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Alexander Menrisky
Assistant Professor of English, University of Connecticut

I am the author of Wild Abandon: American Literature and the Identity Politics of Ecology (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Assistant Professor in English at the University of Connecticut. Previously, I taught in the Department of English and Communication and the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Departments of English and Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky. I specialize in the literary and cultural history of the twentieth and twenty-first century United States, with emphasis on environmental rhetoric and multiethnic traditions, and teach broadly in writing, literature, American studies, and the environmental humanities.

My research agenda generally focuses on conversations surrounding identity and environment to consider how writers, activists, and other figures have represented and mediated tensions among these ideas, as well as what social effects these representations have had or potentially might have. Wild Abandon examines how environmentalists of the 1960s and 1970s borrowed rhetorical strategies from identity-based movements of the era. My latest project, Everyday Ecofascism: Crisis and Consumption in American Literature (forthcoming Winter/Spring 2025 from the University of Minnesota Press), makes a case that ecofascism—an increasingly mobilized yet undertheorized term in both academic and popular media—is best understood not as a uniquely right-wing program but, as scholars have come to understand fascism more broadly, as a complex network of power, including subtle, everyday speech acts as well as overt, racialized physical violence. Faced with a slew of ecological anxieties, various individuals and groups across the political spectrum—right, left, and center—channel common, received assumptions about nature and identity in new ways that can unintentionally telegraph white supremacy and other forms of domination.


My work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Criticism, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Mosaic, GLQ, Resilience, Edge Effects magazine, and elsewhere.

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