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Ecological emotions, feelings and affects

Examining the emotional implications of ecological destruction.

These times of rapid ecological change are revealing the complex and multifaceted affective attachments people (human and non-human) have to their environments. This collaborative multidisciplinary research program considers ecological emotions, feelings and affects, and in turn, their effects on the world.

It explores questions such as: how (i.e. through what mechanisms) do people feel their environments? What common and unique feelings are people having in these times of ecological destruction? How do social, cultural, economic and political forces shape the ways different people feel? (How) do such feelings, including emotions like fear, despair and anger participate in social transformation and act as motivations to initiate change? How can we best respond to these feelings – as individuals, as communities, as academics, as societies?

The project considers the multiple geographical (embodied, local, global) and temporal (past, present, future) scales of ecological feelings; their social and political dimensions; and the relationships they emerge from and contribute to. We seek to develop rich accounts of experiences, scholarly reflections on the cultural implications of these experiences, and tangible policy recommendations.

Common themes include climate grief, eco-anxiety, hope, mental health and wellbeing, activism, community, denial, and resilience.

Contributors: Dr Blanche VerlieDr James DunkAssosciate Professor Paul RhodesProfessor Anik WaldowProfessor Danielle CelermajerDr Jo LongmanProfessor Rosemary Lyster, Assosciate Professor Dalia Nassar