ASLE Honorary Members Homero & Betty Aridjis have recently been spearheading an effort to save the endangered monarch butterflies, whose wintering territory in the mountains of central Mexico is at risk. Homero and Betty prepared a letter and secured 150 signatures of scientists and writers from around the world, and they used this letter to get the monarch issue on the agenda for the recent North American Leaders' Summit (attended by Barack Obama).
The letter, addressed to Presidents Obama and Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Harper, received excellent coverage in the Mexican and international media, and they were successful in getting the Monarch butterfly on the North American Leaders' Summit agenda. Here is the relevant paragraph from the joint statement released at the end of the February 19 meeting here in Mexico:
"We will continue to collaborate in the protection of our region’s biodiversity and to address other environmental challenges, such as wildlife trafficking and ecosystems at risk. Our governments will establish a working group to ensure the conservation of the Monarch butterfly, a species that symbolizes our association."
Next they will be working on the creation of a milkweed corridor along the Monarch's migratory route through Canada, the US and Mexico. Click here to read the letter that got the summit to put Monarch habitat protection on their joint agenda. To read a full transcript of the press conference where this was announced, click here.
ASLE is offering three new grant opportunities in 2014: Translation Grants, Book/Article/Media Project Subvention Grants, and Community Grants. The Translation Grants were established in order to support work in ecocriticism from international scholars and to expand exchanges across cultures and continents. The Subvention Grants were created to support innovative projects in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. The Community Grants seek to support projects that will help build connections between the environmental humanities and place-based environmental organizations working outside the academy.
To read more about the criteria and how to apply for these grants, click here.
The latest Issue (Winter 2014) of ASLE News is out, including application information on several new grants ASLE is offering, introduction of our newly elected officers, reports on ASLE panels at the SAMLA, PAMLA and WLA conferences, member news, and much more. Click here to read it online.
We are pleased to announce the outcome of our recent election. Cate Sandilands will serve as 2014 Vice President, 2015 President, and 2016 Immediate Past President. Cate will be joined by two newly elected EC members-at-large, Janet Fiskio, and Byron Caminero-Santangelo, as well as our new Diversity Officer, Sarah Wald. In addition, Clare Echterling has been appointed to be the new Graduate Student Liaison. I'm sure you share my enthusiasm for these new officers and look forward to the insight, energy, and engagement that they will bring to our organization. ASLE is very lucky to have such talent joining us, and to have had such a tremendously strong pool of candidates to choose from in the first place.
Special thanks are due to the ASLE officers whose terms officially ended in 2013. Joni Adamson has served us brilliantly for three years as Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President. Anthony Lioi and Kimberly Ruffin will also finish their three year terms on the Executive Committee this year and ASLE owes both of them our gratitude for their service. Finally, please join me in thanking our outgoing Diversity Officer, Salma Monani, whose profound commitment to making ASLE a more open and diverse community manifested itself in countless ways.
Exciting news, the 2015 ASLE BIennial Conference location and tentative dates have been announced: The conference will be held at the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID. Tentative dates are June 23-27, 2015, so mark your calendars and hope to see you there!
At the Author's Reception of the 2013 Biennial Conference, the winners of the ASLE Book and Paper Awards were announced. Rob Nixon's Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard UP) won the Ecocriticism Book Award, and David Gessner's The Tarball Chronicles: A Journey Beyond the Oiled Pelican and into the Heart of the Gulf Oil Spill (Milkweed Editions) won the Creative Writing Book Award. In the Graduate Student Papers award categories, Maya Laxmi Kapoor (University of Arizona) won the creative award for "The Slowness of Our Eyes: A Creative Nonfiction Look at Life through a Microscope," and Will Lombardi (University of Nevada, Reno) won the ecocriticism award for "Unequal Burdens: An Outline for Postlocal Criticism and Notes on the Location of Ecosocial Justice." Nixon and Lombardi were in attendance to accept their awards, as were many of the judges in the four categories. Michael Branch accepted the award on behalf of David Gessner, video of his speech is posted at the Orion Blog.
ASLE is pleased to announce an International Membership Grants Initiative. The Initiative provides 50 ASLE-US membership grants to literature and environment scholars outside the US and Canada. The grants are designed to help a more diverse, international community of scholars gain access to educational and scholarly opportunities in our field, as well as to advance educational and professional opportunities beyond the US and Canada.
The 2013-14 International Membership Grants Initiative will begin accepting applications beginning January 15, 2013. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until 50 two-year memberships are granted. The Grants Initiative cycle for 2015-16 will begin in January 2015.
Click here to read more about the grants and how to apply.
ASLE has just instituted a Lifetime Membership option, for members who would like to make an ongoing commitment to the organization. Cost is $1,500, payable in 3 yearly installments if desired. Benefits and information on how to enroll are listed on the website Lifetime Memberships page.
An increasing number of international faculty members, especially from China, are receiving government grants to conduct research abroad for periods ranging from one semester to twelve months. Some of these faculty members are enthusiastic about conducting research or translation work in ecocriticism and are therefore seeking invitations from host universities where they can work with an ASLE member.
For many of these scholars, expenses are covered through some combination of government grant, home university support, and personal funds, requiring no financial support from their host university. They do, however, require an invitation letter, assistance with the obtaining of a J-1 visa, and an official location for their stay in the U.S.
Many larger institutions already have an office that handles the paperwork for the J-1 visa application. This paperwork is necessary for international students as well as visiting faculty wishing to study at our universities. For example, at University of Central Florida it is handled by the International Services Center (http://www.intl.ucf.edu/) and a quick review of that website would provide an idea of what is required. ASLE cannot provide administrative or institutional support of any kind for this endeavor; it serves exclusively as a point of contact information.
ASLE would like to facilitate hosting international scholars by adding a page to our website with information on people who are willing to host a visiting scholar. We would also like to post information on visiting scholar currently being hosted who may be available for speaking engagements at other US institutions. Members of ASLE who would be interested in hosting a visiting scholar should provide the following information so that interested international faculty will have a list of people to contact in order to pursue their goal of conducting research in the United States: name, institution, department, area of scholarly expertise, email address or phone number, and dates they are available to host. For members of ASLE currently hosting a scholar, please send in your name and institution, your scholar's name, home institution and area(s) of research, and where to best contact that scholar regarding a possible speaking engagement at another institution. Please send this information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update the page on an ongoing basis.
A new listserv has just been created as a joint venture
to enrich the affiliation between ASLE and the Science Fiction Research
Association. As the ecocritical study of science fiction continues to
grow, we hope that this listserv will be a place to share ideas, to
announce conferences and CFPs, to discuss courses and texts-in general,
to engage in collegial conversation about the intersections between
science fiction and environmental thought, and why these intersections
matter. Anyone interested in these issues is encouraged to join. Please follow the instructions below to subscribe to the
1). Click on http://list.fgcu.edu/cgi-bin/majordomo?module=browse.
2). Enter your email address in the appropriate box, then click "All" under "Browse Which Lists?" Click "Go."
3). On the next screen, click "AsleSfra" under "List Name."
4). On the next screen, click "Apply."
5). Check your email to confirm subscription.
The list address is: email@example.com
WHAT WE OFFER
Let ASLE be your "professional home." Membership benefits include:
- 4 issues/year of ISLE Journal
- 4 issues/year of ASLE News
- Access to Membership Directory
- Conference Opportunites
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