humanities for the Environment global network.

Wednesday 17 May 2017
Two linked events

Bird Whale Bug: Why Make Music With Nature?

Wednesday 17 May 2017
11am – 1pm, public lecture
1pm – 1.50pm, lunchtime recital

Michael Tippett Centre, Bath Spa University

Free | Book at Bath Spa Live here

Musician, composer and writer David Rothenberg has long been interested in the musicality of sounds made by inhabitants of the animal world. He has jammed live with lyrebirds, broadcast his clarinet underwater for humpback whales, and covered himself in thirteen-year cicadas to wail away inside a wash of white noise.

In this lecture and performance double-bill, Rothenberg presents a musical trajectory through several of his favorite species, revealing their distinct and evolved aesthetic senses in an attempt to show that music can reach across species lines, from human to animal, and back. Creatures whose musical worlds we will enter include the nightingale, humpback whale, three-humped treehopper, snowy tree cricket, seventeen-year cicada, white-crested laughing thrush, superb lyrebird, European marsh warbler, lesser water boatman and the mountain pine bark beetle.

He will discuss his current work playing music live with nightingales, which he is doing this May in southeastern England.

Thursday May 11th  2017

Arts and Social Change Group meeting 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm; Newton Campus;  CM.111

“The Arts and Social Change (ASC) Research Group brings together researchers across the College of Liberal Arts whose work engages with issues of social justice and the facilitation of social intervention and change through the arts.”

See here for more details of the group. Please email l.purcell-gates[at] if you are interested in the group / want to attend.


Wednesday 10th May

Talk by visiting scholar Dolly Jørgensen

Associate Professor, History of Environment and Technology
Luleå University of Technology

Weds May 10; 5.30 – 6.30; Newton Campus; CM.133

This talk examines a pivotal effort to reintroduce the European beaver in Europe. The earliest successful beaver reintroduction project in Europe was bringing back the beaver to Sweden in 1922. Beavers had been extinct in the country for about 50 years when a group of people interested in both natural and cultural heritage conservation worked to bring them back. In those efforts to bring back the beaver, stories were told: stories from old men from the Jämtland region who recounted stories of the great beaver trappers and the slaying of the last beavers; stories of grandmothers whose grandmothers used medicine made from beavers; stories of how the beaver once lived and died on the land. The memories of the beaver, while the stuff of legend, were integral to the decision to reintroduce it.

Dolly Jørgensen is an environmental historian with broad research interests, ranging from medieval to modern history. Her research areas have included medieval forestry and agriculture, late medieval urban sanitation, offshore oil policy, animal reintroduction, and environmentalism in science fiction. Her current research project deals with animal reintroduction, rewilding, and deextinction, which can be previewed on her project blog “The Return of Native Nordic Fauna” . She has co-edited two volumes: New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (2013) and Northscapes: History, Technology & the Making of Northern Environments (2013). She was a practicing environmental engineer before earning a PhD in history from the University of Virginia in 2008. She is currently Associate Professor of History at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, and from August 2017 will be Professor of History at University of Stavanger.

This is not a public lecture. If you intend to attend, or have any questions, please email


Monday May 8th 2017

Nature and Wellbeing Workshop, Bath Spa University

Newton Campus; 108 Commons

An interdisciplinary Nature and Wellbeing workshop 12.45pm – 16.15pm followed by a talk by Mya-Rose Craig, ‘Birdgirl’

The workshop will featuring academic speakers and representatives from environmental groups. Information about the event and key themes: Nature Wellbeing Workshop 8th May

12.45 Arrival and lunch.
13.00 Papers, workshops and discussions (timetable to be released soon)
16.15 Break
16.30: Mya-Rose Craig’s talk
17.30 drinks reception and event end

This is part of this AHRC project  “Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing Connecting Health and the Environment through Literature” headed by Sam Walton

Please email s.walton [at] for more details and to book a place.


Wednesday May 3rd 2017Professorial Lecture by Professor  Mariele Neudecker –  Hull ‘Another City of UK Culture’

Newton Campus; Commons G23/24; 6pm-8pm

Free. Book at Bath Spa Live here

Mariele Neudecker will talk about the exhibition “Offshore, Artists Explore the Sea” in the context of Hull being the current UK City of Culture. “Offshore” is an exhibition featuring 23 artists, curated by art and science organisation Invisible Dust. Mariele will speak with particular focus on her own new works made for this exhibition, which are currently held at the Ferens Art Gallery and the Hull Maritime Museum. She has been making work related to the deep oceans and the Arctic for some time, and will contextualize her ideas and other projects within the art/science context.

Mariele is on the supervision team of The Environmental Humanities PhD being undertaken by Laura Denning.

Friday April 28th 2017

Digital Ecologies and the Anthropocene One Day Symposium.

Media Convergence Research Centre, Commons (CM119)
Newton Park Campus
Bath Spa University
Newton St Loe
Bath BA2 9BN

09:30 – 18.00

Tickets cost: £ 15.00

PhD Researchers and students: £ 10.00

Tickets include lunch, coffee and wine reception.

BOOK TICKETS via Bath Spa Live


 Wednesday April 12th 2017
The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities presents:
“Ecolinguistics & the search for new stories to live by”
A Free Public Lecture by Dr Arran Stibbe
Reader in Ecological Linguistics, University of Gloucestershire.



 NP.CM.G24 lecture theatre; Weds April 12; 6.15 -7:30 pm (drinks, nibbles, and chat to follow)


In this talk, Arran Stibbe will explore the emerging field of ecolinguistics, a form of engaged research which aims to reveal the stories that underpin an unequal and unsustainable society, and contribute to the search for new stories to live by.  He will describe how ecolinguists use discourse analysis to reveal underlying stories, and an ecological philosophy to judge them against, illustrating the theory with a diverse set of examples from advertisements and economics textbooks to British nature writing and Japanese Haiku.

Arran Stibbe is a reader in Ecological Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire, U.K., author of Ecolinguistics: language, ecology and the stories we live by (Routledge, 2015), Animals Erased: discourse, ecology and reconnection with nature (Wesleyan University Press, 2012) and editor of The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy (Green Books, 2009). He has a background both in linguistics and human ecology, and teaches a range of courses including ecolinguistics, ecocriticism, ethics and language, communication for leadership, discourse analysis and language and identity. Arran is founder and convenor of the Ecolinguistics Association (, a network of 500 ecolinguists from around the world, and is currently working on a free online course in ecolinguistics ( at the end of spring this year.

pdf of event here Stibbe’s poster final 3


The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities presents:

Getting Closer to the Natural World:

The EcoWild Project

Emily Malik

(Founding Director of EcoWild)

Wednesday April 5, 5.30-6.30

Newton Park Commons 133

Emily Malik has a background in conservation biology and a strong personal interest in deep ecology. She hopscotched between working in environmental and health spheres before realising that she wanted to bring both together to enable the green agenda to permeate our cultural evolution. In this short talk she will discuss her journey from biologist to director of a multidisciplinary, woodland-based community interest company. EcoWild delivers Woodland Mindfulness and Wellbeing courses, Woodland Wildlife Adventures and forest schools, science fairs, toddler groups, parties and respite days, retreats and seasonal celebrations in B&NES.

Emily holds a BSc in Biology from Bristol University, where she has also conducted pilot Research on the development of the Strongyloides sterocalis parasite in relation to host immune function in association with a rural Ugandan HIV clinic. She has worked as director of the Biashara Fair-Trade Cooperative; logistics manager and researcher for a Marine Conservation Research Project in southern Madagascar; project manager for the Tropical Health and Education Trust (London and Africa); and Community Support Services Coordinator for the Terrence Higgins Trust. In 2013, she founded the EcoWild Community Interest Company, of which she remains the director.


The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities presents:

‘The role of zoos in wildlife conservation’

A Free Public Lecture by Christoph Schwitzer 

Director of Conservation at the Bristol Zoological Society

NP.CM.G24 lecture theatre on Weds 15th March 6-7:30pm

Zoos have been playing an active role in wildlife conservation since over half a century. Collaborative conservation breeding in UK zoos started in the late 1960s with the formation of the Okapi Consortium, of which Bristol Zoological Society was a founder member. This was one of the first formalized conservation breeding programmes worldwide. In the late 1980s, and further pushed by the publication of the first World Zoo Conservation Strategy in 1993, zoos started to fund, and actively run, field conservation projects. Bristol Zoological Society’s first multi-year funding commitment to a conservation NGO was to the Hawk and Owl Trust in 1992/93. In 1998, the Cameroon programme was started as BZS’s first major field conservation programme abroad. The third, and potentially most important strand of zoos’ contribution to conservation is engaging people with the natural world, teaching all levels of Society about the state of the world’s natural environments and promoting positive behaviour change towards more wildlife-friendly actions. Behaviour change and its evaluation has only recently become part of our portfolio. We ran our first dedicated behaviour change campaign, on FSC-certified charcoal, in the summer of 2013. My talk will explore how Bristol Zoological Society is contributing to global species conservation, focusing in particular on primates.

Dr Christoph Schwitzer has been Director of Conservation at the Bristol Zoological Society since May 2014. Prior to this he was BZS’ Head of Research for seven years. Before coming to Bristol, Christoph worked as part of the primatological research group at Cologne Zoo, Germany, and spent two years in Madagascar building a field station and heading a lemur research and conservation programme for a French NGO. Christoph gained his PhD in Zoology from the University of Cologne in 2003 and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England since 2013. He is the Deputy Chair and Red List Authority Coordinator of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group. He was a Vice President of the International Primatological Society between 2012 and 2016 and is currently the Vice President of the Association Européenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lémuriens, a consortium of European zoos dedicated to lemur conservation. Christoph’s recent research has focused on how different critically endangered primates are coping with habitat degradation and fragmentation with regard to their behaviour patterns, food intake, population density, and parasite burden.


The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities presents:

‘Voicing the land’

A Free Public Lecture by Julian Wolfreys

Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Studies in Literature at the University of Portsmouth

NP.CM.G24 lecture theatre on Weds 15th Feb 6-7:30pm

The paper will address the work of John Burnside, Kathleen Jamie, and Alice Oswald, from a mostly phenomenological perspective, opening to discuss the writing of poetry itself, from the ‘other side’, that is, as a poet. With a little from Hardy and Woolf too, it will look at the way in which one might respond to place, and how voice comes to bear witness to place, so that the voice in, and the writing of the poetic text arrives as a response to the phenomenally and materiality of the other. In order to illustrate this in a number of ways, Julian will read from his first novel, Silent Music, a collection of poetry and essays, Draping the Sky for a Snowfall, and The Grand European Bestiary / Wielki Bestiarius europejski – a bilingual collection of poems. In conclusion, he will sketch directions for new work including some ambient soundscapes, musical improvisations, which are recorded in situ in the landscape.

Julian Wolfreys is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Studies in Literature at the University of Portsmouth. Author and editor of over forty books, his most recent publication is Haunted Experience: Being, Loss, Memory (Triarchy Press),and he is at present completing work on a book about Englishness, melancholy, memory and place in the 21st century. Having completed and published two collections of poetry (Draping the Sky for a Snowfall) (The Grand European Bestiary / Wielki Bestiariusz europejski) and a novel (Silent Music) in the past three years, and has recently completed a second novel set in Dorset and California in the nineteenth century, entitled The Farcical Tragedy of Hugo del Fuego and is working on a third volume of poetry. Julian is also a musician, working as a solo performer and as part of a duo, Stupidity, who are recording a CD, titled The Broccoli Forest, due for release at the end of spring this year.

Copies of the books will be on sale. All proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund



The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities Launch Inaugural Symposium 15-16 Dec 2016 Corsham Court

Environmental Humanities: Doing Interdisciplinarity with Depth

It is increasingly well-recognised that today’s complex socio-environmental problems cannot be adequately understood, let alone redressed, from either side of the nature-culture divide that structured the modern constitution of knowledge, and that remains embedded in our educational and research institutions, as well as in dominant cultural imaginaries and social practices. Over the past few decades a growing number of scholars on both sides of the great divide have embraced the challenge of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research. In some cases, this has also entailed creative conversations between modern Western and other ways of knowing.

Bath Spa University’s Research Centre for Environmental Humanities seeks to advance this multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary project across the University, in collaboration with artists, scholars, extra-academic organisations, and the wider community, locally, nationally and internationally. However, we also recognise that this is easier said than done. In our inaugural symposium, we therefore want to move beyond motherhood statements to explore the challenges involved in doing interdisciplinarity well and ‘at depth’ across the Environmental Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and to consider the impediments and opportunities that might line our potential pathways to impact.

Among the key questions that we will be pursuing with a group of eminent scholars from diverse disciplines and inter-disciplines are the following:

  • What is the place of in-depth specialist knowledge in the inter- and transdisciplinary space of the Environmental Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences?
  • Might the distinct methodologies conventionally deployed by different disciplines express deeper onto-epistemological divides, and if so, how might these be exposed and negotiated?
  • With increasing acknowledgement of the value of local and indigenous knowledges (e.g. in the 2014 IPCC Report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), there is a risk that such traditional stores of knowledge might be mined for global policy agendas that disregard the particular interests, values and ontologies of generally marginalised and disempowered communities. How might this risk be averted?
  • What diplomatic protocols might be called for in conducting cross- and inter-cultural, along with inter- and transdisciplinary research in the Environmental Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences?
  • As policy-makers press for greater interdisciplinarity, notably in response to the ‘global challenges’ posed by the UN’s new Sustainable Development goals, do we need new models of evaluation to ensure scholarly rigour while fostering innovation?
  • How might inter- and transdisciplinary research best be advanced within higher education? What challenges does this pose to current institutional structures, degree programmes, and pedagogies?
  • What impediments and opportunities exist for researchers in the Environmental Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to engage effectively with extra-academic communities, media, businesses, NGOs, and policy makers?
  • What types of national and international association and vehicles of communication might provide the best avenues for advancing the Environmental Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, locally, nationally and internationally?

These questions will be addressed through a series of multi-disciplinary panels relating to particular topics and aspects of Arts, Humanities and Social Science research, including the following:

  • Spatio-temporalities
  • Onto-epistemologies and ethics
  • NaturalCultural calamities
  • Multi-species connectivities
  • Ecopoetries and ecopoetics

Confirmed speakers:

Greg Bankoff (Modern History, University of Hull)

Emily Brady (Philosophy and Environmental Humanities, Edinburgh University)

Isis Brook (Philosophy, Agroecology and Transdisciplinary Studies, Writtle College)

Peter Coates (Environmental History, University of Bristol)

James Fairhead (Environmental Anthropology, University of Sussex)

David Farrier (English and Environmental Humanities, Edinburgh University)

Steven Hartman (Literature and Environmental Humanities, Mid-Sweden University)

Graham Harvey (Religious Studies, Open University)

Poul Holm (History and Environmental Humanities, Trinity University, Dublin)

Graham Huggan (English and Environmental Humanities, Leeds University)

Mike Hulme (Climate and Culture, King’s College, London)

Michael Northcott (Ethics, Theology and Environmental Humanities, Edinburgh University)

Merle Patchet (Cultural Geography, University of Bristol)

Harriet Tarlo (Creative Writing, Sheffield Hallam University)

Wendy Wheeler (Culture, Ecology and Biosemiotics, London Metropolitan University and Goldsmiths College, London)

Nicola Whyte (History and Environmental Arts and Humanities, Exeter University)


15/12 (NP)

3.30-5.15 Afternoon tea meet and greet, with campus walk (weather permitting)

5.30-7.00 Opening plenary (public event): Crossing the Great Divide

Chair: Paul Davies

Proposed panelists: Poul Holm, Mike Hulme, Wendy Wheeler with Maggie Gee

7.00-8.00 Official launch (Vice-Provost John Strachan) with wine reception, and introduction to  in foyer

Friday 16/12 (CC)

9-10.30 Spatio-temporalities (Coates, Farrier, Whyte with Owain and Becky)

10.30-10.50 Tea/coffee

10.50-12.20 Onto-epistemologies (Harvey, Fairhead, with Sian and Mike, and Paul R-B to chair?)

12.20-1.20 Lunch (and campus walk)

1.20-2.50 NaturalCultural calamities (Bankoff, Huggan, Hartman with Rich and Jim to chair)

2.50-4.20 Multi-species connectivities (Pachet, Northcott, Brook, with Richard and Stephen to chair)

4.20-4.40 Tea/coffee

4.40-6.20 Eco-poetries and ecopoetics (Tarlo,  Brady, with Sam and Terry to chair)

6.20-7.00 Concluding discussion

7.30-9.30 Dinner in Corsham (tbc)

Some photos of the event and campus