We are extremely pleased to announce the winners of our new ASLE grants in several categories. Translation Grants were established in order to support work in ecocriticism from international scholars and to expand exchanges across cultures and continents. Book/Article/Media Project 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.
Our grant committees worked very hard to complete their evaluations and deliberations and were extremely impressed by the fine quality of all the proposals received in this pilot year. We look forward to a rich array of submissions in the future.
by Heather I. Sullivan, Trinity University, Chair of Translation Grants Committee
Our first year with the ASLE translation grant was a great success: we received very impressive applications and made three awards of $1,000 each. These include:
Patricia Liu’s translation of Xu Gang’s book, Wake up, Loggers! This is a collection of reports published 1988-1996. It is considered the first reportage on environmental issues, and the first piece of nature writing, in modern China. The five chapters report the deteriorating situations in China caused by forestry, water and land pollution. She is translating the second edition, one of the eleven “Green Classics” compiled by Jilin People’s Publishing House in 1997.
Patricia Liu is a poet, writer, college English teacher at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing. She writes in both English and Chinese.
Michael Berman’s translation of Yuki Masami’s book, Around the Hearth of Modernity: Ecocritical Approaches to the Literary Foodscapes of Contemporary Japanese Women Writers, previously published in Tokyo by Suiseisha, 2012. Masami describes the book in terms of how food binds us to each other and the environment, though each place and situation alters the “foodscape.” In this book, Masami explores the logic and systems of value surrounding food in the works of four popular Japanese female authors: Ishimure Michiko, Taguchi Randy, Morisaki Kazue, and Nashiki Kaho. The translation will be published by Palgrave Macmillan (in the book series Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment).
Michael Berman is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego.
Jeffrey Bussolini’s and Matthew Chrulew’s translation of Dominique Lestel’s book, Les Origines animales de la culture (The Animal Origins of Culture). The book was originally published in Paris by Flammarion, 2001, and became part of their “Champs Essais” or “Field Essays/Tests” series, in which books by Alice Miller, Jurgen Habermas, Bertrand Russel, Bernard Stiegler, Julia Kristeva, and Réne Girard, among others, are published. Bussolini and Chrulew describe the book’s premise as an assertion “that culture is not antithetical to nature, but rather intrinsic to the living, at even the most basic levels, and that it constitutes a particular niche of the living.” They note that Lestel states “that the book is situated at the crossroads between a marginal current of phenomenology, not frequently taught in academic coverage of the topic, and the results of the ‘ethological revolution’ of the last thirty years.”
Jeffrey Bussolini is Associate Professor of Sociology, The College of Staten Island of the City University of New York. Matthew Chrulew is on the Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University, Australia.
Christopher Cokinos, Eric Magrane (Co-Editors) and Paul Mirocha (Artist) won a grant to assist with the cost of illustrations for A Literary Field Guide to the Sonoran Desert ($2000), under contract with the University of Arizona Press. Paul Mirocha has done artwork for books by writers Gary Paul Nabhan and Barbara Kingsolver, and for periodicals such as Smithsonian Magazine. These illustrations will be integral to the field-guide portion of the anthology. A Literary Field Guide to the Sonoran Desert gathers creative responses–poetry and prose–to some of the iconic and more obscure plants and animals of this region. Not simply an anthology, his volume is also a field guide, with information on the habitats, appearances and life histories of plants, invertebrates, birds, mammals, and reptiles and amphibians. Science and emotion combine to create a multi-species poetic ecology.
Christopher Cokinos is Director of Creative Writing and Associate Professor of English at University of Arizona. Eric Magrane, MFA, is a Ph.D. student in the School of Geography and Development at University of Arizona. Paul Mirocha is an artist and book illustrator.
David Taylor (Lead Editor) has been granted $1000 to offset the printing costs for a color insert of a photomosaic in the volume Sushi in Cortez: Interdisciplinary Essays on Mesa Verde. The manuscript will be published in May, 2015 by the University of Utah Press. This tri-fold will be printed in color on both sides and contains two photographic mosaic panoramas created by Steve Bardolph as part of this interdisciplinary project. Sushi in Cortez is a collection of interconnected essays about the Mesa Verde Region put together by an interdisciplinary group of academics, artists and cultural observers. From ethnopoetics and poetry, to documentary film, to environmental philosophy, nature photography, native Pueblo perspectives, and archaeology, the essays represent stories of the discomfort and rewards of traveling to archaeological sites together. The book will offer a thorough introduction to Mesa Verde with maps of the area as well as an introduction to the history of its archaeology and tourism. This volume will not only touch on Mesa Verde but on the changing nature of universities, research, teaching and interdisciplinary work.
David Taylor is Visiting Professor of Sustainability at Stony Brook University.
Rayson K. Alex and S. Susan Deborah have been awarded $1000 to support the 2015 tiNai Eco-film Festival (TEFF). Birla Institute of Technology and Science-Pilani (BITS-Pilani) in Goa, India, will present its second edition of tiNai Ecofilm Festival at Goa. TEFF 2015, with a theme of “Landscapes,” will present 30+ ecological and environmental documentaries with pressing ecological issues to students, ecoenthusiasts, activists, journalists and filmmakers over two days in October 2015. The ASLE grant funds will be used toward creation of an interactive video-space at the festival website, documenting the festival extensively (through talks, lectures, panel discussion, screenings, responses and papers), and publication of a critical book on the documentaries screened.
Rayson K. Alex is Assistant Professor of English and S. Susan Deborah is an independent researcher, both at Birla Institute of Technology and Science-Pilani (BITS-Pilani), K.K. Birla Goa Campus, India.
The University of Idaho’s Department of English and local nonprofit organization Backyard Harvest, Inc. have received a $5,000 community grant. In preparation for the June 2015 ASLE conference in Moscow, they will work together to articulate explicit, compelling connections between local food systems, food security, and environmental justice and sustainability.
Backyard Harvest (BYH) is a Moscow-based nonprofit organization serving communities across the region which works to outgrow hunger on the Palouse (Northeastern Washington and Northern Idaho) by connecting local growers with low-income children, families, and seniors to increase access to healthy food choices across the region, through a variety of locally-based growing, gathering, and gleaning activities.
The grant will assist BYH in enhancing its communication effectiveness and outreach to the local community. BYH would like to encourage more members of the community to become involved and also to draw out the environmental and food justice aspects of their work. In particular, BYH would like to demonstrate how they address the critical intersection between food security, local food systems, and environmental sustainability. Highlighting the environmental aspects of this work will allow BYH to reach an entirely new audience of potential supporters, funders, and volunteers.
The funding will be used to hire a fellow, a graduate student enrolled in the University of Idaho’s English department, who will work with Backyard Harvest to develop creative, compelling materials, including a brochure, an annotated photographic exhibit, and a short visual or film that can be used in public presentations. The grant will also support graphic design and printing/materials production, advertising, and outreach costs. The brochure, exhibition, and public presentation materials produced from this project will help to articulate clearly the inextricable links between human culture and the environment on the Palouse.
Grant Committee Members:
Jessica Bearman, Chair, Board of Directors, Backyard Harvest
Carol Spurling, Secretary, Board of Directors, Backyard Harvest
Anna Banks, Associate Professor, University of Idaho
Erin James, Assistant Professor, University of Idaho
Jennifer Ladino, Associate Professor, University of Idaho
Scott Slovic, Professor, University of Idaho