EHS4020 – Introduction to Environmental Humanities

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

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Discomedusa. Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (1904)

This course will introduce you to key concepts in 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 scholars at the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities (OSEH) 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. Our conversations will be guided by questions such as: How does environmental philosophy respond to the Anthropocene? How sustainable is popular culture? What stories do our companion species – plants, animals, fungi or microbes – tell us about more-than-human relations? Does China's model of an ecological civilization offer alternative futures? How does an environmental historian explore the past? How may literature studies and climate history contribute to a more nuanced understanding of environmental crises as socionatural phenomena? 

Learning outcome

The course will:

  • Introduce you to the vibrant field of environmental humanities
  • Train your ability to work across disciplinary boundaries to address environmental issues
  • Help you situate environmental problems in time and space
  • Train your capacity to engage reflectively with questions of environmental justice and ethics


This course is part of the Honours Certificate in Environmental Humanities and Sciences (master's supplement).

Students not enrolled in the certificate programme can 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.


Autumn 2021: The teaching will follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19. A detailed plan for the semester will show which activities will be digital, and this will be updated by the beginning of August.

The course consists of 7 weekly sessions that include lectures, discussions and group work throughout the semester. Each session will be based on a short obligatory preparatory reading.

Compulsory activities:

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

This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.


Term 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 pass/fail scale. 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