Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago

There is a growing interest in environmental social science and environmental humanities among doctoral students at the University of Chicago who are eager to engage with emerging streams of scholarship that center questions of environmental transformation at the heart of social and historical inquiry. Current debates on the Anthropocene (and counter-concepts such as the Capitalocene and the Plantationocene) in the social and historical sciences represent the most obvious sign of these developments, but the latter are intermeshed with diverse fields of scholarly exploration that crosscut established disciplinary and subdisciplinary boundaries. These include, among others, environmental history, energy histories and geographies, urban and infrastructural sociology, environmental psychology, agrarian studies, animal rights and posthumanism, waste and discard studies, the sociology and anthropology of carbon, environmental economics and degrowth, and various pathways of research on ecocriticism, the metabolism of urbanization, global land-use change, urban sustainability and the (geo)politics of extractive capitalism. These literatures open up foundational perspectives for the study of socio-environmental transformations across time and space in a planetary context. They also pose foundational questions about the politics of knowledge about the nonhuman world.

Against this background, the forthcoming Doctoral Certificate in Environment, Geography and Urbanization is intended to support advanced research, build intellectual community, and facilitate scholarly collaboration among doctoral students and faculty working in diverse fields of environmental social science and environmental humanities. Grounded in the regular meetings of the long-standing Environmental Studies Workshop as well as intensive doctoral coursework in environmental social science and environmental humanities, the CEGU Doctoral Certificate aims to contribute to the further development of innovative, interdisciplinary doctoral research in these areas. It will also create new opportunities for collaborative research, both among doctoral students themselves, and between faculty and doctoral students, across departmental and divisional boundaries.

The CEGU Doctorlal Certificate will be open to all full-time Ph.D. students in the Division of Social Sciences and the Division of Humanities. Students pursuing a Ph.D. in other Divisions or Schools at the University of Chicago may also petition to pursue the certificate if they can demonstrate that the relevant requirements may be completed within their program of doctoral study.

Further details about the CEGU Doctoral Certificate requirements and administrative procedures for enrollment will be announced shortly.

Poster for Energy Histories and Geographies CEGU Event, February 2022
Poster for Energy Histories and Geographies CEGU Event, February 2022
Poster for Energy Histories and Geographies CEGU Event, February 2022