Spring 2024 Course Highlight | Historical & Cultural Methods in Environmental Research

Professor Anna Andrzejewski will be teaching the graduate student seminar ART HIST/AFROAMER 802/ENVIR ST 922 “Historical and Cultural Methods in Environmental Research” on Tuesdays, 4:00–7:00pm. Graduate/professional standing and instructor consent is required. To enroll please email Prof. Andrzejewski at: avandrzejews@wisc.edu Description: The CHE Methods Seminar covers a variety of research methods and methodologies used in the environmental humanities (EH) and related disciplines and fields. We will discuss methods such as ethnography, oral history, archival research, textual analysis, and visual and material analysis while also examining de-colonial methodologies, intersectional approaches, and multi-species research as it bears on EH work. We will also discuss epistemological, practical, ethical and political questions around choice of methods as well as consider how to create doable research projects, including theses, dissertations, and public humanities products. We will pay particular attention to “mixed methods research and the implications of that in practice. We will also discuss how research methods in EH compare with that of other (related) fields, particularly those of environmental science and environmental studies as well as the benefits and drawbacks of qualitative and quantitative methods and interdisciplinary research more broadly. Practical matters such as how to frame research questions, develop a research design, write a literature review, and “pitch one’s project for grants of multiple types will also be considered.To gain hands-on experience in EH methods, we will work the UW Arboretum this spring on projects tied to “place names. We will be able to test and employ methods discussed in class, weighing their strengths and weaknesses and putting them in dialogue with one another, as we work collaboratively with Arboretum staff to aid their site interpretation and programming.