The Federal Ministry for Education and Research has approved continued funding for LMU’s interdisciplinary research center for environmental humanities until 2021.
The Rachel Carson Center (RCC) is one of the largest research centers in the world devoted to the investigation of environmental issues and society’s response to them from the perspective of the humanities. The RCC has now received confirmation that the Federal Ministry for Education and Research will fund its work for a further 6 years, i.e., until 2021.
“The RCC provides fresh perspectives that stimulate a reassessment of how the role of the humanities and social sciences can be strengthened in ongoing political and academic discussions of environmental issues,” says LMU President Bernd Huber. RCC Director Prof. Dr. Christof Mauch defines the basic rationale of the center’s work in one succinct phrase: “The past holds lessons for the future,” he says. “The recognition that environmental conditions have been subject to change in the historical past may induce a sense of equanimity or even indifference. But in many respects, the opposite is the case, because we can identify points at which our attitude to the environment has accelerated processes, to the extent that they become serious threats to human societies.”
Beginning in 2015 the overarching theme of the research work at the RCC will focus on “Transformations in the Environment and in Society.” The exploration of innovative forms of interdisciplinary collaboration is also on the agenda.
One crucial aspect of the center’s work is its emphatically international character. More than 120 researchers from all over the world have carried out book projects at the center through fellowships lasting from several months to a year. The working language in the center is English.
The RCC was founded in 2009. The initial suggestion to establish such an institution came from the center’s current directors, Christof Mauch (Professor of American Cultural History at LMU) and Prof. Helmuth Trischler (Deutsches Museum, Munich). The RCC is named after the American marine biologist and environmental activist Rachel Carson.