Ken Hiltner is a professor of English literature and Environmental Studies. This website was originally created to house a variety of materials supporting his courses, though now also aggregates resources relating to research & professional service (more).


Hiltner is Director of the Environmental Humanities Center (EHC). The EHC Website has full details on its mission and range of programming.

Climate Change

Between three and four percent of global electricity production is used in running data centers. Our web host has invested in local Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) through the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, in the form of wind power, in an amount that exceeds the energy required to both power and cool their servers (cooling, incidentally, more than doubles the required electricity for a data server). More on energy use by our web host; wind power's potential from Stanford University; and environmental issues related to data centers from the NY Times.

Recent Courses

Intro to Literature and the Environment: Fall 2013. This course surveys nearly 5000 thousand years of literature in order to explore the literary history of our relationship with the earth, as well as to better understand our current environmental beliefs. This course is completely open-access, including lectures, the Course Reader, and additional material (website; online discussions; student feedback).

Intro to English Literature: Fall 2013. This course is an introduction to the first eight hundred years of English literature. We begin with early works like Beowulf, then move to excerpts from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales before concluding with writers like Milton and Shakespeare.

Milton: Winter 2014. This course considers a range of Milton's works, including Paradise Lost (arguably the finest long poem in the English language) and Paradise Regained. Just for fun, we will also be looking at excerpts from two popular series of books influenced by Paradise Lost: The Chronicles of Narnia and His Dark Materials.


Hiltner's current blog is related to the above course on Literature and the Environment. Although the course's virtual sections are only for currently enrolled students (and are password-protected), anyone can view and comment on the blog.

Recent Talks

"Should We Welcome the Anthropocene?" UCSB, October 2014. Watch talk

"Nature: How Much Does It Matter?" Pomona College, September 2013.

"Reconsidering Milton, Ecology, and Place," Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, May 2013.

"Environmental Criticism: What is at Stake?" University of Pennsylvania, April 2013.

"The Role of the Environmental Humanities in Our Future," Princeton University, April 2013.

"Reading the Renaissance, Greenly," Sarah Lawrence College, April 2013.

"The Role of the Past in Our Environmental Future," D&R Greenway Land Trust, Princeton, April 2013.

"Food and the Future, and the Environment," Princeton Food Salon, April 2013.

"Paradise Lost 2.0," 2013 Annual Renaissance Society of America Conference, San Diego, California, April 2013.

"Looking Forward, Environmentally" Boise State University, April 2013.

Opening Remarks, The Environmental Humanities in a Changing World, Princeton University, March 2013.

"Forward to Nature," University of Oregon, March 2013.

"The Two Cultures in Environmental Studies," Princeton University, February 2013.

“Abandoning the Past, Toward a New Environment-al Ethic,” Rutgers University, December 2012.

“Dread in Paradise Lost,” Tenth International Milton Symposium, Tokyo, Japan, August 2012.

(Additional talks listed in the online CV.)