By Adrian Aumen, College of Arts & Sciences

McKibbenPULLMAN, Wash. – The effects of human activities on the natural world will be explored in four free, public events during Humanities Week 2016 at Washington State University April 8-14.

“We are confronting serious environmental issues in the world today,” said Christopher Lupke, chair of the WSU Humanities Planning Group (HPG), “and what particularly needs nurturing is intellectual inquiry into the human element of environmental issues.

“These events will enable students, faculty and the wider WSU community to observe, in many ways, how people in and outside the academy are making a difference with respect to environmental problems,” he said.

Bill McKibben by Steve Liptay.

April 13: Environmentalist, educator and author William “Bill” McKibben will deliver the keynote address – “The Human Element in Nature: From Harm to Hope” – at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the CUB senior ballroom.

April 14: McKibben will present a Foley Institute Coffee & Politics talk, “Report from the Front Lines of Climate Change,” at noon Thursday, April 14, in Bryan Hall 308.

April 8: A roundtable discussion about research in the environmental humanities will be led by five WSU faculty experts in history, philosophy, foreign languages, architecture and communication at noon Friday, April 8, in CUE 518.

April 11: Four faculty members from the University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities will lead a roundtable at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 11, in Honors Hall Lounge.

McKibben is a widely acclaimed environmental activist and bestselling author of more than a dozen books. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize.

HPG obtained support for McKibben’s appearance and other Humanities Week events from the vice president for research, College of Arts and Sciences, Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, College of Education, School for the Environment and industrial design clinic, among others.

Convened in 2011, with support of the late WSU President Elson S. Floyd, HPG is working toward establishing a Center for the Humanities at WSU to make the humanities accessible and to underscore their integral nature to intellectual life and society. Find out more at