Monday October 8, 2012: Job-Market Workshop

Lisa Swanstrom (Ph.D, 2008), Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University: job-search session (9:00-11:00am), and forum on methodologies (Noon to 2:00pm) in Phelps 5316.

Job Market Workshop, 9:00-11:00am
: We will discuss the peculiar genre of writing that the creation of job application materials necessitates, and we will review different tactics for crafting an effective cover letter, c.v., research statement, and teaching philosophy.  We will also look at different ways to put one’s dossier online, including personal websites, Interfolio, and various social media outlets.

Methodologies Talk, Noon to 2:00pm: “How Green My e-Garden Grows:  Cultivating Relations Between the Digital Humanities and Environmental Discourse”
Using my research as a case study, I discuss the ways that research within the digital humanities is shaping the literary job market in general, as well as how to take advantage of research and employment opportunities within this burgeoning field. 


My research aims to foster conversation between two trails of scholarship that have only fleetingly intersected: digital aesthetics and eco-critical discourse. While eco-critical discourse has a robust tradition of considering how “the media,” writ broad, relate to environmental thought—see, for example, Ursula K. Heise’s Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (2008), Alison Anderson’s Media, Culture, and Environment (1997), Libby Lester’s Media and Environment (2010), and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies, Literature, and Environment’s frequent focus on eco-critical themes in film, television, and other forms of mass media—the importance and nature of digital media remains under examined in environmental studies.

This absence of the digital is perhaps due, in part, to the manner in which the concepts of digitality and virtuality have been conflated and expressed for the past quarter of a century, both in eco-critical discourse—see, for example, Margaret Morse’s “Nature Morte: Landscape and Narrative in Virtual Environments” (1996) and John Parham’s “Academic Values: Why Environmentalists Loathe the Media” (ISLE 2006)—and in popular culture. From the early 1980s to the early 2000s, in particular, computational technology seemed poised to distance us from the real world, distract us from our physical bodies, and erode the already precarious connection we held to natural spaces. This, at least, was the critical attitude taken toward digitization and virtualization during this time—see, for example, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker’s Hacking the Future, Michael Heim on the “Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace,” and, most influential of all, N. Katherine Hayles’ How We Became Posthuman.

As important and persistent as such critical interpretations were and are, it is time to look beyond them to consider how real, contemporary digital practices are already intervening, all the time, in environmental poetics. In this presentation I provide two examples digital art projects that do just this: MIT’s Distributed Robotics Garden ( and Matt Kenyon and Doug Easterly’s “Spore 1.1” (

Lisa Swanstrom is an Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University. Her areas of research include science fiction, media history, and the digital humanities. In particular, she examines the ways that new media technology intervenes in aesthetic expressions of self and (eco)system.  Before joining the English Department at FAU, Lisa was a postdoctoral research fellow at Umeå University’s HUMlab in northern Sweden (2010), as well as the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in the Digital Humanities in the English Department at Brandeis University in Massachusetts (2008-2009). She is also a proud alumna of the UCSB's Comparative Literature Program, where she completed her Ph.D. in June 2008.

For information, contact: Joell Emoto, Graduate Program Assistant:


date of event: 

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:00