ASLE Welcomes Newly Elected Officers

It is with great pleasure that ASLE announces the winners of our recent elections:

Andrea Knutson, who is finishing her term on the Executive Council, will serve as Vice President in 2021 and 2022, and Immediate Past Vice President in 2023.

Kiu-wai Chu and Serenella Iovino will serve three years as At-Large Executive Council members starting in January 2021.

Lisa Fink will serve as our new Graduate Student Liaison (GSL) for two years, with voting privileges in year two.

Andrea Knutson is an Associate Professor of English at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She’s an early Americanist, whose research focuses on plantation histories and geographies. She recently completed an American Antiquarian Society Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship to study the archive around Barbados’ colonial history and visual record of its plantation culture. She is currently developing a new project, based on this research, that thinks through questions of the archive and plantation history through the material/cultural traces of clay. When she’s not teaching and writing she’s an avid fly fisher and backpacker, loves to travel with her partner, and is mom to two rambunctious black kitties. She feels very lucky to be able to continue to serve ASLE and its members in her new role as Vice President after serving on the EC for the last three years and co-hosting ASLE’s 2017 conference in Detroit. She’s excited to bring these experiences to bear on the challenges that lay ahead and be a part of conversations that build on ASLE’s role as a leader in the field of Environmental Humanities.

Kiu-wai Chu is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities and Chinese Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Prior to moving to Singapore in July 2019, he obtained his degrees from SOAS University of London, University of Cambridge and University of Hong Kong, and postdoctoral fellowships from University of Zurich and Western Sydney University. His research focuses on comparative ecocriticism, ecocinema and animal studies, particularly in East and Southeast Asian contexts. He is directing a minor programme in Environmental Humanities at NTU. Through his research, teaching and other public commitments, he aims to connect academics, learners, film and art practitioners, and people of all walks of life, to contemplate about environmental problems and animal justice in our world today. Joining ASLE as an Executive Councillor, Kiu-wai wishes to foster more sustainable international collaborations and exchanges; to encourage cross-regional ecocritical studies and promote the important values of environmental and social diversity and equality that have long been upheld by ASLE.

Serenella Iovino is Professor of Italian Studies and Environmental Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a series editor for “Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism” at the University of Virginia Press, and for “Elements in Environmental Humanities” at Cambridge University Press. She is a Past President of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and Environment (EASLCE), and currently a Forum executive for the MLA. She is author of Ecocriticism and Italy: Ecology, Resistance, and Liberation, and co-editor of Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene, Italy and the Environmental Humanities: Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies, and Material Ecocriticism. About serving ASLE, she says: “For the last fifteen years, ASLE has been my transatlantic family and my school, enabling bonds of solidarity across countries and generations and providing a priceless education in academic humanity.”

Lisa Fink is a graduate student with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia, and currently completing a PhD in Environmental Studies and English at the University of Oregon. Her dissertation project, Unsettled Ecologies: The Racial Discourse of Invasion, U.S. Empire, and Indigenous Resurgence, examines the settler colonial and racial logics undergirding the narratives, policies, and practices surrounding invasive species. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Her Disco, which imagines the Wunderkammer of the poet H.D., from dancing girl press, and her poetry has been published widely, including in the Boston Review, Ecotone, and the Minnesota Review. In her role as GSL, Fink plans to “prioritize inclusivity for both creative writers and scholars, especially those from Black communities, Indigenous communities, and other communities of color (acknowledging that these communities are not mutually exclusive).”

We are also grateful to the many excellent candidates who ran for office: George B. Handley, Scott Hess, Kim Hester Williams, Gina Stamm, Steven Swarbrick, Tori Bush, Miriam Gonzales, Brady Krien, Nathaniel Otjen, Nicholas Reich, Fernando Varela, and Nikoleta Zampaki.
ASLE extends special thanks to the officers whose terms officially end in 2020. Stacy Alaimo and Jeffrey Cohen have served us admirably as Co-Presidents and Immediate Past Co-Presidents; Andrea Knutson and Julietta Singh will be rotating off the Executive Council, as will GSL Mika Kennedy. They have brought an inspiring amount of intellect, energy, time, dedication, and foresight to their respective offices. We express our sincere gratitude, as our association would not function without the tireless work of these many volunteers.