Glenn Albrecht is Professor of Sustainability at Murdoch University in Western Australia. In 2008 Albrecht finished as the Associate Professor in Environmental Studies in University of Newcastle in New South Wales. He has become known for coining the neologism solastalgia.
Solastalgia is a neologism coined by the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2003 with the first article published on this concept in 2005. It describes a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change.
As opposed to nostalgia - the melancholia or homesickness experienced by individuals when separated from a loved home - "solastalgia" is the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment. A paper published by Albrecht and collaborators focused on two contexts where collaborative research teams found solastalgia to be evident: the experiences of persistent drought in rural New South Wales (NSW) and the impact of large-scale open-cut coal mining on individuals in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW. In both cases, people exposed to environmental change experienced negative effects exacerbated by a sense of powerlessness or lack of control over the unfolding change process.
Conceptualising environmentally-induced distress as mental illness has been discussed by Seamus Mac Suibhne.
- ^ Smith, Daniel B. Is There an Ecological Unconscious? . NYTimes.com, January 27, 2010. A version of this article appeared in print on January 31, 2010, on page 36 of The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Retrieved 2010-1-31.
- ^ G. Albrecht, Solastalgia, a new concept in human health and identity, Philosophy Activism Nature 3:41-44 (2005).
- ^ Albrecht, G., Sartore, G-M., Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Kelly, B., Stain, H., Tonna, A., & Pollard, G. (2007). "Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change". Australasian Psychiatry 15 (1): S95-S98.
- ^ Mac Suibhne, S. (2009). "What makes “a new mental illness”?: The cases of solastalgia and hubris syndrome". Cosmos and History 5 (2): 210–225.