Joni Adamson is Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Department of English, Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Program Faculty in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, and Affiliate of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University. She is Director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities.
For over 20 years, Adamson's research and professional activities have helped to shape the environmental humanities (history, philosophy, aesthetics, religious studies, literature, theater, film, and media studies informed by the most recent research in the sciences of nature and sustainability). Through analysis of literature, film, folklore, oral traditions, framed by the most recent scientific research, Adamson's work interprets the impacts of rapid environmental change and widening social disparities caused by climate change. In her books and articles, she articulates the reasons why interdisciplinary alliances between the environmental humanities and the natural, technological, and sustainability sciences are crucial to solving the complex social and ecological challenges we are facing.
Adamson is past President of the Association for the Study Literature and Environment, a professional organization with a membership of over 1,700 scholars, educators, students, and scientists in 41 countries. She has delivered keynotes and invited lectures in Germany, Scotland, Spain, Taiwan, and the US and presents regularly at professional conferences. Her books and articles focus on contemporary literature and film, cosmopolitics, environmental justice, contested notions of "the commons," food sovereignty, and global indigenous environmentalisms and organizing. She is currently serving as co-PI for "Humanities for the Environment," an Andrew W. Mellon-funded international grant that is networking humanities centers, institutes and consortiums around the world.
Adamson is the author of American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism (University of Arizona Press, 2001), and co-editor of The Environmental Justice Reader (University of Arizona Press, 2002), American Studies, Ecocriticism and Citizenship (Routledge, 2013) and Keywords for Environmental Studies (New York University Press, in press).
Ph.D., English, University of Arizona, 1995
M.A., English, Brigham Young University, 1987
B.A., Secondary Education/History/French, Idaho State University, 1981
Adamson, J. In Press. The ancient future: Diasporic resience and food-based knowledges in the work of American Indigenous and Pacific Austronesian writers.. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature
Adamson, J. 2013. 西蒙•奥蒂斯的反击：环境正义、转变中的生态批评和中部地区 (Reprint of Chapter 3, Simon Ortiz's Fight Back: Environmental justice, transformative ecocriticism and the middle place. American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism: The Middle Place). Journal of Jiangsu University 2013(15.5):34-41.
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)
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. 2011. Medicine food: Critical environmental justice studies, Native North American literature, and the movement of food sovereignty. Environmental Justice 4(4):213-219. DOI: 10.1089/env.2010.0035. (link)
Adamson, J. 2010. American literature and film from a planetary perspective: Teaching space, time, and scale. Transformations 21(1):23-41, 169. (link)
Adamson, J. 2010. Environmental justice and Third Wave ecocrtical approaches to literature and film. ECOZON@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 1(1):.
Adamson, J. 2009. Coming home to eat: Re-imagining place in the age of global climate change. Tamkang Review 39(2):3-26.
Adamson, J. and S. Slovic. 2009. The shoulders we stand on: An introduction to ethnicity and ecocriticism. Special Issue: Ethnicity and Ecocriticism, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the US 34(2):5-24.
Adamson, J. 2004. The challenge of speaking first: A tribute to Simon Ortiz. Studies in American Indian Literature 16(4):57-60.
Adamson, J. and R. Stein. 2000. Environmental justice: A roundtable discussion. ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 7(2):155-170.
Adamson, J. 1992. "The truth is we live on dry land": Language as homland in Louis Erdrich's Love Medicine. Letterature d'America 47-48:37-55.
Adamson, J. 1992. Why bears are good to think and theory doesn't have to be another form of murder: Transformation and oral tradition in Louise Erdich's Tracks. Studies in American Indian Literatures 4(1):28-48.
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. 2013. 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.
Adamson, J. 2001. American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism: The Middle Place. The University of Arizona Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Source of life: Avatar, Amazonia, and an ecology of selves. In: Iovino, S. and S. Opperman eds., Material Ecocriticism. University of Indiana Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Gardens in the desert: Migration, diaspora and food sovereignty in the work of Native North American women writers. In: Huang, H. ed., Aspects of Transnational and Indigenous Cultures Series. Cambridge Scholars Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Cosmovisions: Environmental justice, transnational American studies, and indigenous literature. In: Gerrard, G. ed., The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. Oxford University Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Working wilderness: Ranching, proprietary rights to nature, environmental justice and climate change. In: Robertson, C. and J. Westerman eds., Working on Earth: The Intersection of Working-Class Studies and Environmental Justice. University of Nevada Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Environmental justice, cosmopolitics and climate change. In: Westling, L. ed., The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Environment. Cambridge University Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Indigenous cosmopolitics and the re-emergence of the pluriverse. In: Tillett, R. ed., Howling for Justice: Critical Perspectives on Leslie Marmo Silko's "Almanac of the Dead". University of Arizona Press.
Adamson, J. In Press. Imagination. In: Adamson, J., W. Gleason and D. N. Pellow eds., Keywords for Environmental Studies. New York University Press.
Adamson, J. and K. N. Ruffian. 2013. Introduction. Pp. 1-17 In: Adamson, J. and K. N. Ruffin eds., American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenshp: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons. Routledge.
Adamson, J. 2013. Environmental justice, cosmopolitics and climate change. Pp. 169-183 In: Westling, L. ed., The Cambridge Companion to LIterature and Environment. Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CCO9781139342728.016. (link)
Adamson, J. 2012. Spiky green life: Environmental, food and sexual justice themes in Sapphire's PUSH. In: McNeil, E., N. Lester, D. Fulton Minor and L. Myles eds., Sapphire's Literary Breakthrough: Feminist Pedagogies, Erotic Literacies, Environmental Justice Perspectives. Palgrave MacMillan.
Adamson, J. 2012. Seeking the Corn Mother: Transnational indigenous community building and organizing, food sovereignty and native literary studies. Pp. 228-249 In: Pulitano, E. ed., We the Peoples: Indigenous Rights in the Age of Declaration. Cambridge University Press.
Adamson, J. 2010. Literature and environment studies and the influence of the environmental justice movement. Pp. 593-607 In: Lauter, P. ed., A Companion to American Literature and Culture. Wiley-Blackwell.
Adamson, J. 2008. "For the sake of the land and all people": Teaching American Indian literature. Pp. 194-202 In: Waage, F. O. and L. Christiansen eds., Teaching North American Environmental Literature. MLA Press.
Adamson, J., M. Evans and R. Stein. 2002. Introduction. Pp. 3-14 In: Adamson, J., M. Evans and R. Stein eds., The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy. The University of Arizona Press.
Adamson, J. 2002. Encounter with a Mexican jaguar: Nature, NAFTA, militarization and ranching in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Pp. 221-240 Globalization on the Line: Culture, Capital, and Citizenship at the U.S. Borders. Palgrove.
Adamson, J. 2002. Throwing rocks at the sun: An interview with Teresa Leal. Pp. 44-57 In: Adamson, J., M. Evans and R. Stein eds., The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy. University of Arizona Press.
Adamson, J. and R. Stein. 2002. Environmental justice: A roundtable discussion with Simon Ortiz, Teresa Lele, Devon Pena, and Terrell Dixon. Pp. 15-26 In: Adamson, J., M. Evans and R. Stein eds., The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy. The University of Arizona Press.
Adamson, J. 1998. Towards an ecology of justice: Transformative literary theory and practice. Pp. 9-17 Reading the Earth: New Diretions in the Study of Literature and the Environment. University of Idaho Press.
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, M. M. 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. 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. 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. 2012. "¡Todos Somos Indios!" Human and civil rights and rights for nature in indegenous American organizing. Presentation at the 5 July 2012 Jornada de Ecologia y Culturas y Literaturas Amerindias and Grupo de Investigatión en Ecocritica Instituto Franklin, Universidad de Acalá, Museo de America, Madrid, Spain.
Adamson, J. 2012. If a tree falls: Multispecies ethnography, Amazonia imagination and new answers to old questions. Plenary Speaker/Keynote at 27 June 2012 Fifth European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment Conference, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
Adamson, J. 2012. Keywords in the study of environment and culture: Imagination. Towards a sustainable future: opportunities for collaborations between the humanities and the sciences. Presentation at the 20 March 2012 Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen UK.
Adamson, J. 2012. Source of light: New biosemiotic understanding of indigenous literatures and ecological knowledges. Presentation at the 12 July 2012 Center for Comparative Native and Indigenous Studies, Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
Adamson, J. 2012. Rethinking the commons: How the Humanities power our fights for food and climate justice. Presentation at 24 October 2012 English, Environmental Studies, and the Oregon Humanities Center, University of Oregon.
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.
Adamson, J. 2011. The toxic tour: Ten years of history and reflection. Presentation at the 13-17 April 2011 History and Sustainability, American Society for Environmental History, Phoenix, Arizona.
Adamson, J. 2011. Anthologizing ecocriticism. Presentation at the 21-26 June 2011 Ninth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), Bloomington, Indiana.
Adamson, J. 2011. Mother/mater/matrix: How the humanities power our fight for climate justice. Presentation at the 11 February 2011 Sustainability in America Symposium; for the Sustainability Studies Initiative in the Humanities and American Literary History.
Adamson, J. 2011. Environmental imagination. Presentation at the 20-23 October 2011 American Studies Association Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.
Adamson, J. 2010. Race and indigeneity in Avatar: The role of film in addressing climate change. Presentation at the 16-18 November 2010 American Studies Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas.
Adamson, J. 2010. Hometree: Linda Hogan's People of the Whale, James Cameron's Avatar and the struggle to save the divine trees of Taiwan. Presentation at the 16-18 December 2010 Fifth Tamkang International Conference on Ecological Discourse, Taipei, Taiwan.
Adamson, J. 2010. Ecocriticism, environmental justice and global indigenous studies. Presentation at the 1-4 September 2010 Environmental Change-Cultural Change Conference, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom.
Adamson, J. 2010. Food medicine: Environmental justice critical studies, Native North American women's writing and the movement for food sovereignty. Presentation at the 22-24 May 2010 Native American and Indigenous Studies Conference, Tucson, Arizona.
Adamson, J. 2010. Mother/mater/matrix: The future of the environmental humanities. Presentation at the 14 December 2010 National Sun Yat sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Adamson, J. 2009. Moby Dick, People of the Whale, and Whale Rider: An eco-planetary reading of indigenous American and Austronesian literatures and film. Presentation at the 3-6 June 2009 Eighth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Adamson, J. 2009. Letters from an American Farmer, Babel, and the Matrix: Imagining new forms of ecological citizenship. Presentation at the 5-8 November 2009 American Studies Association Conference, Washington, D.C.
Adamson, J. 2008. Transnational indigenous community building and organizing: Corn, food sovereignty and hemospheric indigenous studies. Presentation at the April 2008 Native American and Indigenous Studies Conference, Athens, Georgia.
Adamson, J. 2008. Do race, class, and environmental justice still matter? Critiquing Break Through and the "new" environmental movements. Presentation at the 16-19 October 2008 American Studies Association Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Adamson, J. 2008. Coming home to eat: Re-imaging place in the age of global climate change. Presentation at the 23 May 2008 The Fourth Tamkang International Conference on Ecological Discourse, Taipei, Taiwan.
Adamson, J. 2008. "To change in a good way": Native American literatures, place-based transience, and diasporic residency. Presentation at the 6 June 2008 International Conference on Foreign Literature Teaching, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan.
Adamson, J. 2007. Environment and culture studies: Theorizing space and place, building community connections. Organizer and chair, 2007 American Studies Association Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Adamson, J. 2007. Human worlds/living worlds: Sustainability, usability habitability. Presentation at the 25-27 October 2007 Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference, Arizona State University, Tempe.
Adamson, J. 2006. Transnational waste and pollution: Communities, consumption, and cultures. Organizer and respondent, 2006, American Studies Association Conference, Oakland, California.