Ursula K. Heise teaches in the Department of English and at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary literature; environmental culture in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; narrative theory; media theory; literature and science; and science fiction. 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 Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (University of Chicago Press, 2016).
Heise is the Managing Editor of Futures of Comparative Literature: The ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline (Routledge, 2016), and co-editor, with Jon Christensen and Michelle Niemann, of The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities (2016). She is editor of the bookseries, Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment with Palgrave-Macmillan and co-editor of the series Literature and Contemporary Thought with Routledge. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and served as President of ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment) in 2011.
During her stay at UCSB, Prof. Heise will give a public lecture entitled "Beyond Realism: Narrative and Environmental Crisis" (Thursday, May 4, at 5:00 p.m, in the Wallis Annenberg Conference Room in the HSSB, Room 4315), and she will teach a seminar for graduate students entitled "Multispecies Justice and Narrative" (Friday, May 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the GCLR Conference Room, Phelps 6206-C). Professor Heise also hopes to interact with students and faculty.
Past Visting Scholars
Our 2021/22 Distinguished Visitor was Dr. Emily Apter (NYU).
On Monday, May 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
she gave a lecture, titled "Interpreters in Court: Diplomacy, Justice, and Untranslatability in Katie Kitamura's Intimacies"
that may be viewed online here
This talk considered the case of the professional interpreter as, on the one hand, a fixed structure of the international court - a neutral part of the machinery, an interpassive agent of transparency and justice dispensation - and on the other hand, as a subject mired in force-fields of affect, prone to disorientation linguistically and socially. Katie Kitamura’s best-selling novel Intimacies, about a translator involved in the trial of a war criminal at the International Court in the Hague, focuses on how living in the swirl of translated words and worlds unmoors the translator's ethical centeredness. Drawing on her own work as a theorist of the "Untranslatable," Prof. Apter looked at how untranslatabilities operate in the novel; distributing and redirecting agency in the courtroom, contributing overall to the fluidity of the law, and expanding the parameters, between law and literature, of how we define what a language is, especially in its capacity as a system of justice. Please check back soon for a link to the recording of her talk.
There are still a few spots open in Professor Apter's seminar "Towards a Theory of Reparative Translation" (Seminar), taking place on Tuesday, May 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. The seminar focuses on the following concepts:
How do we rethink translation theory in response to the imperatives of racial justice movements? In the wake of debates around reparations and restitution? How can translation repair the damages of cultural violation and appropriation? How does the critic redress what Spivak calls “translation-as-violation? Or traditions of policing and social harming in language? These are some of the questions that we will address in this informal seminar session drawing on specific translation case studies across media.