Arts Programming for the Anthropocene: Art in Community and Environment, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Arts Programming for the Anthropocene

Art in Community and Environment, 1st Edition

By Bill Gilbert, Anicca Cox


248 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138385269
pub: 2018-11-30
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pub: 2018-12-03
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pub: 2018-11-21
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Arts Programming for the Anthropocene argues for a role for the arts as an engaged, professional practice in contemporary culture, charting the evolution of arts over the previous half century from a primarily solitary practice involved with its own internal dialogue to one actively seeking a larger discourse. The chapters investigate the origin and evolution of five academic field programs on three continents, mapping developments in field pedagogy in the arts over the past twenty years. Drawing upon the collective experience of artists and academicians in the United States, Australia, and Greece operating in a wide range of social and environmental contexts, it makes the case for the necessity of an update to ensure the real world relevance and applicability of tertiary arts education.

Based on thirty years of experimentation in arts pedagogy, including the creation of the Land Arts of the American West (LAAW) program and Art and Ecology discipline at the University of New Mexico, this book is written for arts practitioners, aspiring artists, art educators, and those interested in how the arts can contribute to strengthening cultural resiliency in the face of rapid environmental change.


"Finally a down-to-earth, practical guide to navigating the challenges and opportunities of developing place-based field learning programs in the arts! Higher education has been yearning for innovative pedagogical models to address 21st century problems from interdisciplinary perspectives. This book offers a cross-cultural set of field-tested examples that are imaginative, instructive, and inspirational."Teri Reub, University at Buffalo, USA

"Part sourcebook, part institutional critique, part post-commodity road trip, Arts Programming for the Anthropocene records and analyses the legendary annual voyages of the Land Arts of the American West program, one of the most innovative learning environments in the world. It offers alternatives for students and teachers alike who are otherwise mired in what has become the universal bureaucracy of institutionalized art studies." William Fox, Nevada Museum of Art, USA

"An important book to help reimagine pedagogy and practice in the arts, Arts Programming for the Anthropocene offers insight to individuals and institutions seeking to meet contemporary challenges in a time of pressing environmental crisis."Alan Boldon, University of Brighton, UK

"Once your children have been let out of the house to explore their environments and once they have (hopefully) been educated about the complex relationship of culture to nature, this book provides the next step -- a much needed manual for ecological artists and educators out in the world. With encouragement to work locally, often with indigenous communities, and the story of the founding of the renowned Land Arts of the American West programs, GiIbert provides a new model for universities and art schools that successfully combines art and life."Lucy R. Lippard, author of Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land use, Politics and Art in the Changing West

"Bill Gilbert is a leader in the field of art and environment and a champion for relevant and cooperative community engagement. Arts Programming for the Anthropocene provides a road map for how to creatively respond to our time of human species as a geological force."Christie Davis, Program Director for Art, Lannan Foundation

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. A Place to Stand: The Rationale For Field Programming 3. Art In Academia 4. Five Programs 5. Land Arts of the American West: A Case Study 6. Conclusion 7. Bibliography 8. Manual: Nuts and Bolts Of Field Programming

About the Author

Bill Gilbert is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Art and Ecology and Lannan Endowed Chair of Land Arts of the American West at the University of New Mexico. He completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College and Pitzer College and received a MFA in Ceramics from the University of Montana.

Anicca Cox has a BA in photography from the University of New Mexico, an MA in rhetoric and composition from Humboldt State University and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Michigan State University in their Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures program.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (, to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Deborah Bird Rose, University of New South Wales, Australia, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Arts in Education