ASLE Spotlight 2022, Episode 1: Public Engagement and Performance

This episode was recorded Friday, March 18, 2022

Co-Hosts: Brandon Galm and Joshua Calhoun


Janisse Ray, Wild Spectacle: Seeking Wonder in a World Beyond Humans  (Use code ASLE25 valid now through 4/15/22 for a 25% discount)

Looking to honor life on earth, Janisse Ray has repeatedly immersed herself in wildness. From overwintering with butterflies in Mexico to counting birds in Belize, her stories capture the joys of heart-pounding amazement, reflect on the sights of explorers like Bartram and Sacagawea, and document experiences rare in an age of increasingly virtual, urban life. WILD SPECTACLE explores the wild earth and invites us to question its known and unknown beauties and curiosities.

Janisse Ray is a bestselling writer whose subject is often nature. Ray has won a Pushcart, New York Times Notable, and American Book Award. Her previous books include Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home, and the poetry book Red Lanterns.

Odile Cisneros, is a trilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, English) online resource mapping the relationships between contemporary Latin American poetry and the environment. A research and teaching tool for academics and a collection of materials for the general public, provides criticism, bibliographies, and a selection of poems in the original and in translation. Users may explore specific environmental issues/topics in a multimedia platform also featuring digital maps, images, and other resources.

Odile Cisneros received a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures from New York University. She is associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta.


Petra Kuppers, Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (40% discount code MN88670 until April 1) Open Access Version

In Eco Soma, Petra Kuppers asks readers to be alert to their own embodied responses to art practice and to pay attention to themselves as active participants in a shared sociocultural world. Reading contemporary performance encounters and artful engagements, this book models a disability culture sensitivity to living in a shared world, oriented toward more socially just futures.

Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist, a writer, a community performance artist, and the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor in Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan. She uses ecosomatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures.


Spencer Robins, UCLA LENS + LAbyrinth Podcast: Exploring the Maze of Nature in Los Angeles

LENS.cast is a podcast produced by UCLA’s Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies. It tells stories of environmental and multispecies justice in Los Angeles and beyond. In 2021, LENS partnered with the Labyrinth Project, a collaborative urban anthropological inquiry into nature in Los Angeles, to produce a series of episodes based on the Labyrinth team’s fieldwork in LA’s more-than-human ecologies. Created by a team of faculty and graduate and undergraduate students, these episodes explore rats and mountain lions, cats and the people who care for them (and don’t), coyote fascism, and other pathways in ‘the maze of nature in LA.’

Spencer Robins is a PhD candidate in English at UCLA, where he studies collective narratives of climate politics. He also works as a writer and researcher on projects with the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS).