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Joni Adamson is Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Department of English, Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Director of the Environmental Humanities Certificate and Inaugural Affiliate of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.
She is a PI with the North American Observatory of the Andrew W. Mellon funded project, "Humanities for the Environment" (HfE) and leads the 2.0 development team for the HfE international website. Working with HfE PIs in the European and Australian Observatories, she is currently working with key researchers in Asia and Africa to co-organize new HfE Observatories that will launch in 2015. She is also a key researcher with the East-Asia HfE Observatory.
This networking activity builds on over 20 years of organizational work that includes, in 2012, her service as President of the Association for the Study Literature and Environment (ASLE). She also founded and, for 10 years, led the American Studies Association’s Environment and Culture Caucus that successfully networked scholars addressing transnational social justice and environmental issues. This work resulted in two coedited collections: American Studies, Ecocriticism and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons (2013, Routledge) and Keywords for Environmental Studies (New York University Press, 2015), co-edited with HfE consultants, William Gleason and David Pellow. Keywords for Environmental Studies brings leading international figures from the humanities, sciences and social sciences together to think collectively about the issues facing humans in a time of rapid environmental change.
Adamson is author of American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism (2001, U of Arizona P), a groundbreaking monograph that helped shift analytical focus in the field of ecocriticism away from “wilderness” and towards more serious consideration of social and environmental justice in transnational contexts. The book has been cited in dozens of languages, translated into Mandarin, and re-reviewed for its significance to the emerging field of the environmental humanities in the inaugural issue of Resilience: A Journal of the Sustainable Humanities (August 2013). Her co-edited collection, The Environmental Justice Reader (2002, U of Arizona P) is also considered seminal to these discussions. Two additional collections are under contract and forthcoming, Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledge, Forging New Constellations of Practice. (Environmental Humanities Series, Iain McCalman and Libby Robin, Eds. Routledge) and Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies: Conversations from Earth to Cosmos, (Routledge). Many of Adamson's books, articles, chapters and reviews can be found on her Academia.edu page.
Adamson has written over 50 articles, chapters and reviews focusing on the environmental humanities, indigenous perspectives on sustainability, ecocriticism, and the critical role humanities perspectives play in shaping contemporary society and human behavior. This work has taken her throughout the US and to China, Germany, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan to deliver over 40 invited keynotes and lectures.