Ursula Heise

Ursula K. Heise

Professor, Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies | LENS P.I.

Department of English


+ 1 415.425.9174
uheise@outlook.com

149 Humanities Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Campus Mailcode: 1530

Bio

Ursula K. Heise is the Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies at the Department of English and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and former President of ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment). Her research and teaching focus on contemporary literature and the environmental humanities; environmental literature, arts, and cultures in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; literature and science; science fiction; and narrative theory.

She is editor of the series Natures, Cultures, and the Environment with Palgrave, and co-editor of the series Literature and Contemporary Thought with Routledge. She is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities (2016) and Managing Editor of Futures of Comparative Literature: The ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline (2017). Her books include Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (Oxford University Press, 2008), Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur (After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture, Suhrkamp, 2010) and, just out, Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

She is also a co-founder of UCLA’s Lab for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS), which launched in October 2016.

Projects

Melbourne Animal Graffiti

Urban Biodiversity: Cultures, Stories, Taxonomies

Cities have recently begun to attract the attention of ecologists and biologists as ecosystems whose functioning is not as yet well understood. Urban ecosystems combine ecological processes with social practices and technological structures whose analysis requires a combination of disciplinary tools and concepts from biology, ecology, sociology, cultural studies, and urban studies (including architecture, design,...

Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species

Current rates of species extinction exceed the evolutionary background rate, and some biologists claim we are witnessing the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth. Imagining Extinction by Ursula K. Heise (University of Chicago Press, 2016) analyzes the narratives that shape public and expert debates about the extinction crisis to argue that biodiversity...

Still image from Holoscenes/Anthroposcene Suite 1 by Lars Jan.

Holoscenes/Anthroposcene Suite 1 by Lars Jan

Holoscenes is a multi-platform artwork colliding the human body with water. The work includes performance installation, video, photographic, and print components. The Anthropocene Suite is a quartet of projections featuring multiple performers carrying out a series of everyday behaviors while animated by several thousand gallons of water in an aquarium-like sculpture. Their behaviors are transformed...