Photo of Veronika Kratz

Veronika Kratz

Degrees:M.A. (Carleton University), B.A.S. (University of Guelph)

US literary and cultural studies; environmental humanities; literary and cultural approaches to environmental crisis and emergency; deserts, drylands, and aridity (particularly in the US); popular understandings and representations of ecological science (particularly in the 20th/21st century); science fiction and ecology/environmentalism

My current research project engages in a chronological examination of changing cultural approaches to desertification in the US from the 1930s Dust Bowl to our contemporary moment through the use of literary works, scientific and political texts, and policy documents. This work reveals narratives of desertification as an understudied aspect of American cultural approaches to aridity and crisis. The long presence of desertification in American cultural thought extends and clarifies the role of US cultures in the development of desertification as it is known today: a global environmental crisis that continues to be addressed via technological innovation, scientific expertise, and economic development. I am interested in the ways that environmental crisis is understood and utilized via pervasive cultural narratives—in the case of desertification, to necessitate political, ecological and industrial transformations in dryland systems.

– “Frank Herbert’s Ecology, Oregon’s Dunes, and the Postwar Science of Desert Reclamation.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, isab026. 2021.
– “The Ecologies of Postwar Hard Science Fiction and Where to Find Them.” MOSF Journal of Science Fiction, vol. 4, no. 1, July 2020, pp. 20–21.
– “’Today we are going to look at clouds as perhaps we have never looked at them before’: Understanding Rachel Carson’s View of the Sky” in Silver Linings: Clouds in Art and Science, ed. Dolly Jørgensen and Finn Arne Jørgensen, Museumsforlaget, 2020.

– “Future Deserts: Speculation in Dust Bowl Narratives of an Ecology in Revolt.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, October 2021
– “Frank Herbert’s Ecology and the Science of Soil Conservation.” American Society of Environmental History Annual Conference, April 2020 (cancelled)
– “Judith Merril: Anthologizing Canonical Science Fiction in the Year’s Best” English PhD Colloquium. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. May 2018.
– “In Memoriam: An Archive of Biodiversity for the Ailing Planet.” English Graduate Studies Conference. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. June 2017.
– “Alien Resilience: Fictional Ecosystems and the Ecological Problem Narratives of 50s Science Fiction.” 2017 John Douglas Taylor Conference, McMaster University and ALECC. April 2017.
– “Terraforming the Genre: Frank Herbert’s Dune and the Birth of Ecological SF.” Society for Textual Scholarship International Interdisciplinary Conference, Ottawa, Ontario. April 2016.
– “Citizen Science as a Communication and Collaboration Tool” Communication Graduate Conference, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. March 2016.

– Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Scholarship, SSHRC (2019-2022)
– Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2018-2019)
– David and Rachel Epstein Scholarship, Carleton University (2017-2018)
– Gordon J. Wood Graduate Scholarship in English, Carleton University, Department of English Language and Literature (2017-2018)
– Gordon J. Wood Graduate Scholarship in English, Carleton University, Department of English Language and Literature (2015-2016)

– Council Member (Graduate Faculty Board Representative), Graduate Student Association, Carleton University (2021-Present)
– Website Editor and graduate student member, Carleton Climate Commons Working Group (2015-Present)
– Member of ALECC’s Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group (2020-2022)
– Graduate Student Representative, Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC) (2020-2022)
– English Graduate Student Society President (2019-2021)
– Council Member (English Department Rep), Graduate Student Association, Carleton University (2019-2021)
– Member, Steering Committee for new Environment and Climate Humanities (EACH) Minor, Carleton University (2019-2021)
– Conference Chair, English Graduate Student Society Conference (2018-2019)