ECOHUM is pleased to announce the following visiting scholars this winter:

  • Professor Adriana Méndez Rodenas (University of Iowa, USA)
  • Professor Masami Yuki (Kanazawa University, Japan )

Adriana Méndez Rodenas is professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures at the University of Iowa. Having pursued an emphasis on Latin American Literature during her graduate studies, she earned a PhD in Romance Studies from Cornell University in 1979. Prof. Méndez Rodenas specializes in travel writing, gender, and transatlantic studies.

Her ample publications in the field of Cuban studies include Gender and Nationalism in Colonial Cuba—The Travels of Santa Cruz y Montalvo, Condesa de Merlin (1998), a study of a nineteenth-century Cuban Romantic who straddled two cultures, Cuba and France. Prof. Méndez Rodenas researched and wrote about the travel writings of Swedish traveler Fredrika Bremer during an extended stay as Fulbright Distinguished Professor of American Studies at Uppsala University from 2008 to 2009. Her essays on Bremer’s Cuba journey have appeared in two interdisciplinary anthologies: Cuba, The Elusive Nation—Interpretations of National Identity  (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000) and Cuba: Un siglo de literatura (1902-2002) (Madrid: Editorial Colibrí, 2004). Forthcoming with the 2009 Counter-Natures conference proceedings in Uppsala, edited by Steven Hartman, is “’Picturing Eden:’ Contesting Fredrika Bremer’s Tropics.” An engagement with Frederika Bremer’s travels to Cuba is also part of her latest book, Transatlantic Travels to Nineteenth Century Latin America (Bucknell University Press: 2013), which studies the travels of British and French women travelers to pre- and post-Independence Latin America.

Recently, Prof. Méndez Rodenas participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute at the Newberry Library in Chicago that engaged the topic “Mapping Nature Across the Americas.”  Held in June of 2014, this five-week interdisciplinary forum explored the history of cartography, the environmental histories of the U.S. and Latin America, and the uses of cartography as spatial practice. 

Natural history exploration, travel writing, and the visual arts are central to the research project Prof. Méndez Rodenas is engaged in at the moment, an ecocritical study of the Caribbean.  During her stay at Mid Sweden University, Prof. Méndez Rodenas will be presenting her current research in three seminars which will be held at Mid Sweden University’s Department of Humanities located at Metropol. To attend as well as to obtain a copy of the novel to be discussed, you are most welcome to contact Ingrid Leo in the Spanish subject.

  • Thurday, 20 November 2014 from 10:00-12:00

Lecture: Overview of Environmental Humanities scholarship in the Spanish subject, including Adriana Mendez’s research

  • Monday, 24 November 2014 from 13:00-15:00

Workshop: Reading Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s novel Sab from an  Environmental Humanities perspective

  • Thurday, 27 November 2014 from 13:15-15:00

        ECOHUM Seminar

Prof. Mendez is also contributing to ECOHUM’s inaugural symposium “Rethinking Environmental Consciousness” from December 5th - 8th.

Masami Yuki結城正美is Professor of English at Kanazawa University, Japan, where she teaches environmental literature and English as a Second Language. Having pursued an emphasis on literature and the environment during her graduate studies, she received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nevada at Reno in 2000.  Prof. Yuki specializes in American and Japanese environmental literature; her research interests include literary soundscapes, urban nature, and discourses on food and toxicity.

Her publications include a variety of books and articles on environmental literature. In her monograph Foodscapes of Contemporary Japanese Women Writers: An Ecocritical Journey around the Hearth of Modernity, she examines social, political, and aesthetic implications of foodscapes represented in the writing of  Japanese authors Ishimure Michiko, Taguchi Randy, Morisaki Kazue, and Nashiki Kaho. Originally published in Japan in 2012, this monograph is forthcoming in an English version published by Palgrave Macmillan  and expected to apppear in print in 2015. It is being translated by Michael Berman, who received the 2012 ASLE translation grant for this project.

Professor Yuki frequently engages in translation work herself and has rendered Japanese literature in English as well as English publications in Japanese. Her translations range from literature to scholarly articles that have appeared in ecocritical journals such as ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment and Literature and Environment.

In addition to these academic as well as creative endeavors, Masami Yuki currently serves as the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment in Japan (ASLE-Japan).

Recently, Prof. Yuki was guest professor at Umeå University at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and the research group Umeå Studies in Science, Technology, and Environment. A seminar with the title "Meals in Catastrophe: Emerging Tropes in Foodscapes of the Nuclear Age” took place there on October 14.

Contemporary foodways in literature and beyond are the subject of  Prof. Yuki’s ongoing research project, a comparative study of American and Japanese literary engagements with this topic. During her stay at Mid Sweden University, Masami Yuki will present her current research in a seminar  which will be held at Mid Sweden University’s Department of Humanities located at Metropol on December 16 from 10:00 -12:00.  

Prof. Yuki is also contributing to ECOHUM’s inaugural symposium “Rethinking Environmental Consciousness” from December 5th - 8th.

Adriana Mendez liten

Adriana Méndez Rodenas
Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures at the University of Iowa.

Masami Yuki (NIES Symposium)

Masami Yuki 結城正美
Professor of English at Kanazawa University, Japan.