Environmental Humanities Center

Environmental Humanities Center at Cappadocia University is a site where inter/trans/cross-disciplinary and international conversations are reinforced through collaborations. The Center seeks to offer new perspectives to the entangled ecological urgencies and ethical and social problems surrounding our fragile planet. However diverse and multifarious they may be, these perspectives represent a common and flexible platform to work together to achieve desired ecological outcomes. We also promote studying education, art, and literature that are conductive to ecological sustainability. One of our objectives is to disseminate environmentally just stories from both human and nonhuman perspectives. Stories are effective tools of resistance, and storying the world anew in environmentally just ways is as important as scientific efforts in finding palpable solutions to the planetary threat that we are all facing no matter where we live. And we all live in ecological uncertainties and have become what Donna Haraway calls “messmates” in the planet’s geomorphological processes and natural cycles. If the current epoch is called a human age—the Anthropocene—it is due to our collective detrimental activities. That is why, we need a new earth-story which can materialize with new imaginative and lexical vocabularies that take into account the still unheard voices of the disrupted nonhuman entities, which do not necessarily have to remain mute. We want to communicate a message of revaluing what we may lose, generating the creativity to imagine new accountabilities, more sustainable solutions, and also ethical responses.

Those interested in the environmental humanities perspectives on multispecies entanglements, human-nonhuman relations, biodiversity loss, global warming, Earth’s deep history, environmental transformations, changing micro and macroclimates, disrupted geobiochemical forces, and what it means to be human on a damaged planet, are in the right place here. Our Center encourages coalitions among the scholars in the humanities and the natural and social sciences.

The Center provides

  • a platform for cooperation between the environmental humanities, arts, and sciences,

  • integrates insights from multiple disciplines, and

  • develops new theoretical approaches, knowledge practices, and narratives on human-nonhuman relations.

The Center aims

  • to conduct multidisciplinary research in cooperation with national and international environmental humanities centers, academic institutions, global networks, environmental organizations, and relevant private entities. (We  collaborate with international research groups encouraging transdisciplinary initiatives by academic and other stakeholders from the private and public sectors);

  • to work toward maintaining the sustainability of more-than-human environments in global and local contexts;

  • to ensure social and political awareness and acknowledgement of the biotic rights of all species;

  • to promote environmental ethics and sustainability, as well as to develop transdisciplinary projects on climate justice, biodiversity justice, and eco-cultural justice issues.

The Center works

  • to move the focus from finding technological solutions to complex ecological challenges amplified in the Anthropocene age to framing them within ecocultural frameworks, in material-discursive contexts,

  • and toward integrating environmental humanities programs in higher education and thus promotes interdisciplinarity in Turkish universities. It supports interdisciplinary research projects, conferences, and publications.

Our conceptual model is Cappadocia’s own ancient cultural heritage inseparable from its special geological history. We hope to make Environmental Humanities platform at Cappadocia University a leading center of attraction on the national and international fronts through cross-disciplinary collaboration. Located on the high plateau of central Anatolia in Turkey, Cappadocia is famous with the mushroom-like stones known as fairy chimneys, which are a result of a geologic process that began 30 million years ago when volcanic eruptions rained ash across Anatolia. The ash solidified into a porous rock, called tuff, and in the millions of years that followed, wind and water eroded the tuff into spires and cones. That is why, this is a magical landscape. In 1985 Cappadocia’s Göreme National Park, the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, and the fascinating underground cities were declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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