Ken Hiltner is Professor in Environmental Humanities at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). The Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative, Hiltner has appointments in the English and Environmental Studies Departments.
Hiltner agrees that humanities scholars need to use skills we have honed over decades for critical thinking and social responsibility to contribute to writing forward to nature , in a way that will mitigate the disaster that's waiting. Hiltner has provided a model for others to follow. This is an important book, lucidly written, showing clear thinking; it's a must-read, and should be widely disseminated. E. Ann Kaplan, Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University At once visionary and pragmatic, this eye-opening book argues for an applied humanities : science-informed, tech-savvy, and fully equipped to write the greenest possible future into being. Using his own experiment -- the Nearly Carbon Neutral conference -- as a test case, Ken Hiltner shows that climate action is the work of every humanities scholar. Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University In this engaging and tightly argued book, environmental humanities scholar Ken Hiltner shows that the solution to our present environmental crises is not a return to some pristine and harmonious natural world. Thoreau's famous retreat on Walden Pond, Hiltner reminds us, was only a short journey away from the textile mills of Lowell. If the pastoral idyll was never more than a convenient fiction, today we face an urgent imperative, as Hiltener puts it, to move forward to nature. The environmental humanities can play a key role in this movement, Hiltner suggests, inasmuch as they can help us write the future into being. Blending personal memoir, whip-smart literary criticism, and some extremely forward-thinking suggestions about how to green academia, Hiltner's book models what committed scholarship for our perilous times looks like. Ashley Dawson, Professor of English, The Graduate Center & College of Staten Island, The City University of New York A provocative exploration of how we understand humanity's relationship with nature and a call to write our way not to a romanticized Edenic past, but to a truly sustainable future. Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow, Worldwatch Institute