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Humanities: Land Sea Space

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Humanities: Land Sea Space (HLSS) is a cross-disciplinary research initiative which explores a range of environmental issues and challenges. The Glasscock Center launched HLSS with an exploratory forum in 2018, followed by a year devoted to oceans and seas in 2019-2020. Our Oceanic Humanities Symposium fostered cross-disciplinary conversations concerning the histories, poetics, and conservation futures of the planet’s oceans. In collaboration with Texas A&M’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, our virtual series on Coastal Communities and Justice engaged with issues concerning justice, racism, fishing, energy, community, climate change, and forms of resilience in coastal areas in Texas and beyond. In 2021-2022, Land will feature as the central theme of HLSS.

Texas A&M is one of only 17 universities in the United States with the triple designation of land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. In the spirit of the Glasscock Center’s mission to foster interdisciplinary humanities research among the community of scholars at Texas A&M University and in the world beyond the academy, HLSS aims to benefit and impact a broad intellectual community and to have significant reach by exploring both global concerns and many that are especially relevant to the state of Texas.

Humanities and social science scholars have long-studied land, but recent catastrophic changes through global warming have shifted many discussions, raising geopolitical, environmental, and social justice issues. New cross-disciplinary work has emerged which addresses diverse topics such as water and food insecurity, energy cultures, coastal and island communities, the Anthropocene, deep time, extinctions, and ecological loss. Literature and the arts are motivating creative and imaginative work which explores nature-society interactions. The critical methods of the humanities, in conversation with the social and natural sciences, are needed to properly address such topics. This Glasscock Center initiative provides scope for innovative research across the environmental humanities, marine humanities, geohumanities, planetary humanities, energy humanities, health humanities, and public humanities. As reflected by the earth’s systems and ecologies, the triple themes of Land Sea Space are approached individually but also as interconnected.

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