Since 2007, through the establishment of the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professorship in the Environment and the Humanities, the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), formerly the Princeton Environmental Institute, has forged ties between environmental studies and the humanities and social sciences at Princeton. Working cooperatively with leadership in Princeton’s humanities disciplines, HMEI identifies and appoints accomplished and emerging scholars whose academic work is at the intersection of a traditional humanities discipline and environmental studies. Recent visitors have had backgrounds in English, religion, philosophy, political science, photography and the performing arts.
Their scholarship has focused on topics including environmental literature, religion and ecology, environmental justice and racism, climate ethics and politics, climate change, and biodiversity. Barron professors engage in intensive projects and orchestrate public programs related to environmental themes, including the 2018 traveling exhibition, “Nature’s Nation: American Art and the Environment,” which was a collaboration of HMEI and the Princeton University Art Museum. Barron Visiting Professorship appointments are made jointly in HMEI and the academic department that most appropriately represents the appointee’s disciplinary background.