Joni Adamson

  • Senior Sustainability Scholar, Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Professor, English and Environmental Humanities, School of Letters and Sciences
  • Program Faculty, Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, Graduate College
  • Affiliate, Women and Gender Studies, School of Social Transformation

Arizona State University
English and Environmental Humanities, School of Letters and Sciences
7271 E Sonoran Arroyo Mall
Mesa, AZ 85212-0180


Joni Adamson is Professor of English and Environmental Humanities in the School of Letters and Sciences, Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Global Institute of Sustainability, Program Faculty in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology and an affiliate of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University where she is Dorector of the Undergraduate Certification in Environmental Humanities. She is is past President of the Association for the Study Literature and Environment (2012; ASLE), a professional organization with an active membership of 1,450 scholars, educators, students, and scientists in 41 countries. She is the author of American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism (2011, University of Arizona Press)/ An excerpt of this book was recently published in the Journal of Jiangsu University in China. She is co-editor, with Kimberly N. Ruffin, of American Studies, Ecocriticism and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons (2013, Routledge) and with Mei Mei Evans and Rachel Stein, of The Environmental Justice Reader (2002, University of Arizona Press), a groundbreaking collection cited by scholars around the world and credited with helping to shift the field of ecocriticism towards "ecojustice revisionism." She has delivered over 30 invited keynotes and lectures in Scotland, Spain, Germany, Taiwan and the US and given over 50 conference presentations. She has written articles and reviews focusing on contemporary literature and film, cosmopolitics, environmental justice, contested notions of "the commons," food sovereignty, and global indigenous environmentalisms and organizing which have been published in leading journals including Environmental Justice, American Literary History, The Journal of Transnational American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the US, and Studies in American Indian Literature. She serves on the editorial boards of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment; Resilience: A Journal of the Sustainable Humanities; Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment; and Challenges in Sustainability. She also is an Editorial Board member for Lexington Books’ Ecocritical Theory and Practice book series. She is currently at work on Keywords for Environmental Studies (co-edited with William Gleason and David Pellow, forthcoming from New York University Press). At ASU, she serves as a member of the Consortium on Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research. She is also Co-PI and Co-Director, with Sally Kitch, of a Mellon Foundation Grant awarded to ASU to develop the "Humanities for the Environment," 2013-2015.


environmental literature; environmental justice; American Southwest cultures; Native American oral and written literatures; ; ecocriticism; ethnobiology; food sovereignty; culture; environmental film; citizen actions; cross-border cooperation; ecological literacy; environmental philosophy


    Ph.D., English, University of Arizona, 1995

    M.A., English, Brigham Young University, 1987

    B.A., Secondary Education/History/French, Idaho State University, 1981

Journal Articles


Adamson, J. 2012. Indigenous literatures, multinaturalism, and Avatar: The emergence of indigenous cosmopolitics. American Literary History 24(1):143-167. DOI: 10.1093/alh/ajr053. (link)

Adamson, J. 2012. Whale as cosmos: Multi-species enthnography and contemporary indigenous cosmopolitics. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 64:29-46.

Adamson, J. 2012. "¡Todos Somos Indios!" Revolutionary imagination, alternative modernity, and transnational organizing in the work of Silko, Tamez and Anzaldúa. The Journal of Transnational American Studies 4(1):1-26. (link)

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In Press

Adamson, J., W. Gleason and D. N. Pellow. In Press. Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture. New York University Press.

Adamson, J. and K. N. Ruffin. In Press. American Studies, Ecocrticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons. Routledge.


Adamson, J., M. Evans and R. Stein. 2002. The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy. The University of Arizona Press.

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Book Chapters

In Press

Adamson, J. Environmental justice, cosmopolitics and climate change. In: Westling, L. ed., The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Environment. Cambridge University Press.

Adamson, J. Imagination. In: Adamson, J., W. Gleason and D. N. Pellow eds., Keywords for Environmental Studies. New York University Press.

Adamson, J. Source of life: Avatar, Amazonia, and an ecology of selves. In: Iovino, S. and S. Opperman eds., Material Ecocriticism. University of Indiana Press.

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Adamson, J. 2013. Source of life: Avatar, Amazonia, and an ecology of selves. Workshop leader at 23 January 2013 Mellon Research Initiative in Enviornments and Societies, University of California-Davis.

Wittig, A., J. Adamson, J. J. Elser and L. Guevara. 2013. Effectiveness of the modified field trip curriculum: Teaching the importance of good conservation habits. Poster presented on May 1, 2013 at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.


Adamson, J. 2005. American studies scholars as public intellectuals? What can be learned from place-based enviornmental justice activism. Presentation at the 2005 American Studies Association, Conference, Washington, D.C.



Adamson, J. 2013. Rethinking the "environmental imagination" in the context of multispecies ethnography and cosmopolitics. Keynote presentation at the 17-18 February 2013 Ecocriticism: Transpacific Dialogue Conference, University of Central Florida and the Beijing Language and Culture University.

Adamson, J. 2013. A keyword for environmental studies: Imagination. Presentation at the 8-9 March 2013 Environmental Humanities in a Changing World, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University.


Adamson, J. 2012. "¡Todos Somos Indios!" Indigenous organizing and activist literatures of the Americas. Presentation at the 14-17 June 2012 ASLE Symposium Environment, Culture, Place in a Rapidly Changing North, Juneau, Alaska.

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