Karla Armbruster - Associate Professor, English Department
E-Mail: armbruka@webster.edu
Phone: 314/961-2660 x7577


Karla Armbruster is an Associate Professor in the English Department, where she teaches American literature and professional writing. Her primary research interests are nature writing and environmental literature, ecocritical approaches to literature, and animal studies. She also teaches interdisciplinary courses as part of the Environmental Studies, Women's Studies, and Freshman Seminar programs.

She received a B.A. in English from Miami University of Ohio in 1985, an M.A. in English from The Ohio State University in 1989, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1996. Her dissertation topic was "Speaking for Nature: The Politics and Practice of Environmental Advocacy in American Literature and Culture." She has published a number of scholarly articles and book chapters on environmentally-relevant writers such as Terry Tempest Williams. Ursula Le Guin, Rick Bass, Josephine Johnson, and Toni Morrison. With Kathleen R. Wallace, she co-edited Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism (Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 2002). Most recently, she has become very interested in animal studies and is working on a book about dogs and the ways humans perceive them as mediating between nature and culture.

Karla's background also includes graduate-level coursework in scientific and technical communication (at Miami University), which led her to her work as a writer and editor on the environmental science textbook, Biosphere 2000: Protecting Our Global Environment, by Donald G. Kaufman and Cecilia Franz.

Suggested Reading

Nature Writing/Literature
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
John Muir, "Stickeen"
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Teaching a Stone to Talk
Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
Josephine Johnson, Inland Island
Barry Lopez, The Rediscovery of North America
Toni Morrison, Beloved, Song of Solomon, and Tar Baby
Ursula K. Le Guin, Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences

Other Works on the Environment
Bill McKibben, The End of Nature
Bill Devall and George Sessions, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered
David Orr, Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World
William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature
Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature
Vera Norwood, Made from this Earth: American Women and Nature
Alexander Wilson, The Culture of Nature:   North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez
Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Woman, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution