In this presentation, I draw from my lived experiences as a professor to explore the theoretical and experiential intersections of a sense of place, sense of self, and sense of community as contextualized in the Environmental Humanities and Sustainability Education. I utilize personal narrative to reflect on the various pathways that have led to my current research and unpack the value of a sense of place in the commonly dis-placed curriculum of higher education. Sense of self is discussed within the holistic context of mindfulness and slow knowledge and its interconnectedness with place and community. Cultural and social dimensions of sustainability are woven into the discussion pertaining to a sense of community. The presentation provides examples and highlights opportunities for life writing within higher education for sustainable development (HESD) and engages audience members in an exercise that requires reflection on their embeddedness within their home bioregion. The relevance of storytelling within sustainability education is emphasized while also recognizing the value of facts and figures. Participants will leave the presentation with a contextualized understanding of place, self, and community within the environmental humanities and the realms of sustainability, education, and society. Specifically, participants will leave with 3 reasons to incorporate life writing assignments into their university-level courses and 3 recommendations on how to initiate the process.
Nathan Hensley, Bowling Green State University, United States