Welcome, Keywords for Environmental Studies

We’re delighted to announce the publication of Keywords for Environmental Studies, the fifth volume in NYU Press’s Keywords series. Our goal in producing the volume has been to create a new “state of the field” inventory and analysis of the central terms and debates currently structuring the most exciting research in and across environmental studies, including the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature.

The breadth of this approach means that while our volume shares many of the central features of the other books in the series—incisive essays on key terms in the field, a comprehensive bibliography, an open invitation to discussion and dialogue—it’s also unique in that our contributors hail not only from the humanities and social sciences but also from the environmental sciences. In this volume you will find contributions from distinguished voices in an appropriately wide range of areas, including art history, gender studies, literature, philosophy, and religion; anthropology, economics, geography, history, politics, and sociology; as well as biochemistry, biology, botany, ecology, and geology.

Given the global stakes of the field, we have also sought to give the volume a broad, international perspective. You will find contributors from many countries outside North America; we also asked all our contributors, where appropriate, to draw examples from the Global South as well as the Global North. We also recognize that many of the most fundamental terms we use in environmental studies—nature is just one example—do not necessarily have the same meanings in different languages. And so we have not only included the keyword Translation in the volume itself, we are also in the process of preparing translations of a selection of the essays themselves into multiple languages, which will eventually be posted on this website. We’ll have more information about that soon.

In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you as you read through the volume and engage with the entries themselves. Like the other books in the series, Keywords for Environmental Studies is not intended as a declaration but an invitation; it is not a definitive map but a provisional one. As we welcome you to the book, we in turn welcome your insights, suggestions, and provocations for the work ahead.

From the Editors, Teaching