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Reading Lists

A Dozen Books We Study

The University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities Program brings together a diverse array of intellectual perspectives and methodologies. Students examine environmental issues through a variety of historical and theoretical frameworks, taking into consideration how environmental concerns intersect with race, gender, class, politics, and geography.

This list is not a canon, nor is it a comprehensive picture of the Environmental Humanities. Rather, it is meant to give a sense of the kinds of questions we ask; it is a starting place for thinking about the environment through humanistic frameworks. These titles can be found in our reading room.

Bodily Natures

Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class, And Environmental Quality

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global

We Have Never Been Modern

Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution

The Country and The City




A Dozen Creative, Crossover, and Classic Books

In addition to academic literature, the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities Program emphasizes broad exposure to different kinds of environmental writing. Students read classics alongside contemporary works of creative nonfiction, journalism, fiction, and poetry. Through studying titles such as those listed here, our program encourages students to think broadly about how we conceive of and represent the world around us, and what different modes of writing can achieve.

Love Medicine: A Novel
A Sand County Almanac

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
Silent Spring
Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
Canaries on the Rim: Living Downwind in the West
The Hungry Tide: A Novel
Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape
Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems
Walden; or, Life in the Woods


Last Updated: 12/7/22