Helena Feder

Title: Associate Professor
Office: Erwin 222
Phone: 252.328.6678
E-Mail: federh@ecu.edu


Helena Feder is Associate Professor of Literature and Environment. She joined the faculty in Fall 2006. She is a member of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, and the Modern Language Association. Helena is the Director of the Great Books Program ( http://www.ecu.edu/greatbooks/). She is particularly interested in working with students in any of the following areas: twentieth-century transatlantic literature, philosophical approaches to literature, critical theory, feminist theory, the environmental humanities, and poetics.


B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, summa cum laude
M.A. Boston College
Ph.D. University of California at Davis

Research Interests

Literature, Science, and the Environmental Humanities
Theoretical and Philosophical Approaches to Literature
American and Transatlantic Literatures

Courses Taught

ENGL 7265: American Literature Seminar
ENGL 6340: Ethnic American Literature
ENGL 6270: Literature, Theory, and Environment
ENGL 6260: Twentieth-Century American Literature 
ENGL 5125: The English Novel
ENGL 5060: Literary Theory And Criticism
ENGL 4540: Special Topics Seminar (Twentieth-Century Poetry)
ENGL 4370: Literature and Environment
ENGL 4200: Feminist Theory (WOST)
ENGL 4000: Literary Theory
GRBK 4000: Seminar in Great Books
ENGL 3660: Literature and Film of Environmental Crisis
ENGL 3410: Introduction to Poetry
ENGL 3330: Women in Literature
ENGL 3020: History of American Literature to 1900
GRBK 3001: Great Books of (Modern) Science
GRBK 2600: Great Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries (Great Books of Radical Thought)
GRBK 2500: Great Books of the 17th and 18th Centuries

Selected Publications and Presentations


Apprehensions: six senses of the world [In progress]

Ecocriticism and the Idea of Culture: Biology and the Bildungsroman. New York and London: Routledge, 2014 (reprinted in paperback, Routledge 2016)

Edited Work

Guest Editor. Special Issue of Western American Literature [Forthcoming 2017] 

Guest Editor. Special Double-Issue of Configurations. 18, 1-2. (Winter 2010).


A Monster “turned loose upon society”: Frankenstein, Transhumanism, and Extinction.” Litteraria Pragensia [Forthcoming 2018]

"The ingenious unravelling of evidence”: Empathy, Extinction, and The Croquet Player.” Twentieth-Century Literature [Forthcoming 2018]

"Nature and Culture in the West." Western American Literature [Forthcoming 2017]

"Off Balance: the Controlling Ideology of Self-Control." North American Review, 2016. Web.

"Ecocriticism, Posthumanism, and the Biological Idea of Culture." The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. Ed. Greg Garrard. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2014. 225-240. Print. 

Reprint (Routledge): "Biogenetic Intervention (Or 'gardening,' Shakespeare, and the future of ecological thought)." 'Being Human' Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. May 2013. Web. 

Reprint: "The Critical Relevance of the Critique of Rationalism: Postmodernism, Ecofeminism, and Voltaire's Candide." Short Story Criticism, v. 167. Gage. 2013. Print. 

"Ecocriticism and Biology." Configurations. 18, 1-2. (Winter 2010): 1-13. Print. 

"Rethinking Multiculturalism: theory and nonhuman cultures." Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 17.4 (Autumn 2010): 775-777. Print. 

"'A blot upon the earth': Nature's 'Negative' and the Production of Monstrosity in Frankenstein." Journal of Ecocriticism 2.1 (January 2010). Web. 

"Biogenetic Intervention (Or 'gardening,' Shakespeare, and the future of ecological thought)." Green Letters 9 (2008): 33-47. Print. 

"The Critical Relevance of the Critique of Rationalism: Postmodernism, Ecofeminism, and Voltaire's Candide." Women's Studies 31 (2002): 199-219. Print. 

"Ecocriticism, New Historicism and Romantic Apostrophe." The Greening of Literary Scholarship. Ed. Steven Rosendale, Iowa City: Iowa UP, 2002. Print. (Reprinted in paperback) 

Interviews/ Interview-Articles (selected):

“‘Never Waste a Good Crisis:’ an Interview with Mary Mellor [Forthcoming, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism]

“Hints of Insurrection: a Conversation with Stephen Dunn.” [Forthcoming, The Georgia Review]

“‘The Realism of Our Time’: an Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson.” Radical Philosophy 2. February 2018. Web and Print.

“‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Culture:’ Frans de Waal on Science, Morality, and the Human Animal.” Green Letters. November 4, 2016. Web/ (Fall 2017). Print.

“The Universe Is Imaginative: the Art of David Robertson.” Western American Literature. 52.3 (Fall 2017). 243-266. Print.

“This Still Present Moment: an Interview with Gary Snyder.” North American Review. 301.4 (Fall 2016). 41-47. Print.

“Changing Nature: Stacy Alaimo and Cary Wolfe at ASLE.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 21.4 (Autumn 2014): 873-893. Print. 

Additional Publications 

“The Hard Facts of Life.”  Poem. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 23.4 (Autumn 2016). 886-887. Print.

“The Ineffable Pull of Being Animal.” Poem. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 23.4 (Autumn 2016). 887-888. Print.

“Peeling Eggs.” Poem. North American Review. 301.4 (Fall 2016). 14. Print.

“Jardin des Plantes.” Poem in “Beasts Among Us.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 23.2 (Spring 2016). 437. Print.

Review. Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity. G. A. Bradshaw. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 17.2 (Spring 2010).

Review. The Question of Animal Culture. Eds. Kevin N. Laland and Bennett G. Galef. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 17.1 (Winter 2009).

Review. Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason. Val Plumwood. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 11.1 (Winter 2004).

Review. Emerson, Thoreau, and the Role of the Cultural Critic. Sam McGuire Worley. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 10.2 (Summer 2003).