Michaela Castellanos

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Background

I hold a Master's of Arts in Intercultural Anglophone Studies from the University of Bayreuth, Germany (2012, summa cum laude) and a Bachelor's degree in English Literature and Linguistics from California State University Dominguez Hills, USA (2005, summa cum laude) with a focus on teaching English as a Second Language.

Area of interest

American Studies, Film Studies, Human-Animal Studies, Environmental Humanities

Member of
- the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and the Environment (EASLCE)
- the postgraduate forum Environment, Literature, Culture (ELC)
- the Research Network Literary and Cultural Animal Studies (CLAS)

Current research

I am currently researching representations of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) in American culture. My publications explore how whales figure in different media at different historical moments (see below).

In my dissertation, I analyze four fictional and four nonfiction films by U.S. American directors: The documentaries The Cove, Racing Extinction, Blackfish, and A Fall from Freedom and the family dramas Big Miracle, Beneath the Blue, Dolphin Tale, and Dolphin Tale II. I approach these films through the conceptual lens of mediated whale watching.

Teaching and tutoring

English A course, Writing and Speaking in English module
English A course, Literature module

Other information

Another project I am involved in is “Power Up,” a digital tool for building healthier work environments. The “Power Up” app is specifically designed to help users recognize and counteract so-called suppression techniques (Berit Ås), i.e. strategies used to gain power over others. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration that spans both faculties and brings together six employees from four institutions. It is supported by the Forum for Gender Studies and the Forum for Digitalization and was awarded Mid Sweden University’s Equal Opportunity Prize in 2018.

Publications

Articles in journals

Castellanos, M. (2015). European Editor's Introduction. Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, vol. 2: 2  

Articles, reviews/surveys

Castellanos, M. (2016). Breaking Down What Matters : Welcome to COMpostINGS. Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, vol. 4: 1, pp. 60-62.  

Chapters in books

Castellanos, M. (2018). Bloodied Waters : Spectator Desire and Viewer Implication in The Cove (2009) and Blackfish (2013). In Underwater Worlds : Sumberged Visions in Science and Culture. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 189-207.

Castellanos, M. (2018). "Constituents of a Chaos" : Whale Bodies and the Zoopoetics of Moby-Dick. In What is Zoopoetics? : Texts, Bodies, Entanglement. Cham : Palgrave Macmillan (Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature). pp. 129-148.  

Castellanos, M. (2016). Star Trek IV and Environmental Risk : Balancing on Irony's Edge. In America After Nature : Democracy, Culture, Environment. Heidelberg : Universitätsverlag Winter (American Studies - A Monograph Series). pp. 391-404.