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Athanassakis is Director of the NYU Environmental Humanities Initiative, housed in the Center for the Humanities. The Environmental Humanities Initiative has hosted a number of events on topics ranging from the Anthropocene, to environmental justice at sea, to climate change action, and species extinction. Notable events include:


The NYU Environmental Humanities Initiative works closely with Environmental Studies, the Animal Studies Initiative, the Sustainability Task Force, and the Institute for Public Knowledge.  Events include:

“Environmental Humanities Workshop”
1-day workshop of environmental humanists from 13 different Northeast institutions on the state and future of the environmental humanities. Discussion range from pedagogy, curricula, the training and placement of our UG and graduate students, grants and funding, and new research in the field. May 2018

“Art in a Dark Time”
Panel discussion on art in a time of climate change, featuring artist and curator Joel Sternfeld of the Gray Gallery, and Yanoula Athanassakis.
Moderated by Dale Jamieson, April 2018

“Fashion and Animals”
A talk and Q&A with author and designer Joshua Katcher
Introduced by Yanoula Athanassakis
Moderated by (TBD) April 2018

“Vegan America: Race, Food, and Politics”
A panel discussion with David Carter (food activist), Syl Ko (Aphro-ism), Renan Larue (Vegan Studies), and Marion Nestle (Food Studies, NYU)
Introduced by Yanoula Athanassakis, March 2018

“Nature and Nationalism in the Age of Trump”
An evening with Professor of Law, Jebediah Purdy
Introduced and moderated by Eric Banks, NY Institute for the Humanities, March 2018

“Educating for Sustainability: A Queer Response to Climate Change”
An evening with Peter Toscano
Introduced by Dianne Anderson, October 2017

“Writing Animals: a Symposium”
Speakers include novelist Karen Jay Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, 2014), science writer Alexandra Horowitz (Being a Dog: Following Dogs into a World of Smell, 2016), The New York Times columnist Andy Newman (Pet City Column, NYT), and author Charles Siebert (Rough Beasts, 2012, The Secret World of Whales, 2010).
Introduced by Colin Jerolmack, October 2017
Moderated by Animal Studies Faculty Steering Committee

“Vegan Living: Fashion, Food, and Fitness”
Panelists including David Carter, Chloe Coscarelli, Joshua Katcher, Dominick Thompson
Introduced by Colin Jerolmack
Moderated by Yanoula Athanassakis and Uli C. Baer, April 2017

“Modern Meat: The Science and Culture of Meat Substitutes”
Kent Kirshenbaum, Isha Datar, Alan Levinovitz, and Ben Wurgaft
Introduced by Colin Jerolmack, April 2017

“Climate Action Conference”
2-day event with speakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Lester Brown, Mustafa Ali, (more).
Hosted by Tisch School of the Arts, March 2017

“The Sexual Politics of Meat”
Lecture and discussion with Carol J. Adams
Introduced by EarthMatters Student Club, February 2017

“Captured at Sea: Trafficking, slavery, and illegal fishing on the open ocean”
Daniel Pauley, Abby McGill, John Hocevar, and Ian Urbina
Introduced by Jennifer Jacquet, Moderated by Yanoula Athanassakis, November 2016

“Love and Death in the Anthropocene”
Literature Roundtable with Ulrich C. Baer, Dale Jamieson, Bonnie Nadzam, and Roy Scranton
Moderated by Yanoula Athanassakis, October 2016

“The Anthropology of Nature: An evening with Philippe Descola”
Introduced by Dale Jamieson, October 2016

“Sparks of Life: Electricity, animality, and film”
A Conversation with Anat Pick
Moderated by Una Chaudhuri, October 2016

“Environmental Humanities and Human Futures”
Ursula K. Heise and Robert Nixon, a conversation with Una Chaudhuri
Introduced by Yanoula Athanassakis and Ulrich C. Baer, September 2016

“This Changes Everything: An evening with Naomi Klein”
Talk by Naomi Klein
Introduced by EarthMatters Student Club, September 2016

“Vegan Athletes”
David Carter, Dominick Thompson, Michelle McMacken M.D., and Rich Roll
Introduced by Nicolas Delon, Moderated by Yanoula Athanassakis, March 2016

“Food and Animals: An evening with Cowspiracy’s directors”
Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn
Introduced by Gwynneth Malin, Moderated by Christopher Schlottmann, March 2016

“Disaster and Environmental Justice”
Elizabeth Kolbert in conversation with Eric Klinenberg
Introduced by Ulrich C. Baer, February 2016

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