teaching animal studies

Teaching Animal Studies (photo by Beth McHenry, UTA)

Teaching Awards

Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESS)

I helped create the new cross-disciplinary minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. If you have taken English department courses that focused on the environment, these courses will probably count toward the EES minor.  Click here for more information. I am currently serving as the Coordinator for the ESS Minor and keep a web page of information about the minor, including the courses approved for current and upcoming semesters.

Teaching Schedule

Spring 2015:

[Undergraduate courses not yet assigned]

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

Eduardo Kohn asks, "Can forests think?" A vital challenge for the environmental humanities is the call 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, 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: Donna Haraway, When Species Meet; Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think; Anna Sewell, Black Beauty; Jack London Call of the Wild; 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, web sites, and art.

Fall 2014:

ENGL 4399: Senior Seminar: Modern American Poetry, T/R 9:30

ENGL/WOMS 3364: Gay and Lesbian Literature, T/R 11:00

Summer II 2014:

Feminist Theory 6360: Graduate Seminar: Gender and Sex in the Wake of Social Construction.

Spring 2014:

Graduate Seminar: English 6370.001 Environmental Literature: Science Fiction and Posthumanism in the Anthropocene

Click on "For Graduate Students," "For Undergraduates" or "For ESS Minors," on the right, for course descriptions, more information and resources.

About my Teaching

I have had the great pleasure of teaching at UTA since 1994, where I have met many smart, inquisitive, funny, lively, hardworking, socially- and environmentally- conscious students who continue to inspire me. [Scroll down to see some of their projects.] I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in multicultural literatures of the U.S., history of American literature, introduction to textual analysis and interpretation, critical theory; feminist theory; and cultural studies. Lately, my courses focus on environmental literature, film, and theory, animal studies, and posthumanism. Whatever the topic, I encourage students to connect the academic content of the course with everyday challenges. I hope that students will discover how fields of academic inquiry have ethical and political ramifications. I teach the "fierce humanities," that "seeks to unsetltle knowledge and assuptions" (Cary Nelson) and the posthumanities that opens inquiry beyond the domain of human culture.

I direct the work of many PhD and MA students in multicultural American literatures, feminist theory, cultural studies, science studies, the environmental humanities, new materialism, and animal studies. I have taught in the InterGender doctoral program in Scandanavia and have served as an external reader for graduate committees in the U.S. and Australia. My teaching is deeply informed by my own scholarly research, which allows me to present cross-disciplinary perspectives on texts, cultural formations, and scholarly questions to my classes. Although pedagogy is not my primary area of expertise, I have published on environmental pedagogy, in "The Trouble with Texts, or Teaching Green Cultural Studies in Texas," which appears in the MLA collection, Teaching North American Environmental Literatures. I have also taught a Graduate ProSeminar on Literary Pedagogy.

Multimedia HALL OF FAME!

Check out these magnificent multi-media projects from advanced undergraduate courses. These projects combined academic research, (intrepid) field work, the construction of an original argument, and creative, savvy design.

Spring 2012: Animals

Fall 2010: Literature and Film of Environmental Justice

Spring 2009: Multicultural Literatures of Power and Place and Contemporary Environmental Literatures:

Courses I have taught at UTA:


Undergraduate

Graduate

I've also directed graduate and undergraduate independent studies in feminist theory; cultural studies; feminist corporealtheory; 19th century American women writers; environmental theory and African- American literature and criticism; environmental literature and theory, interdisciplinary environmental humanities and science studies; queer theory; deaf poetry and disability studies; disability studies; trauma studies.

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Peggy Kulesz, Laura Kopchick, Ken Roemer, and Stacy Alaimo, with the 2011 Regents Awards


Peggy Kulesz, Laura Kopchick, Ken Roemer, and Stacy Alaimo with their 2011 Regents Awards