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)

Over the course of five seminars, this course introduces you to the dynamic and rapidly evolving field of environmental humanities through close readings of selected texts that highlight both established and developing topics within the field. The course is curated by active researchers: each year the selection of readings shifts, reflecting their focus and interests.

For Autumn 2022, the course explores topics that range from the ironies of pop-cultural green engagement to the politics of energy imaginaries and the affects of climate change visualization. The selected readings include texts about oft-quoted and well-travelled concepts like ‘Dark Ecology,’ as well as more recent writing on the cultural power of energy regimes and infrastructures. The readings are also chosen especially because they offer tools and methods that cultivate an increased sense of self-reflexivity and critical awareness about the tropes and biases of much environmental discourse. For example, we will ask ourselves what it means to be petrosubjects in an intimate relationship with oil; and how our attachments to the environment interact with aspects of gender, sexuality, race and class. We will also learn to identify and deconstruct common tropes and cultural registers that permeate environmentalist discourse and that keep exclusionary biases and boundaries in place; tropes like proximity, immediacy, and reproductive futurism. In addition, the course exposes students to environmental humanities scholarship about different media formats, allowing them to develop a broader media-literacy.


Learning outcome

The course will:

  • Introduce you to the vibrant field of environmental humanities
  • Train you to work and read across disciplinary boundaries
  • Equip you with tools to frame, narrate and discuss issues such as climate change and environmental grief
  • Strengthen your capacity to engage reflectively with complex environmental problems


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 2022: A detailed plan for the semester will show which activities will be offered in hybrid or digital form; this will be updated by the beginning of August.

The course consists of 5 bi-weekly seminars, spaced over the autumn term. Each seminar will focus on selected mandatory readings, which students should come prepared to discuss.

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.


A term paper of 1000-2000 words. Instructions in Canvas.

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