Summer Seminar - Ecology and Ethnicity: Sustainability Studies' Contributions to Place

  The Summer Institute is postponed until 2015. Please check back in January for more details!

Ecology and Ethnicity: Sustainability Studies' Contribution to Place UNH Summer Seminar 

Ecology and Ethnicity: Sustainability Studies' Contribution to Place 2013 UNH Summer Seminar

For humanities scholars looking to expand their knowledge of sustainability science and transform their scholarship in sustainability studies


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Our Topic

The University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute (UNHSI) is pleased to offer its second summer faculty seminar in Culture and Sustainability. “Race, Space and Place: Sustaining Harriet Wilson” will explore the relationship between the Humanities and Sustainability through a case study of the first African-American woman novelist—and New Hampshire resident--Harriet Wilson.

The UNHSI aims to expand discussions of sustainability beyond purely ecological and/or economic terms, and to do so by strengthening partnerships between academics and community leaders.  Communities of color across the globe have long argued that “sustainable development” will never happen without attention to social justice and cultural diversity.  In this seminar, we will review the history of sustainability organizing that has emerged from such communities, and learn from a local heritage project that is sustaining African-American cultural heritage in an apparently unlikely place: the Harriet Wilson Project in Milford, NH. 

We invite participants working on race and ethnicity, public memory, and cultural heritage management to join us with their work in progress: essays, books, grant proposals. Mornings will be devoted to readings and discussions; afternoons are free for research, writing and consulting.  A field trip to the Wilson Project is included, and optional workshops in digital tools for cultural heritage management will be offered.


Our Seminar Leaders and Their Topics

Rhondda Robinson Thomas is assistant professor in the Department of English at Clemson University where she teaches African American and American literature. She is author of Claiming Exodus: a Cultural History of Afro-Atlantic Identity, 1874-1803 (Baylor University Press, 2013), editor of the scholarly edition of Jane Edna Hunter's autobiography A Nickel and a Prayer (West Virginia University Press, 2013), and co-editor of The South Carolina Roots of African American Thought, A Reader (University of South Carolina Press, 2014). She worked as a research assistant with for the Penguin edition of Harriet Wilson's Our Nig. She is a contributor to the new Oxford Handbook to the African-American Slave Narrative and had published essays in African American Review and Southern Quarterly. Her current project is a book to be titled Slaves of the State: Colored Convicts and Ivory Towers in Postbellum South Carolina, 1889-1908. Thomas received her PhD in English from the University of Maryland and her MA in Literature from the University of New Hampshire.

JerriAnne Boggis is a longtime community activist and Director of the Harriet Wilson Project

Courtney Marshall is Assistant Professor of English at UNH, where she teaches classes on African-American literature, law and culture.  She is working on a book about African-American women’s literature and prisons.

Reginald Wilburn is Assistant Professor of English at UNH and author of Preaching the Gospel of Black Revolt (2014).

Siobhan Senier is Associate Professor of English at UNH and editor of Writing of Indigenous New England.  She has written about race and sustainability for journals including Resilience and Journal of Ecocriticism.



Seminar Site

  • The Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Durham campus is a convener, cultivator and champion of sustainability on campus, in the state and region, and around the world.
  • UNH Durham is located about an hour north of Boston, in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the White Mountains.




  • Campus housing is available at the rate of $239.50 for an air conditioned single (6 nights) or $202.50 for an air-conditioned double. (Without air conditioning: $193 for a single and $160 for a double).
  • Parking is available for a fee of $8/day. Participants who would prefer to stay off campus must stay in one of several area hotels. 
  • Breakfast and snacks are included in institute registration fees, and Durham offers a number of casual restaurants for lunch and dinner.


Application & Registration: Apply by March 15, 2013

  • To apply for the seminar, please send a 1-page c.v. and 1-page statement describing your current research project to by March 15, 2013. You will be notified in April.
  • Registration information coming soon.



  • Faculty: $750
  • Graduate Students: $500
  • Some scholarship support is available; please inquire.

More Information

Contact JerriAnne Boggis at or The Sustainability Institute at