Humanities Week Reading List 2024

A reading list put together by UVic Humanities professors for Humanities Week 2024. Theme: "Environment Matters"

Updated January 9, 2024
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As we have always done : indigenous freedom through radical resistance
Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake
Winner: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association's Best Subsequent Book 2017 Honorable Mention: Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award 2017 Across North America, Indigenous acts of resistance have in recent years...
The structure of scientific revolutions
Kuhn, Thomas S.
"A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he...
The natural contract
Serres, Michel.
Global environmental change, argues Michel Serres, has forced us to reconsider our relationship to nature. In this translation of his influential 1990 book Le Contrat Naturel, Serres calls for a natural contract to be negotiated between Earth and its inhabitants. World...
Paradise in the sea of sorrow : our Minamata disease
Ishimure, Michiko
In the early 1950s, numerous cases of organic mercury poisoning were discovered in the fishing villages around Minamata, Japan. Yet for decades after, victims of what is now known as Minamata disease suffered neglect, discrimination, and ostracism by Minamata residents, local government,...
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth, William
This volume is an excellent introduction to Wordsworth's poetry. His great autobiographical poem The Prelude runs to thirteen books in the text of 1805. But by 1799 the poet had already written a version covering his childhood and adolescence in under a thousand lines. This complete, self-contained...
Recommended poem: "The Ruined Cottage"
Undrowned : black feminist lessons from marine mammals
Gumbs, Alexis Pauline
Undrowned is a book-length meditation for social movements and our whole species based on the subversive and transformative guidance of marine mammals. Our aquatic cousins are queer, fierce, protective of each other, complex, shaped by conflict, and struggling to survive the extractive and...
Uncommon ground : toward reinventing nature
Cronon, William.
Modern conceptions of nature tend to be flawed because too often they fail to take account of the influence of people. The essays in this text examine the problems that flow from a viewpoint that severs human beings and human activities from their place in nature.

Recommended article: "The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature."

Time's anvil : England, archaeology and the imagination
Morris, Richard
History thrives on stories. Time's Anvil explores archaeology's influence on what such stories say, how they are told, who tells them and how we listen. In a dazzlingly wide-ranging exploration, Richard Morris casts fresh light on three quarters of a million years of history in...
Unsustainable inequalities : social justice and the environment
Chancel, Lucas
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year A hardheaded book that confronts and outlines possible solutions to a seemingly intractable problem: that helping the poor often hurts the environment, and vice versa. Can we fight poverty and inequality while...
Fight for the forest : Chico Mendes in his own words
Mendes, Chico
"They would have to kill us all to destroy our movement and they can't. I don't get that cold feeling anymore. I am no longer afraid of dying."-Chico Mendes, November 1988 Chico Mendes, the charismatic founder of the Brazilian rubber tappers union, was murdered by a hired assassin on 22 December...
Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism
Facing global climate crisis, Karl Marx's ecological critique of capitalism more clearly demonstrates its importance than ever. This book explains why Marx's ecology had to be marginalized and even suppressed by Marxists after his death throughout the twentieth century. Marx's ecological critique of...
Becoming animal : an earthly cosmology
Abram, David
David Abram's first book, The Spell of the Sensuous--hailed as "revolutionary" by the Los Angeles Times, as "daring and truly original" by Science--has become a classic of environmental literature. Now Abram returns with a startling exploration of our human entanglement with...
Arbol adentro
Paz, Octavio
The overstory : a novel
Powers, Richard
An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent...
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, Financial Times, Slate, The Chicago Public Library, Kirkus, The TelegraphA...
Two trees make a forest : in search of my family's past among Taiwan's mountains and coasts
Lee, Jessica J.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER of the 2021 Banff Mountain Book Prize in Adventure Travel WINNER of the 2020 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize Shortlisted for the 2021 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction Shortlisted for the Boardman...

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