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2024 SIAH Teaching Team

The 2024 SIAH application is due on March 1, 2024 at 11:59PM.

Go to 2024 SIAH Application

María Elena García

Comparative History of Ideas, Professor

María Elena García is a Professor in the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington in Seattle. A Peruvian woman of Quechua ancestry, García received her PhD in Anthropology at Brown University. Her most recent book, Gastropolitics and the Specter of Race: Stories of Capital, Culture, and Coloniality in Peru (UC Press, 2021; winner of the Flora Tristán Prize for Best Book 2022, Peru Section, Latin American Studies Association), offers a critical exploration of Peru’s so-called gastronomic revolution, focusing on the intersections of race, species, and capital in that country. A revised version of that book was published in Peru by the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos in 2023 as Gastropolítica: una mirada alternativa al auge de la cocina peruana. Her next project, Landscapes of Death: Political Violence Beyond the Human in the Peruvian Andes, considers the impact of political violence on other-than-human life (animals, lands, rivers, glaciers) in Peru during the recent war between the state and the Shining Path (1980-2000). More specifically, through this project García carefully explores the testimonies of Indigenous peoples, collected by the state-sponsored Truth and Reconciliation Commission, about the violence suffered by their non-human kin, and thinks through the significance of forms of mourning as expressed by both human and non-human beings. This project is anchored by the insistence of many Native scholars about the need to move beyond “damage-centered narratives” (Tuck 2009), and the importance of research that centers Indigenous language, being, and knowing. ”

Richard Watts

French and Italian Studies, Associate Professor

Richard Watts is associate professor of French in the Department of French and Italian Studies, co-creator of the Environments, Cultures, and Values minor, and founding director of the Translation Studies Hub at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Packaging Post/Coloniality: The Manufacture of Literary Identity in the Francophone World, a history of the colonial framing of literatures from the French Empire and the decolonial movements that gave those literatures their autonomy. His current research lies at the intersection of francophone postcolonial studies and the environmental humanities. He is currently completing a book project titled Reclaimed Waters: Literary History, Translation, and Resource Decolonization in the Francophone Post/colonial World that considers how the pollution, privatization, and manufactured scarcity of water are rapidly altering its symbolic value in literature, cinema and other forms of cultural production in the francosphere. This research project also takes form in several documentary films he has made: mARTinique: Art in a Poisoned Land (2023), Repair the World: Oumar Ball in Conversation with Abderrahmane Sissako (w/Danny Hoffman, 2023), and Tambass: Life in Spite of it All (w/Danny Hoffman, forthcoming 2024). A future project titled Scenes of Translation: Translators and Interpreters in the Migrant Texts of the Literary Francosphere considers the representation of multilingual people who are not only mediators that help people who crossing cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries, but symptoms of an increasingly collective condition in which political violence, environmental change, and economic disparity lead to mass, often forced, displacement.

Annie Dwyer

Comparative History of Ideas, Lecturer

Annie Dwyer is a lecturer in the Comparative History of Ideas, where she is one of the lead instructors of the senior capstone course. From 2017-2021, Annie was also the Assistant Program Director of a Mellon-funded initiative at the University of Washington’s Simpson Center for the Humanities, Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics, which focused on fostering publicly engaged scholarship and teaching in graduate education. Annie earned her PhD in English Literature and Culture from the University of Washington in 2014. Her dissertation, The Modern Animal, explores interrelated transformations in human-animal relations and racial formation in postbellum American literature and culture. Her scholarship in critical animal studies and the environmental humanities has been published in Arizona Quarterly, Transpositiones, Twentieth-Century Literature (forthcoming), and other venues, and she is currently working on a book project exploring shifting articulations of ecological grief in the American context from the early conservation movement through the rise of youth-led climate activism titled Losing Nature: American Literature and Ecological Grief. Annie is also a mental health counselor with a particular interest in climate psychology, and serves as the Washington State Regional Coordinator for the Climate Psychology Alliance of North America.

Shelby House

Sociocultural Anthropology, Doctoral Student

Shelby House is a doctoral student in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Washington. Her current research considers how forms of multispecies captivity in the Pacific Northwest sustain one another through the exchange of plant and animal life. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she completed her MA in South Asia Studies at the Jackson School, where her scholarship focused on the politics of heat in Karachi, Pakistan. A rural-to-urban migrant of Poarch (Creek) descent, Shelby grew up in the swamps of south Georgia, and she now lives and works in Seattle as a guest on the occupied homelands of Coast Salish peoples. Her writing appears in Anthropological Quarterly and South Asia: The Journal of South Asian Studies, as well as in a forthcoming edited volume entitled Lost Kingdom: Animal Death in the Anthropocene (Vernon Press, 2024).