I am an Associate Professor of English and Humanities at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, one of the co-leaders of the Ecomedia Interest Group at ASLE (the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment), one of the organizers of A Clockwork Green: Ecomedia in the Anthropocene (a Nearly Carbon Neutral virtual symposium sponsored by ASLE and UC Santa Barbara), and the Digital Strategies Coordinator for ASLE.
My research and teaching centers on speculative fiction, environmental studies, and gender studies. Most of my writing and teaching builds on at least two of these central fields, and I often work with animal studies, disability studies, and science studies as well.
Gender and Environment in Science Fiction (Lexington Books, 2018) brings together many of these fields. I co-edited this collection with Bridgitte Barclay, and I have a chapter in it as well: “‘Either you’re mine or you’re not mine’: Controlling Gender, Nature, and Technology in Her and Ex Machina.” The book includes chapters on Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, midcentury sf/horror film, Silver Age comics, the Mad Max movies, both Soylent Green and WALL-E, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color. Its central concern is with how science fiction both helps us critique old narratives of gender and environment and also create new ones.
My publications include “The Problem of Materiality in Paolo Bacigalupi’s ‘The People of Sand and Slag’” in Extrapolation, “Monstrous Natures Within: Posthuman & New Materialist Ecohorror in Mira Grant’s Parasite” in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and “The Ecohorror of Omission: Haunted Suburbs and the Forgotten Trees of A Nightmare on Elm Street“ in Gothic Nature. I have also written the entries on Biology in Gender: Matter (ed. Stacy Alaimo, 2017) and Ecohorror in The Posthuman Glossary (ed. Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova, 2018), and I have published several chapters in edited collections (see Publications for more detail).
I have book chapters out now about representations of science in feminist science fiction (specifically in Joan Slonczewski’s A Door into Ocean and Sally Miller Gearhart’s The Wanderground) and about extinction anxiety in Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
I am also co-editor (with Carter Soles) of a book on ecohorror. Look for Fear & Nature: Ecohorror Studies in the Anthropocene from Penn State University Press’s AnthropoScene series in 2021! It will include work from me on Junji Ito’s Uzumaki – plus so many other fascinating and cool chapters!
In the past few years, I have presented conference papers on the following:
- environmentalism and 1970s creature features like Night of the Lepus and Frogs (ASLE)
- gender and age in science fiction (MLA)
- 21st century creature feature films (PCA/ACA)
- taxidermy in horror film (SLSA)
- the control of female AIs and the nonhuman world in Her and Ex Machina (ASLE)
- plant horror and climate change narratives (SLSA)
- Junji Ito’s Uzumaki and ecohorror (A Clockwork Green: Ecomedia in the Anthropocene)
- Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream as ecohorror that engages with disability (MLA)
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and its threat to human sovereignty (ASLE)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street and Dutch Elm Disease (IGA)
- queer environmental futures in two recent science novels (SLSA)
I have been an invited speaker for the Hennebach lecture series at the Colorado School of Mines (on environmental sf and ecohorror) and the Hermanns Lecture Series at the University of Texas at Arlington (on new directions in ecohorror), and I will soon be a keynote speaker on the ecogothic as part of PopMeC’s 50+ Shades of Gothic online conference.