Nature and Culture
An examination of the historical chronological references of sustainability, via a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) perspective, indicates the progression of social and economic developments as much clearer in definition than environmental. The environment, or nature, in the context of anthropological records, has been looked at by way of ancient outlooks and their impacts on how changes in human activities and actions liberalised specific outcomes from subsequent civilisations and from nature itself. The Centre has examined viewpoints from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th Century; it has considered notions up to the environmental movement and argues coexistence with nature requires harmonious development and societal-level building blocks that take into account environmentally-friendly action and cultures alike – both contemporary and indigenous. Using text analysis and ethnography, we focus on how human interaction with the natural world has changed throughout history.

Human-Nature Relationship
With a historical-textual perspective on landscape and landuse, as well as an environment based perspective, the Centre's research seeks to understand the historical backdrop for current environmental concern. We emphasise how human beings and wildlife both shape their environment and vice versa. This change has a specific focal point in the 20th Century, when accelerated impacts from industrialisation radically changed the human-nature relationship. One concern is to reflect upon how the history of human-nature relationships can be put to use in a contemporary setting. Questions that are worth asking include: (1) How can one imagine a sustainable, good and viable life in our time? (2) Can limits to growth be handled if we cement ideas from the past with ideas in the present? And, (3) what resources can be found in the historical canon with which to think through our current predicament? Although much the Centre's research is conducted in-house, we rely on external narratives and their interpretation to understand the slow moving thought processes in relation to any accelerating changes of modernity. Texts about nature are anchored in a literary tradition of natural history writing and popular field science, and present-day nature writing is of critical interest for its potential to energise and politicise a wider public readership concerned by environmental issues.