November 14, 2022

English and marketing double major Kate Devitt recently published an article inspired by taking an English course in environmental humanities with Malcolm Sen last semester. The article, “Climate Anxiety: What It Is and How to Manage It,” can be read on UMass Amherst Her Campus.

Devitt writes about the anxiety young people face when considering environmental concerns: “It is difficult for young people to have their voices heard since it is the older generations that are making crucial decisions about the climate crisis on a day-to-day basis. Young people see concerning statistics all over the media, but are left with little direction or control over the climate crisis; it is no surprise that we feel helpless.”

The environmental humanities course helped Devitt confront this anxiety: “The class ended up being just what I needed; it provided me with an interdisciplinary approach to climate change, encouraging me to ask questions and employ critical thinking about humanity’s role in the crisis … [The class] closed the gap between science and humanities, challenging me to consider literature, culture, politics, and more in the context of science.”

If you're a student interested in taking an English course associated with environmental humanities, take a look at the below options for Spring 2023. See full details on our undergraduate courses page.

English 131: Society & Literature
Lecture 1    MWF 11:15-12:05    Instructor: Thakshala Tissera
Society and Literature in the Anthropocene. This class focuses on literature and the non-human environment in the age of the Anthropocene. We will examine representations of the natural environment, animals, and animality. (Gen Ed. ALDG)

English 591N: Topics in Indigenous Literature
Mondays, 6:30-9:00  Instructor: Abigail Chabitnoy
Through our readings, discussions, and assignments, you will develop your own decolonial lens as we examine the impacts of United States policy, land borders, and geographical inheritances on Indigenous cultures and even on the notion of text and categorization itself. (400+ or Anglophone/ethnic American) (social justice)