I am delighted to offer you a warm welcome to the Department of Environment, Culture and Society (ECS).
We offer disciplinary perspectives to our students as well as a supportive environment. Whether you decide to engage in the study of environment, culture and society and complete one of our programs, or whether you decide to join in one of the many courses we offer for a well-rounded education, we are happy to see you at ECS. In our department, we study the way people relate to one another, their surroundings and habitat, their place and space, and the stories and practices that bring humans together.
But we also apply our critical thinking and perspectives to challenge those narratives and practices when used for oppression or making somebody feel ‘less than.’ Colonialism, exploitation patriarchy, destitution, racism, sexism, heteronormativity, transphobia … still exist today in the contemporary practices and the structures of our everyday life.
The ECS department has pledged to work towards dismantling oppressive stories and habits and to decolonize learning, knowledge production, structures and practices that hinder the flourishing of peoples who are perceived as different from mainstream society.
Faculty in ECS aspire to foster an equitable and inclusive community of learning and knowledge that is grounded on our values as a department: Compassion, kindness, honesty, respect, inclusion, empathy, equity, transparency and democracy. This is the learning situation that we offer to our students and each other in the ECS department.
We believe this kind of support is critical at this time of global pandemics, climate change and humanitarian crises — but also essential during this important time of discovery for you in your life as a university student.
Chair, Department of Environment, Culture and Society