Grad Boardgender dead end

Fall 2016 Office Hours for graduate students: Tues/Thurs 2-3:00 and by appointment Thursdays 3-5.

Spring 2017: English 5300 (introduction to theory, core course for MA and PhD students)

Spring 2018: Graduate Seminar: The Blue Humanities



I was honored to receive UTA's Doctoral Student Mentoring Award in 2016! (Thank you to everyone who wrote on my behalf.)

UTA is a Program Partner with "The Seedbox: An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory," and can host visiting postdoctoral researchers in 2017-2019. [International students and visiting scholars: for practical advice on visiting click here. Here is a story about Hanna Sjögren's visit.]

This fall I'll be offering a workshop for graduate students at UTA, sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies, Wed. Sept 7, 2016, 12-1pm, 601 Nedderman Hall. "'Productive Bafflement': Formulating Research Questions, Maintaining Focus." This workshop is open to all graduate students in the humanities and social sciences. Graduate students writing an MA thesis or a dissertation should bring drafts of their research questions, if possible, to the workshop.

Graduate Student (and Former Grad Student) NEWS



Communication: Current students: check your UTA email for information. Please use my official UTA email address for all inquiries regarding current courses or letters of recommendation: Please do not use Facebook for anything professional, especially not requests for recommendation letters, etc.

Letters of recommendation: Use Interfolio or a similar dossier service--faculty cannot write and send multiple letters. Please allow at least three weeks for someone to write you a letter of recommendation. I cannot write letters on short notice! Be sure to provide your letter writers with relevant examples of your work, information, and deadlines--organized in a clear, logical way, in ONE email. I cannot fulfill requests that are scattered across multiple emails. (It is in your best interest to help us write the best possible letters for you.) Please note that the only time I can write letters of recommendation for graduate programs, law school, fellowships, etc. is from September through November 20th. So plan ahead and be organized. Doctoral students going on the national job market must submit their requests for letters before September 1st of that year (see timeline below.) Please note: I CANNOT fulfill last-minute requests for letters and I will not write letters during the holidays.

Basic procedures for MA thesis and doctoral dissertation writers (or, please do not drive us batty!):

Timeline for the national job market:

[Do not wait until September to begin this process! You and your committee need months to prepare!]

All graduate students should be aware that it is extraordinarily difficult to obtain a tenure-track job as an English professor. Be sure to research the academic job market years in advance of your search, making use of the MLA, the MLA joblist, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the AAUP, and UTA faculty as sources of information about preparation for your job search, job market procedures and timelines, and the reality of the academic market. All PhD students should make realistic plans at the start of their graduate work--not at the end. No matter how driven you are to secure a tenure-stream academic position it would be prudent to formulate a back-up plan. Community college jobs are plentiful, for example, and some of them pay more than other academic positions. Also the great thing about community college jobs is that you may be able to live in the geographic region you'd like to live in--which is extremely rare for the national job market. The brutal academic job market has generated the "alt-ac" track. Researching the "alt-ac" track would be a good idea. My own view is that while many people, in nearly any profession would benefit from an MA in English, there are very few people who should be pursuing a PhD at this point, given the wretched academic job market in the humanities and the daunting, formidable intellectual focus and time committments a PhD requires.

IF you do decide to pursue a PhD, take your scholarly and professional training seriously! All PhD students should attend UTA's English Department Hermanns Lectures, other relevant talks at UTA, and every job talk given by job candidates coming through our department. PhD students should also plan on attending several conferences, publishing two academic articles, and joining the professional organizations in their fields. Serving on departmental and university committees, as well as taking on administrative positions, is also a good idea. Be smart and savvy about trends and hazards in higher education: become an AAUP member, read The Chronicle, and the online Inside Higher Ed, with its Career Advice section. Check out The Professor is In.

Graduate students interested in the environmental humanities should consider attending the following academic conferences: ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment), SLSA (Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts), and the MLA, which has a new forum for Ecocriticism and the Environmental Humanities--join the Commons discussion. See "Ecocriticism and the Environmental Humanities." Graduate students should also read ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Resilience, Green Letters, and Configurations. ASLE has a grad student blog here and a FB page here. Graduate students interested in science studies should attend the SLSA and the 4S conferences. For students interested in sustainability and environmentalism see the AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) website. If you are teaching classes related to sustainability or environmentalism, please be sure to tell the Director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESS) minor so your courses can be considered for inclusion in the minor. (Currently, the Director would be me.) UTA graduate students and teaching assistants should check with the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact for fellowships, research, travel, and teaching support related to enviromental studies and sustainability.


FALL 2015: ENGL: 6340: The Human after the Human

This course will focus on the question of what it means or could mean to be human after the human—in other words, after Humanism, but also after--and within-- postmodernism, poststructuralism, posthumanism, postcolonialism, biopolitics, new materialisms, genetics and epigenetics. The course is broadly conceived to include many different topics, such as race, indigeneity, gender, sexuality, environmentalism, science studies, posthumanism, ethics, and politics.  The course concludes by asking with Catherine Malabou--who will be speaking at UTA in February--“What Should We Do with our Brain?”

SPRING 2015: English 6370: Thinking with Plants, Animals, and Materialities. Thursdays 6-8:50

Eduardo Kohn's new book, How Forests Think, along with many other works in the environmental humanities challenge us to to think with life forms and systems that have traditionally eluded the humanities because they are outside the social, the cultural, and the linguistic, as those domains have been defined.  This interdisciplinary seminar will consider how to think with plants, animals, geologies, and inhuman material systems, by examining recent scholarship in animal studies, plant studies, anthropology, and material ecocriticism, as well as works of literature, film, and art. We will discuss how thought, representation, and signification are redefined when we think with creatures and material agencies that are not contained by the human. Question of scale, material agency, biosemiotics, extinction, multispecies ethnography, the ecodelic, and more will most likely make themselves known.  Texts will include:Jakob von Uexküll, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: with A Theory of Meaning; Donna Haraway, When Species Meet; Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think; Barbara Gowdy, The White Bone; Michael Marder, Plant Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life, Ruth Ozeki, All Over Creation; Daniel Chamovitz What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses; Opermann and Iovino, Material Ecocrticism; Jeffrey J. Cohen, Prismatic Ecologies; Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse, Making the Geologic Now; articles and chapters, by Stacy Alaimo, Jeffery J. Cohen, Claire Colebrook, Richard Doyle, Stephanie LeMenager, and Katherine Yusoff; selected poetry, films, digital media, and art.

Summer II, 2014: English 6360 Feminist Theory: "Gender, Race, and Sexuality in the Wake of Social Construction.” This introduction to feminist theory, gender theory, feminist science studies, and queer theory will focus both on the importance of social construction to these fields and the recent material turn, which complements and critiques social constructionist theories.  The course will include difference feminism, material feminisms, feminist body theory, postcolonial queer theory, transgender theory, posthumanist theory, biopolitics, disability studies, theories of race --and the many intersections among these fields. Active, engaged, participation in class discussions is essential. Six papers and two presentations will be required.

Summer I: 2013: English 6370: Topics in Literature and Environment. Species: Extinction, Engineering, Ethics. T/R 1:00-5:00. Course Description:
This class will investigate the concept of species, paying particular attention to biodiversity, extinction, and genetic engineering. We will begin with Karl Steel's How to Make a Human: Animals and Violence in the Middle Ages and read a bit of Darwin's work but most of the
class will focus on questions regarding species in the contemporary moment. We will read and discuss two novels, Atwood's Oryx and Crake and Ozeki's All Over Creation; one comic work of nonfiction, Douglas Adams' Last Chance to See; along with poetry, science writing, and theory, including Cary Wolfe'sBefore the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame. We will also examine visual art, bioart, multimedia works, websites and film. Six short papers and two presentations will be required. [NOTE: There will be readings due the first day of class: please check Blackboard and your UTA email account for information.]

Spring 2013: English 6370: Environmental Literature:
Science Fiction and Posthumanism in the Anthropocene
The course begins with a strange, forgotten, German SF novel from
1913, but the rest of the course is devoted to recent science fiction that embodies themes, theories, and problematics pertaining to environmentalism, sustainability, posthumanism, and the anthropocene. The readings will challenge us to rethink the category of "nature"within a world where everything has been transformed by human practices. The readings will also challenge us to reconceptualize "human" life within biopolitical, posthumanist,
new materialist, and other frames. What happens to human identity, desire, ethics, and politics when the "human" merges with nonhuman animals, technologies, aliens, and the material world? And how will, how should, the humanities be transformed to be more relevant to our posthumanist anthropocene era?

Fall 2012: English 5360: Contemporary Critical Theory: New Materialisms: Bodies, Environments, Agencies, Thursdays 6-8:50.New materialist theories are emerging across disciplines, fields, and trans-disciplinary areas, including gender theory, environmental theory, science studies, animal studies, cultural studies, medieval studies, new media theory, and literary studies.  These theories challenge the methods and parameters of the humanities by insisting upon the significance, signifying force, and agencies of material bodies, objects, and systems, and by insisting on interactions between the cultural and the physical.  This course will introduce a range of new materialist theories including material feminisms, posthumanisms, affect theory, actor-network theory, object-oriented ontology, and thing theory, examining the methods, frameworks, and ethical trajectories of what is being called the “nonhuman turn” in contemporary theory.  The course will begin by considering what materiality means within familiar theories such as those by Marx, Foucault, and Deleuze and Guattari (via a lecture and brief excerpts).  We will then read a gender theory classic, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, considering both why social construction has been so valuable and why new materialists have insisted that the paradigm needs to be challenged or radically expanded. The bulk of the class will consider a range of new materialist texts, including, Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, Donna Haraway, When Species Meet, Alaimo and Hekman, Material Feminisms, Nicole Shukin, Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times; Levi Bryant, The Democracy of Objects; Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, ed., Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Ethics and Objects; Stacy Alaimo, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self; Bill Brown, A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature; Mel Chen,Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering and Queer Affects, and essays by Karen Barad, Jane Bennett, Tim Morton, ,Eva Hayward, Iris Van der Tuin and Rick Dolphijn.Scholars currently working with new materialism will visit the course.   Students will be able to tailor their seminar paper to their own fields and interests. [Animal, Vegetable, Mineral  and The Democracy of Objects are available as a paper texts and  online, free:  and]

Graduate seminar: English 6370: Topics in Literature and Environment: Animal Studies. Thursdays: 6-8:50.This course will introduce the most significant and compelling questions in the emerging interdisciplinary field of Animal Studies by way of theory, literature, film, and art. We will read essential works of philosophy, theory and cultural studies along with a wide range of literature, including "young adult" novels, science fiction, poetry, and novels that take animal perspectives seriously. Readings will include: Linda Kalof and Amy Fitzgerald, The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings; Donna Haraway, Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science; Jacques Derrida, The Animal that Therefore I am; Cary Wolfe, What is Posthumanism?; Nicole Shukin, Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times; Anna Sewell, Black Beauty; Jack London, Call of the Wild; Herman Melville, Moby Dick; Les Murray, Translations from the Natural World; Barbara Gowdy, The White Bone; Eva Hornung, Dog Boy; Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake; Becoming Animal, Contemporary Art in the Animal Kingdom,ed. Nato Thompson. Students will have the opportunity to attend the Hermanns lectures and hear Allison Hunter, Peggy McCracken, Cary Wolfe, and Neill Matheson speak on animal studies! (We will cancel one class period to compensate for attendance at the Hermanns lectures.)

"Introducting Feminist Materialisms" I taught an intensive doctororal course at the InterGender research school, TEMA, Linkoping, Sweden, with Nina Lykke and Cecilia Asberg, Fall 2012. Click here for more information. I also spoke in the Posthumanities Hub.(For other talks, scroll to the bottom of my home page.)