“Translating a book is a labor of love,” says Michael Berman of the University of California, San Diego. “Unfortunately, love alone doesn’t pay the bills.” Love and necessity–that’s what it comes down to for the recipients of ASLE grants. To open new worlds for students, one must have resources. To honor the work of activists, to beat the ticking clock of tenure, there must be support from the community. We need to raise at least $12,000 to fund the grants into next year. Please make the investment that will allow us to continue such important work.
Here is what grantees have to say about the importance of ASLE grants.
Priscilla Ybarra of the University of North Texas lays it out: “It was such a boost to receive an ASLE Publication Subvention Grant. This support is especially appreciated by someone like me, who was looking to place my book in time for tenure evaluation. I hope that ASLE is able to continue this program because it fills a very big need.”
That’s the way we cultivate the future of the discipline. ASLE grants also allow us to grow alliances with community organizers. Chris Cummings of Backyard Harvest in Moscow, Idaho, explains: ” Through the Community Grant Program, we were able to better formulate our message to the community and at the completion of the project had marketing and display materials that we still use to inform and inspire the public about our work. Thank you, ASLE!”
ASLE grants also have an international impact. Swarnalatha Rangarajan and Sreejith Varma of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras state: “ASLE grants program for translation is an amazing thought simply because there are not many options available to prospective translators that financially support their projects! The source text of our translation project is the life-narrative of Mayilamma (1940-2007) an illiterate, tribal woman whose iconic leadership of the local community against the unrestrained extraction of water by the multinational giant Coca-Cola put the village of Plachimada in Kerala state on the map of environmental activism.”
We’re writing to you today to ask for your support in funding a new round of grants. Since 2013, the ASLE Community Grant program has funded projects that combine art, activism, and scholarship, often in the communities surrounding our conference sites. The Translation Grant program has allowed scholars working across linguistic boundaries to bring much-needed work to Anglophone ecocriticism. ASLE Subvention Grants support innovative projects that engage new media, aim at fostering intercultural exchange, or seek to bring insights from the environmental humanities to a non-academic public. Your help is urgently needed to help these efforts continue.
We want to highlight three more exemplary efforts:
- Stephanie Posthumus and Stefan Sinclair of McGill University received a Subvention Grant to assist with the building of the Digital Environmental Humanities website, which includes member profiles,videos from their workshop, and a bibliography of tagged works in the environmental humanities. The project has since evolved to include topic modeling and visualization that charts the changing nature of interdisciplinarity.
- The Wakarusa Wetlands Preservation Organization received a Community Grant in 2013 in conjunction with the conference at the University of Kansas. A collaboration between the Haskell Indian Nations University and the Ecojustice Coalition, the project aimed to protect local biodiversity and to honor the history of the Indian boarding school period. The ASLE grant allowed the WPO to raise awareness of this history through art installations and infrastructure improvement.
- Chia-ju Chang of Brooklyn College, CUNY, received a Translation Grant to work with Steven Mai on a translation of Liu Ka-Shang’s The Hill of Stray Dogs. This contemporary classic of Taiwanese nature writing uses animal ethnography to draw attention to Taipei’s urban dogs and their human allies. Taiwan has a vibrant tradition of nature writing and ecocriticism, most of which is currently unavailable to Anglophone critics.
This is only a small sample of the work that our pilot grant program has already made possible. We appeal to you to make a contribution to allow this program to flourish in its next phase. Contributions of all sizes are welcome! You are supporting good work, work that will have a lasting impact on the future of communities worldwide. Without your generous help, we will not be able to continue a grant program that embodies the best of what ASLE is all about.
Christoph Irmscher and Anthony Lioi
There are many worthy causes to give to, and for nearly everyone resources are very finite. But ASLE can only excel with you there to support us. ASLE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your donation is fully tax deductible.
You can donate online by clicking the “Donate Now” link above, or you can download and send in the donation form by clicking the “Download Donation Form” link above.