I am a writer and ecocritical cultural studies scholar who works on American literature, film, and digital media. My scholarly research explores contemporary environmental culture from a cognitive perspective with a particular focus on affect and emotion.
After working for several years in the German film and television industry, I earned my PhD in Literature at the University of California, San Diego in 2008. Four years as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland prepared me for my move to Austria where I am currently appointed as Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Klagenfurt. I was a Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014-2015 with support from the Swiss National Science Foundation and a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the University of Munich from 2010-2011. I established and curated the Green Visions Documentary Film Series at the RCC from 2011-2014.
Currently, I am principal investigator on the research project “Narrative Encounters with Ethnic American Literatures” (2018-2021), which has been funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). And together with Matthew Schneider-Mayerson and Wojciech Małecki, I am developing a new interdisciplinary research field within the environmental humanities, Empirical Ecocriticism.
I am a member of the Executive Board of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and the Environment (EASLCE) and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the special exhibition “Kosmos Kaffee” (Cosmos Coffee) at the Deutsche Museum in Munich.
My academic book publications include Cosmopolitan Minds: Literature, Emotion, and the Transnational Imagination (University of Texas Press, 2014) and Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion and Environmental Narrative (Ohio State University Press, 2017). I am the editor of Moving Environments: Affect, Emotion, Ecology, and Film (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014) and the co-editor (with Sylvia Mayer) of The Anticipation of Catastrophe: Environmental Risk in North American Literature and Culture (Winter, 2014). I have also published widely in forums such as Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental Humanities, Environmental Communication, African American Review, MELUS, Textual Practice and the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. You can learn more about my article publications here.
My full academic CV is available here.
The majority of the photographs on this website are the work of Boris Bugla, a filmmaker and photographer based in Stuttgart, Germany. If you are interested in his work you can contact him here. The above portrait was taken by Katharina Tischler-Banfield.