Professor, Art and Ecology
Lannan Foundation Endowed Chair of Land Arts of the American West
Director, Land Arts Mobile Research Center
After receiving academic degrees in science and engineering, Subhankar Banerjee gave up his career in science and became a self-taught artist, writer and scholar, and an accidental activist. His interdisciplinary creative practice and research is situated at the intersection of art, ecology, and environmental humanities, and focuses on environmental justice and conservation of biological diversity. He has engaged with three geographies so far: Arctic North America and Siberia, desert of northern New Mexico, and the coastal temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
His photographs have been exhibited around the world, including Amon Carter Museum of American Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, 18th Biennale of Sydney, Nottingham Contemporary, Palais des Beaux Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum, Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and the Tufts University Art Gallery; and will be shown in an one-person exhibition at the UNM Art Museum in 2017, and in a group exhibition “Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment” at the Princeton University Art Museum in 2018. His photography has been discussed in several path-breaking art history books, including A Keener Perception: Ecocritical Studies in American Art History and Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology; and in journals, magazines and newspapers, including Third Text, American Art, Art in America, Art News, and The New York Times.
Subhankar is editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point (Seven Stories Press, 2013), and author of the multiple-award winning conservation book Seasons of Life and Land: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Mountaineers Books, 2003). His writing on art and environmental humanities appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies: Conversations from Earth to Cosmos, Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology, Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans (forthcoming), Alaska Native Reader: History, Culture, Politics, 18th Biennale of Sydney catalogue all our relations, Third Text, World Policy Journal, Social Text journal dossier ‘Radical Materialism’, and the Scholar and Feminist; and public writing in TomDispatch of the Nation Institute, New York Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Truthout, Common Dreams, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, Grist, Guernica, and the AlterNet. He has also given many media interviews, including to Democracy Now!, Real News Network, and the National Public Radio.
Subhankar has been a visiting artist/professor/scholar/fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study-Princeton, Clare Hall College of the University of Cambridge, Dartmouth College, Fordham University, and the University of Utah. He has given nearly two hundred lectures, including at Princeton University, University of Cambridge, Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Texas-Austin, University of California-Los Angeles, and the University of Alaska; and several keynote speeches, including at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment biennial conference Species, Space and the Imagination of the Global and the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts annual conference PostNatural.
Subhankar’s art, writing and activism has contributed to defeating and/or slowing down oil and gas development in some of the bio-culturally significant places in Arctic Alaska, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Teshekpuk Lake wetland, and the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. He collaborates closely with the Gwich’in and the Iñupiat indigenous communities in Arctic North America, and with several environmental NGOs, including the Alaska Wilderness League. For his conservation efforts he has received several awards, including a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the New Mexico State University, a Cultural Freedom Award and an inaugural Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, an inaugural Greenleaf Artist Award from the United Nations Environment Programme, National Conservation Achievement Award from National Wildlife Federation, Special Achievement Award from Sierra Club, Housberg Award from Alaska Conservation Foundation, and was named an Arctic Hero by Alaska Wilderness League.
Spring: “Integrative Ecology & Social Transformation” (ARTS 429/529, AMST 320, BIOL 402/502, CJ 463, CRP 470/570, GEOG 499, NATV 450, PADM 590, RELG 347, SUST 402, UHON 401)