Environmental studies at Krea

The importance of understanding the relationship between humans and the rest of the environment has arguably never been as crucial as it is in today’s complex world. At one level, to consider it is to respond to an immediate call on conscience, in the wake of the constant depredations that it faces every day, chiefly on account of us, the human species. Yet, in an academic sense, it ignites curiosity along a far longer avenue than the immediate, and affords a fascinating array of opportunities for students to explore.  For it is an omnibus term defined and enriched by chemical, biological, physical, and cultural processes, and is simultaneously an imaginarium of philosophical and artistic exposition. The study of our environment is akin to a rich tapestry interwoven from strands taken from natural science, social science, and humanities perspectives of the environment. This tapestry is ever-evolving —quite unlike a finished product— due to the dynamism and evolution of both society and the environment. All these factors make Environmental Studies a fertile area of engagement for students wishing to explore the breadth of the field to understand its syncretic character, and at the same time delve in depth into one or more of the disciplinary cognates of the field, such as environmental science, ecology, environmental history, environmental philosophy, environmental economics, ecocriticism, and environmental sociology. 

Environmental Studies at Krea aims to offer students a comprehensive exposure to contemporary environmental thought and enable a deeper understanding of human-environmental relationships in the Anthropocene. We aim to ensure that all students attain a well-rounded understanding of the domain from natural science, social science, and humanities perspectives of the environment. 

The Approach

The design of the minor will enable students to appreciate why and how perspectives from three broad disciplines: natural science, social science and humanities,  emerged as three distinct fields of scholarship, each with an ‘environmental’ prefix. The required courses seek to establish a broad landscape of Environmental Studies while responding to present-day challenges, thereby enabling students to recognize and appreciate the ‘messiness’ of the field. Students will also take a mandatory course on Communication in Environmental Studies, where they will focus on comprehension, writing, artistic expression, and critique. Along with the Environmental history course, historical perspectives will also emerge through required courses like Past, Present, and Predicted Environments, Ethics and the Environment, and Sustainability and Climate Change. Tools and Method course will prepare students to execute research for their Capstone. Ethical questions and deliberation are embedded in many required courses and electives, enabling students to understand why an ethical lens is required to view environmental issues in the 21st century. Several courses are likely to have field immersions and practicum, subject to how soon on-campus learning is restored. These offerings will provide a holistic picture of theory, primary debates, and environmental tensions around the world, in addition to a hands-on exposure to underlying research methods through practicum. 

After completing the required classes, students will choose electives that facilitate specialisation. Electives will aid disciplinary grounding, for example, in the history, politics, science, economics, data science, chemistry, or philosophy of the environment, and enable further interdisciplinary exploration through courses like Economics of the Environment, Conservation Studies, and Political Ecology of Biodiversity Conservation. Students will distill the diversity to which they have been exposed within the field to produce their capstone thesis on any topic within Environmental Studies during their final year. 

Programme Details