Summer institute on ethical land management to include public discussions

NEH graphic

How the humanities affect sustainability will be the focus of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at Northern Arizona University from June 21 through July 12.

“Extending the Land Ethic: Current Humanities Voices and Sustainability” will bring more than 25 college and university professors to the Flagstaff campus to study recent humanities disciplines that share a conceptual touchstone with environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” published in 1949. Leopold’s work defined a broader relationship between people and nature.

Faculty for the four-week session include MacArthur Prize recipient Gary Paul Nabhan; Curt Meine, Leopold’s primary biographer; famed Native American writer Linda Hogan; and noted climate philosopher Dale Jamieson. Topics include environmental history, ecocriticism, ecofeminism, green religion, food ethics, traditional ecological knowledge, climate justice and environmental ethics. Guest speakers and field trips to sites that raise questions about sustainable land and cultural practices round out the institute.

NAU Philosophy Lecturer Matt Goodwin was selected to attend the institute from a national NEH applicant pool.

NAU’s Philosophy in the Public Interest is working with the NEH to share information on a broader local level as well. The following free, public discussions with NEH scholars will be held at the Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road in Flagstaff:

“Remembering The Whole Leopold: Finding Common Ground in Conservation”
Curt Meine, Conservation Biologist, Environmental Historian, Writer
7 p.m., Tuesday, June 21
Meine is a conservation biologist, environmental historian and writer. He serves as senior fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisc., and with the Chicago-based Center for Humans and Nature. He is a research associate with the International Crane Foundation, also located in Baraboo, and an associate adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. Meine received his bachelor’s in English and History from DePaul University in Chicago and his master’s and Ph.D. in land resources from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Agrarian Ethics in the Face of Climate Change”
Gary Paul Nabhan, Internationally Celebrated Nature Writer, Food and Farming Activist
7 p.m., Tuesday, June 28
Nabhan is an internationally celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He has been honored as a pioneer and creative force in the “local food movement” and seed saving community by Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Bioneers and Time magazine. As the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in sustainable food systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, Nabhan works with students, faculty and nonprofits to build more just, nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient food sheds spanning the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Climate Ethics: Reason in Dark Times”
Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, Affiliated
Professor of Law, Director of the Animal Studies Initiative, New York University
7 p.m., Tuesday, July 5
Jamieson is professor of environmental studies and philosophy, affiliated professor of law and director of the Animal Studies Initiative at New York University. He is also a distinguished visiting professor at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College, London, and an adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Formerly, Jamieson was the Henry R. Luce Professor in Human Dimensions of Global Change at Carleton College, and professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he was the only faculty member to win both the dean’s award for research in the social sciences and the chancellor’s award for research in the humanities.

“Earth Speaking”
Linda Hogan, Internationally Recognized Author of Poetry, Fiction, and Essays
7 p.m., Tuesday, July 12
Hogan is an internationally recognized author of poetry, fiction and essays. The former writer-in-residence for the Chickasaw Nation and professor emerita from University of Colorado, Hogan was inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame for her writing, which focuses on environmental issues, indigenous spiritual traditions and tribal histories.

“Extending the Land Ethic” is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH Summer Institute partners include the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Institute for Humanities Research and the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, as well as the College of Arts and Letters at Northern Arizona University.

For more information contact Institute directors Joan McGregor or Dan Shilling For information about the PPI Museum of Northern Arizona events, call (928) 523-8339 or email