Humanities video asks viewers to 'rethink assumptions' about natural world

<p>“Values, Affect, Scale: Humanities for the Environment,” a video produced by the <a href="">Institute for Humanities Research</a> at Arizona State University and the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, shows how the humanities are contributing to academic work on sustainability.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>Appearing in the video, ASU President Michael Crow emphasized the importance of integrating sustainability into university curricula through the humanities. “Sustainability,” he said, “is as important to our society as liberty or justice.”&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>The video showcases three humanities research projects supported by IHR seed grants that demonstrate how values, affect and scale are key to the work on sustainability and the environment being done by humanities faculty at ASU and around the country.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>Julie Anand, an assistant professor with the School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, explored the concept of “value” in her Material Histories exhibit for the ASU Art Museum. She took large scale photographs of materials found outdoors on her walks around the Phoenix metro area and northern California, asking her viewers to “rethink assumptions” made about our relationship to the natural world.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>Joan McGregor, a professor of philosophy with the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Dan Shilling, IHR project coordinator, worked together on the IHR’s 2009 summer institute. The theme highlighted “affect” through a study of Aldo Leopold and the roots of environmental ethics. Said Shilling: “Aldo Leopold is one of the first modern voices for sustainability.” The institute provided faculty members the opportunity to take a historical look at sustainability for a richer understanding of the concept.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>Mark Klett, Regents’ Professor of Photography with the School of Art, explored the concept of “scale” through his Charting the Canyon project. By comparing photography of the Grand Canyon from the mid 1800s to today, he was able to express visually the scale of land, culture and time.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>Together, these three projects supported the mission of ASU and the IHR to improve academic understanding of the issue of sustainability through the humanities. “We need to work on making certain that the humanities increasingly become central to our intellectual pursuit related to sustainability,” Crow said in the video.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>The video project was conceived by Sally Kitch, Foundation Professor and director of the IHR, and Joni Adamson, an associate professor of English and environmental humanities in the School of Letters and Sciences. It was produced by Kevin Sandler, an associate professor in Film and Media Studies, and directed by Devin Berko, a student in the W. P. Carey School of Business.&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>The video, which debuted in May at the consortium’s annual conference, is available for viewing on YouTube at <a href="">…;. More information about ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research is online at <a href=""></a>.</p><separator></separator><… by Megan Mason (</em><a href=""><em></em></a><em&gt;).</em>&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>MEDIA CONTACT<br />Carol Hughes, <a href=""></a><br />480-965-6375<br />College of Liberal Arts and Sciences</p>