HELPING TO ADDRESS SEA LEVEL RISE
T “With this NEH grant, we are able to share another view of some of today’s most pressing issues and engage our community in important conversations.” Environmental history professor April Merleaux
he National Endowment for the Humanities selected the Department of History as the only Florida recipient of a Humanities in the Public Square grant in March 2016. The grant funds a series of public events, programs and conversations showing how the humanities can help us come to terms with the threats to Miami from climate change. “We need more than science and policy right now,” said project director and environmental history professor April Merleaux. “With this NEH grant, we are able to share another view of some of today’s most pressing issues and engage our community in important conversations.” Led by Merleaux and professor Rebecca Friedman, Fragile Habitat: Conversations for Miami’s Future included faculty experts from the Green School, the College of Architecture + the Arts and the College of Arts, Sciences & Education.
Creating a Just, Peaceful and Prosperous World
It was also a collaboration with HistoryMiami Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, The Kampong, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Miami Dade County Public Schools, Catalyst Miami, and the FIU Green Library Digital Collections Center. Events throughout the year featured literary and religious studies experts, historians, philosophers, geographers and other scholars sharing their perspectives on risk, fear, hope and resilience, among other themes related to sea level rise and climate change. The program kicked off with a symposium in April at HistoryMiami Museum, featuring a discussion on diversity in environmentalism and a gallery tour. Other events explored topics ranging from mango trees to art and took place across MiamiDade County. The project included museum exhibits, an online archive, a professional development session for Miami Dade County Public Schools high school teachers, and a course for graduate history students.