We are delighted to welcome three new International Co-Liaisons to ASLE, appointed by the Executive Council. Andrea Casals, Chia-ju Chang, and Lauren LaFauci will share this role, and bring a wealth of connections from various parts of the world to the duties of this position. ASLE thanks outgoing International Liaison George Handley for his service to our association and its members since 2012.
Professor Andrea Casals in an English teacher. She holds an MA in Human Settlements and Environment and a Doctor’s degree in Latin American Literature, all from Universidad Católica de Chile (UC). She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Facultad de Letras UC, where she teaches in the English Program and contributes as an editor to the on line academic journal English Studies in Latin America.
Professor Casals is committed to fostering academic networking in environmental humanities within the same university. Her special interests are environmental cultural studies and literature for young readers; the intersection between these two areas is the topic of her postdoctoral research.
In December 2017 a fragment of her doctoral dissertation–“Violeta Parra en el flujo del compostaje cultural”–was awarded best graduate essay in the national contest Haz tu tesis en cultura. Besides reading, in her spare time she enjoys yoga, trekking, family bonding and a cup of coffee for warm conversations.
Chia-ju Chang is an associate professor of Chinese at CUNY- Brooklyn College. Her research broadly falls under what is now called “environmental humanities” with a strong commitment to Chinese green cultural studies, critical animal studies, ecocriticism and ecocinema studies.
Her first book in Chinese, Global Imagination of Ecological Communities: Chinese and Western Ecocritical Praxis (Jiangsu University Press, 2013), won the 2013 Bureau of Jiangsu Province Journalism and Publication award in China. Her many articles (in both English and Chinese) have been published in the U.S., China and Taiwan. She and Scott Slovic co-edited a volume Ecocriticism in Taiwan: Identity, Environment, and the Arts (Lexington, 2016). She edited a special issue “Animal Writing: Taiwan’s Dongwu Shuxie” for Taiwan Literature Translation journal (January 2018).
She has served as an executive council of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). She was the Kiriyama Professor for Asia Pacific Studies in the Asia Pacific Center at the University of San Francisco for Spring, 2016. She is now editing a Chinese environmental humanities anthology (forthcoming).
Lauren LaFauci is assistant professor of environmental humanities at Linköping University in Sweden, where she also directs the “Multispecies Stories” research area of the Seed Box Environmental Humanities Collaboratory.
Lauren holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan, specializing in the history, literature, and culture of the United States from the beginnings to 1900.
She is currently completing a book manuscript on the related histories of racial formation and environment in the pre-Civil War United States, and she is building a new research agenda in Scandinavian Studies. Lauren currently serves as ASLE’s professional liaison to the Society of Early Americanists (SEA), and she is thrilled to deepen her involvement with an organization she loves by working on this new team of international liaisons.