The Human Environments Workshop (HEW) is a research laboratory directed by anthropologists [Noah Pleshet](https://www.unb.ca/faculty-staff/directory/arts-fr-anthropology/pleshet-noah.html) and [Daniel Tubb](https://www.tubb.ca) at the University of New Brunswick. Bringing together faculty, researchers, and students as peers, HEW is committed to fostering cutting-edge research on humans and their environments by established and emerging scholars, and to providing students with a context for unique intellectual and professional development. Bringing together specialists in humanistic environmental research and practice from a variety of educational backgrounds, HEW is unique in Atlantic Canada while providing a venue for rethinking the Atlantic world and beyond. The workshop is committed to a humanistic understanding of the environment, drawing on perspectives from critical cultural studies, natural and cultural resource management, and economic and environmental justice studies.
HEW considers human environments in their broadest perspective, opening up a discussion of the limits of the human and its interactions with the non-human world in different cultural spheres. It takes an infrastructural approach to environments, which can range from wild spaces to digital domains, and considers questions of design and material construction. At the same time, it takes questions of human environmental justice as fundamentally rooted in political-economic orders structured by forms of power, ownership, and control of resources and benefits. If humans are users of the environment, so are non-humans, be they material beings or digital entities.
The Workshop is an incubator of ideas and a hub of knowledge. It is an autonomous home for our collective research and outreach. It is committed to rethinking the present in order to imagine alternative futures and different ways of doing things. Most importantly, the project is one of creating ways to understand and address both the urgent changes of our time and the urgent need for change in a context of planetary crisis that affects humans and non-humans alike. It seeks to respond to climate change, but also to a crisis in the university and the need to rethink collaboration, research, and productivity while imagining alternatives to the status quo and the lived environment.
For millennia, people have confronted radical changes in their situated, local lives and found hopeful ways of imagining their futures. Today’s problems are as much about understanding and imagination as they are about political, technical, and policy solutions. HEW is committed to nurturing the current and next generation of researchers who rethink the conditions for hope and support innovative, cutting-edge, original research.
HEW bridges the natural and the digital, the built and the designed, and is deeply committed to a critical political-economic perspective.