Call for Faculty Fellow Applications: ‘Emergency! Ecological Breakdown and Climate Refugees’

In the academic year 2022-23, the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (IHGMS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from the Five Colleges for a seminar and they are now calling for faculty fellowship applications.


This group of IHGMS Fellows will explore the topic of “Emergency! Ecological Breakdown, Environmental Commons, and the Climate Refugee.” The seminar directors are Malcolm Sen, associate professor in the Department of English at UMass Amherst, and Olivia Aguilar, Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment, and associate professor of environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College.

Given the rapidly changing landscape of environmental and political concerns in the contemporary moment, the conveners are open to discussions on a wide range of inter-related topics, some of which might include:

  • Defining the “climate refugee” in literature, law, and culture
  • Displacement, deterritorialization, and the refugee crisis
  • Connections between extreme weather, the climate crisis, and political turmoil
  • Forced Displacement: North and South
  • The Environmental Commons, migrancy, and the climate crisis
  • The intersection of race, politics, and culture in the Anthropocene
  • Climate refugees of the past, present, and future
  • Representation of climate change in the Arts and Social Sciences
  • The future of security and borders
  • Refuge in the 21st century

The seminar is open to Five College faculty in all disciplines and seeks to inculcate an international and interdisciplinary perspective. The topics proposed above are examples and seminar attendees will engage in further refining/editing and adding to them. As always, the IHGMS seminar will foster a close-knit community of scholars who seek to think through some of the most vexing issues of the contemporary period. The group will meet four times each semester (Fall 2022 and Spring 2021) over dinner at the IHGMS to discuss our research as individuals and to pool our efforts to conceptualize the theme as a whole. IHGMS Fellows will collectively select and read key primary and secondary source documents, will have opportunities to present their works in progress, and will interact with outside scholars, who will be supported out of a small budget for invited guest speakers. Fellows will receive $1,250 as a research stipend, which will be disbursed at the conclusion of the seminar. Participation at all meetings, including an introductory meeting in September 2022, is mandatory.

Applications, including a one page statement of interest and a curriculum vitae, should be emailed to by noon on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Questions can be emailed to Malcolm Sen ( and/or Olivia Aguilar (