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The aim of Humanities for the Environment (HfE) projects is to identify, explore, and demonstrate the contributions that humanistic and artistic disciplines can make to understanding and engaging with global environmental challenges. ASU is headquarters of the North American Observatory of the Humanities for the Environment international network.

In October 2014, HfE humanities scholars at ASU and their Maricopa County community partners began work on a “future of food” project that sought to envision the dishes that could constitute Dinner in the year 2040 in Phoenix, AZ. They planned several meals that would incorporate scientific, historical, cultural, and place-based knowledge that sustain the environmental integrity of the US Southwest, honor its culinary innovations for 'future' foods, and promote food justice. This pilot project sought to establish a model for other communities to employ as they consider the future of food in their regions. In the Fall of 2016, project leaders and community contributors hosted a local Dinner 2040. The potential of the “Dinner 2040” design lies in its invitation for community-wide examination of and movement toward aspirational food practices of the future.



Andrew H. Mellon Foundation, Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes


October 2014 — Ongoing