2023 Graduate Student Paper Award Winner

We are delighted to announce the awardees for the 2023 ASLE Graduate Student Paper Awards. These students presented their work at the 2023 conference in July, either virtually or in person in Portland, Oregon.  All recipients received a $100 prize, and the winner’s paper has been published as an article in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, now available via advanced access.



Minh Huynh Vu, “Corrugated Surrogacies: Cardboard Kinships and the War in Vietnam”

Minh Huynh Vu is a third-year Ph.D. student in American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. Their research generally concerns everyday material cultures of discard, decay, and decomposition in the ongoing aftermath of militarism.

The paper, retitled “Containers of Care: Cardboard and the Corrugated Construction of War” for the ISLE article, reconsiders corrugation as an everyday technology of war. Charting the historical contiguities of cardboard—between the makeshift cribs used at the end of the War in Vietnam and the military ration kits used since World War II—this article posits the corrugated box as a vessel that has been vitally central to the militarization and management of racialized reproductive relations.


Honorable Mentions:

Sreyashi Ray, “Insurgent Plants: Reclaiming Postcolonial Indian Forests as Multispecies Commons”

Sreyashi Ray is a PhD Candidate and Environmental Humanities Fellow in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota. The paper focuses on the reconceptualization of postcolonial Indian forests as multispecies commons in Mahasweta Devi’s 1989 story “Anna Aranya, Anna Aranya…” through close attention to the depictions of plant agency, human-plant communication, and interspecies affective entanglements.


Kohaku Flynn, “Fluid Connections: Rethinking Land-Sea Relations on Guam through Limestone Epistemology”

Kohaku Flynn was raised in Tamuning, Guåhan (Guam). She is currently an English PhD student at Boston University with an interest in postcolonial theory, Pacific Island literature, and blue humanities. In the paper, Flynn uses a Guam creation myth to propose limestone epistemologies as a lens to apply to oral histories, novels, poetry, and instances of environmental degradation. She considers the following questions: Why are ‘lively ethographies’ specifically important for the Pacific Islands? Do we run the risk of anthropomorphizing non-human species and what does this mean for indigenous communities, like CHamorus on Guam, whose identities are so connected to animism?