I am a writer and an ecocritical literary and media scholar. My research explores contemporary environmental culture from a cognitive perspective with a particular focus on affect and emotion. I have a specific interest in climate change narratives across a variety of media, and I’m working on a book project, provisionally entitled Feeding the Senses: Narrating Food across Media.
After working for several years in the German film and television industry as production manager and later scriptwriter, 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.
More recently, I completed the research project “Narrative Encounters with Ethnic American Literatures” (2018-2022), which was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Currently, I am a researcher on the project “Cinema and Environment: Affective Ecologies in the Anthropocene” (2020-2023), which is directed by Katarzyna Paszkiewicz at the University of the Balearic Islands. I’m also an international partner for the research project “Literature and Reading in the Age of Environmental Crisis” (2021-2024), directed by Toni Lahtinen at the University of Helsinki, which focuses on empirical ecocriticism. And most recently, I joined the FWF project “Delocating Mountains: Cinematic Landscapes and the Alpine Model” (2020-2024), directed by Christian Quendler at the University of Innsbruck, as a national collaborator.
From 2012-2020, I was a member of the Executive Board of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and Environment (EASLCE). I have recently joined EASLCE’s Advisory Board and am a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Environmental Media and Media+Environment.
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). More recently, I edited a special cluster of articles on Empirical Ecocriticism in Interdisciplinary Studies in Litrature and Environment (2020) with Matthew Schneider-Mayerson and Wojciech Małecki. A co-edited book related to my FWF project, Ethnic American Literatures and Critical Race Narratology, was published by Routledge in 2022, and, with Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Wojciech Małecki, and Frank Hakemulder, I have edited a volume, Empirical Ecocriticism: Environmental Narratives for Social Change, that is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. I have published articles in forums including Poetics Today, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental Humanities, Environmental Communication, Green Letters, African American Review, MELUS, Textual Practice, English Studies, and the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. More information on my academic publications is available here.
After a twenty-year hiatus from creative writing, I have recently returned to it with a couple of short stories and a novel, Fragile (Elzwhere Press, 2023), which tells a story of love, loss, and resilience in a near-future New York divided by climate change.
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.