Scholarly Interests

My scholarly interests involve the "environmental humanities"—specifically, environmental literature, history, and ethics. I believe that understanding each of these subjects requires attending to both of the others. No useful discussion of environmental literature can ignore the deeply ethical impulse of environmental writing nor fail to place environmental texts into their historical context. Likewise, environmental history is enhanced by a recognition of the narrative component of historical understanding and the ethical component of human behavior, just as environmental ethics is little more than an abstract exercise in theory without a solid grounding in the storied, and historical, nature of human existence. Given that the environmental humanities could also be described as the "human dimensions" of environmental science, I also believe that understanding their impacts requires considering their interaction with popular understandings of complex scientific concepts. To support my scholarship I have written and received a number of competitive grants and fellowships.


Current Projects

I'm currently working on a project examining the discourses of the sustainable food movement, which I began during a fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center (RCC) in Munich, Germany. This video, produced by the RCC, provides a good overview of the project.

A recent public conversation I had with Fabio Parasecoli about Italian food cultures and the environment also explores one of the subjects I have been examining as part of this project. This video was produced by the University of Minnesota's Institute for Advanced Study.