The More-than-Human in/and American Studies

Roundtable chairs: Jenny Bonnevier & Marinette Grimbeek (Örebro University)

Environmental crises highlight tensions between the local and the planetary, or the individual and the collective. Local disasters have dispersed global causes, and a lack of political will frequently shifts the focus to individual environmental efforts. The impact of climate change is unjust, often having the greatest effect on more-than-human nature and those humans least responsible for global emissions and industrialization. 

The fields of American Studies and the Environmental Humanities, broadly speaking, have shared roots, not least in their focus on power, privilege and belonging, as Joni Adamson has argued. During this roundtable we will discuss the role of American Studies in the transnational context of 

environmental crisis. How does American Studies deal with the more-than-human? What productive intersections can be found between American Studies, and schools of thought prominent in the Environmental Humanities such as new materialism, environmental history, environmental justice, and ecocriticism?  

Reading: Adamson, Joni. “We Have Never Been Anthropos: From Environmental Justice to Cosmopolitics.” Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene, edited by Serpil Oppermann and Serenella Iovino, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, pp. 155–73.