The Humanities Center Recommendation List

The Humanities Center Recommendation List

This week’s recommendation list is in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April and is curated by Hannah Holtzman, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Technology at the Humanities Center.

  • Ursula Heise, PhD (UCLA, Department of English and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability) was planning to join our Tuesday Series this spring focused on sustainability across the disciplines in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Heise intended to discuss work from her book Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (University of Chicago Press, 2016), and her talk, along with the rest of the Tuesday Series, has been postponed to the fall. In the meantime, enjoy her wonderful short documentary Urban Ark Los Angeles about parrots finding refuge in Los Angeles.


  • Agnès Varda's documentary Mur Murs (1980) explores the striking murals in Los Angeles, the artists who make them, and the environments they create and enhance. This film is available on Criterion Channel and pairs well with Heise's more recent portrait of the city.


  • One of the Humanities Center reading groups this semester has been discussing Bruno Latour's Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime (Polity, 2018). The group has drawn participants from the humanities, social science, and natural science to consider Latour's thoughts on climate change, global solidarity, and political action.


  • Bill McKibben's Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? (Henry Holt & Co., 2019) follows up on his groundbreaking book The End of Nature written 30 years ago, one of the earliest warnings about climate change. This book is written for a general audience in clear, scientific terms engaging both environmental degradation and threats to humanity from new technologies such as AI and robotics. McKibben makes a strong argument for taking action in every possible way, including making art that accounts for the loss of a way of life.




  • Mammalz is a nature media organization co-founded by two biologists-turned-wildlife filmmakers. They are launching Mammalz iOS a new community-driven content-sharing app to reconnects people to nature and bridges the gap between science, media makers, and the public. Join their Nature #CloseToHome Challenge by posting photos and videos of nature in and around your home now that we can’t go to the beach, parks, or trails.


  • View a selection of videos created by USD students who took the Global Ecocinema course with Dr. Hannah Holtzman in Fall 2019 as part of the Humanities Center's interdisciplinary seminars.

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