EHS4020 – Environmental Humanities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Course content

Image may contain: Illustration.
Discomedusa. Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (1904)

This course explores our current global environmental and climate crisis from a humanistic perspective. Leading scholars at the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities (OSEH) will draw on their current research to present new narratives about people, their places, and ways of relating to the environment. Our conversations will be guided by questions such as: What does deep time tell us about climate change? How does an environmental historian explore the past? How should political philosophy look like in the Anthropocene? How sustainable is music? How does design make and unmake nature? What stories do plants, animals and microbes tell us? Does China's model of an ecological civilization offer alternative futures?

The course will introduce students to the environmental humanities, an innovative, interdisciplinary field that emphasizes the complex human dimensions of our current environmental crisis. The course will be co-taught by UiO lecturers from the fields of archaeology, climate history, philosophy, anthropology, ecocriticism, musicology and Asian studies. Together, we will explore the manifold relationships between people and their environments, across space and time. We will ask what values, ideas, ethics, and ways of life have led to the present condition. We will also search for alternative visions and narratives to imagine and create better futures.


Learning outcome

The course will:

  • Introduce you to the vibrant interdisciplinary field of Environmental Humanities
  • Work across diverse knowledges to address environmental problems
  • Situate environmental problems in time and space
  • Introduce you to creative communication skills and modes of environmental storytelling
  • Train your capacity to engage with questions of environmental justice and ethics


This course is part of the Environmental Humanities and Sciences (master's supplement). Students not enrolled in the certificate programme can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme. 

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


The course consists of 10 weekly sessions that include lectures, discussions and group work throughout the semester. Each session is accompanied by a short compulsory preparatory reading.

Compulsory activities:

  • At least 80 percent attendance with active participation in class, preparatory readings, and discussions.


Seminar paper, ca 1000-2000 words.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2021


Autumn 2021

Teaching language