2020 Environmental Humanities Grant Recipients

 
The Yale Environmental Humanities Program is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2020
Environmental Humanities Grant Program. Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, original grant timelines have been altered. Most projects will be undertaken by members of the Yale community throughout the 20/21 academic year and during the summer  of 2020.  Congratulations, all!
 

 
“HEMP: AN AGRICULTURAL REVIVAL”
Chelsea Jack (Department  of  Anthropology) 
 
This project contributes to a series of short documentary films that Chelsea Jack is completing alongside her dissertation project. Through ethnographic fieldwork on the nascent hemp industry in New York state, this short film explores the experience of growers and producers of hemp extracts such as CBD (cannabidiol) in order to understand the process of (re)legitimization of hemp supply chains after decades of cannabis prohibition in the US.
 
“Reading Outside the Lines: Art and Literature on the Rocks”
Supraja Balasubramanian and Tyler Lutz (Department of Physics)
 
This project includes a series of participatory tours of New Haven and its immediate environs. Each tour will be grounded on a particular work of literature or cultural object that will be read in relation to a particular physical environment. Participants will be given time to prepare their own creative “reading” of the piece, which will be shared with the group over the course of the tour. This interactive reading experience interrogates the interior and exterior spaces of cultural artifacts, the environment itself, and the relationship between them.
 
“100 Years in Queens: investigating the landscape history of New York City through
sculpture”
Sally Donovan (Yale School of the Environment) 
 
In collaboration with NYC Art in the Parks Program, this project proposes the installation of public sculptures in and around the Kissena Corridor and Alley Pond in Queens, NY. These sculptures will feature photos from the 1920s printed on transparent, recycled plastic that will allow visitors to view the current and historical landscapes simultaneously. Each photo will be accompanied by an informational plaque that describes the impact of past agriculture on contemporary forest ecology. The sculptures aim to build a sense of place and history in city parks and to increase public stewardship of urban forests in Queens.
 
“[Human] Nature” Podcast  
Samara Brock (Yale School of the Environment), Abigail Fields (Department of French), and Caitlin Kossmann (Program in the History of Science and Medicine)
 
[Human] Nature is an Environmental Humanities podcast that attempts to shine a light on the extensive multi- and interdisciplinary work in this burgeoning field, within and outside of the frameworks of traditional Academia. The project will be released in thematic seasons of 3-5 episodes, which trace an engaging ride (via interviews, research, and storytelling) through one aspect of the Environmental Humanities and, more broadly, of our relationship to the environment as thinkers, scholars, makers humans. The first season’s theme is “Curating the Environment,” and will primarily discuss collecting and creating images of the environment in museum and archival spaces.
 
Yale-New Haven Community Design Workshop
Ally Soong, Kayley Estoesta, and Rasmus Schlutter (Yale College)
 
In collaboration with residents of Dixwell neighborhood, this project will support the creation and display of streetscapes recounting the story of the Dixwell Black business district. Interest in such an exhibit stems from a community-led zoning project in the neighborhood that proposes an alternative to New Haven City’s proposed rezoning ordinance. This process will allow Dixwell residents to look to the neighborhood’s past in order to imagine a vision for the future.
 
Performance and Outreach Program of Wayang Kulit on Environmental Issues
Maho A. Ishiguro (Department of Music) 
 
This project uses Javanese shadow puppetry (wayang kulit) as an outreach and performance tool to assemble a diverse, multi-generational swath of the Yale and New Haven communities. Wayang kulit in Indonesia is often used a platform for commentary and discussion about various socio-cultural issues. This project will emphasize the connectivity between the environmental struggles of Indonesians and New Haven residents, engage the local community and integrate their voices into a critical performance and discussion about environmental issues in New Haven and Indonesia.
 
2020 Hadrut Educational Summer Camp
Knar Abrahamyan (Department of Music)
 
The Hadrut Educational Summer Camp was inaugurated in 2019 in Hadrut, located in a contested region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This project will again provide an opportunity for 100 children to gather for a summer camp experience with a strong environmental component. Programming includes classes on ecology, in which children learn about recycling, waste management, and climate change, film screenings that raise environmental awareness and community clean-ups.
 
Parks, Progress, People—An Online Oral History Archive of Buffalo’s East Side and the Expressway that Was Carved Through It
Matthew L. O’Malley (Department of Anthropology) 
 
This project presents a public web interface/website that will house the oral histories related to the development of the Kensington Expressway, a high-speed expressway that eviscerated, divided, and ultimately isolated Buffalo’s predominantly African-American East Side. This archive of oral histories will mainly consist of a series of interviews given by elders in the East Side African-American community who lived through these events (across the 1960s). These oral histories provide valuable testimonies of the once-thriving neighborhood geography before the NY 33 and reflections on community, individual, and environmental health before and after the 33.
 
Ezell: Ballad of a Land Man Interactive Performance and Workshops
Taiga Christie (Yale Schwarzman Center) 
 
Using the Yale Landscape Lab as setting, this project presents an innovative, outdoor, live performance about community-level impacts of resource extraction and climate change. The performance and accompanying workshops will bring together collaborators from the Yale School of Public Health’s HAPPY Initiative, the Center for Climate Change and Health, the Schwarzman Center, School of Forestry, and Landscape Lab to experience the impact of the performing arts on environmental awareness. It will also feature a participatory, student-led performance drawing on the experience of COVID contact tracers and climate scientists, in order to create a dialogue about COVID communication and climate change communication.