Kyndra Turner is an ABD doctoral candidate researching American literature, film, and material ecocriticism at Arizona State University. She was recently competitively awarded the Wilfred A. Ferrell Memorial Fellowship (2014-2015), which recognizes Ph.D. students who demonstrate excellence in teaching, research, and service. She also serves as co-representative for Arizona State University’s Graduate Women’s Association, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2014-2015) as well as Social Media Outreach Administrator (2014-2015).
Her research centers on the intersections between American Studies and ecocriticism, as these methodologies offer new approaches to reading both inside and outside nations and borders and across bodies and species boundaries. Her dissertation, “From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film in the Anthropocene,” analyzes canonical texts, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in juxtaposition with Neill Blomkamp’s South African science fiction thriller District 9 and US American novels such as Toni Morrison’s Sula and Richard Power’s Generosity and The Echo Maker, to show how writers, filmmakers, and academics have been calling attention to dramatic climate events that consequently challenge the public to rethink the relationships among human beings to other species, and to ecological systems of low predictability, high variability, and frequent extremes. Her dissertation chapter, “Writing in the Anthropocene from the Global North to the Global South: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Richard Power’s The Echo Maker” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming collection Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory, edited by Kevin Maier and Sarah Jaquette Ray, which will be published by University of Alaska Press.
As the 2013-2014 Andrew W. Mellon Research Assistant for the North American Observatory’s Western Cluster, she organized and facilitated several conferences and workshops that brought together literary critics, historians, political ecologists, indigenous studies scholars, and philosophers to work on collaborative projects that can be adapted and re-scaled for different institutions and communities interested in exploring how social values and human behaviors can be transformed together as a key step in developing alternative solutions to the complex environmental challenges we face now and for the future.
Kyndra is also the editorial assistant of Keywords for Environmental Studies collection edited by Joni Adamson, William Gleason and David Pellow, which brings leading international figures from the humanities, sciences and social sciences together to think collectively about the issues facing humans in a time of rapid environmental change (in press, New York University Press, 2015).