Assistant Professor Heather Houser wins American Academy of Arts and Sciences Visiting Scholar Fellowship
Posted: March 8, 2013
The Department of English congratulates Assistant Professor Heather Houser for being awarded a position as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in Cambridge, MA for 2013-2014.
The Visiting Scholars Program offers interdisciplinary research fellowships for junior faculty members and postdoctoral fellows in the humanities and social sciences who are working on projects relating to American history, culture, and public policy from the founding period to the present. The Program offers scholars an academic year for research and writing, a collaborative work environment, and the opportunity to interact with Academy members. Its purpose is to stimulate and support promising scholars in the early stages of their careers and to foster exchange between an emerging generation of scholars and Academy members with shared interests. Professor Houser will be working on her new book on the strategies of description and visualization that contemporary fiction, film, and digital media use to manage environmental information.
The AAAS was founded during the American Revolution by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other leaders who contributed prominently to the establishment of the new nation, its government, and its Constitution. Its purpose was to provide a forum for a select group of scholars, members of the learned professions, and government and business leaders to work together on behalf of the democratic interests of the republic.
In the words of the Academy's charter, enacted in 1780, the "end and design of the institution is...to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honour, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people."
Today the Academy is an international learned society with a dual function: to elect to membership men and women of exceptional achievement, drawn from science, scholarship, business, public affairs, and the arts, and to conduct a varied program of projects and studies responsive to the needs and problems of society.
Heather Houser is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Stanford University, and a B.A. from Reed College. Her first book, forthcoming from Columbia University Press, is Eco-Sickness: Environment, Disease, and Affect in Contemporary Fiction. It argues that contemporary fiction uses affect to bring audiences to environmental consciousness through the sick body. She is also working on a new project that gives an account of the techniques of description and visualization that contemporary novelists, filmmakers, and digital artists develop to modify how we perceive environmental endangerment in an age of information overload.