Environmental Humanities Visiting Research Fellow, February to March 2020
Hester Blum is Associate Professor of English at Penn State University. Her most recent book, The News at the Ends of the Earth: The Print Culture of Polar Exploration, was published by Duke University Press in 2019. She is also the author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives (2008), which received the John Gardner Maritime Research award. Her edited volumes include the essay collection Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies in Motion (2016); special issues of Atlantic Studies (2013) and the Journal of Transnational American Studies (2019) on oceanic and archipelagic studies; and a scholarly edition of Horrors of Slavery (2008), sailor William Ray's 1808 Barbary captivity narrative. Blum contributes frequently to Avidly, a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books. She participated in an Arctic climate change expedition in 2019 with the Northwest Passage Project, and is a 2019-2020 Guggenheim Fellow.
Her IASH project, Ice Ages, explores the temporalities of ice in an epoch of anthropogenic climate change. It draws from an Arctic expedition she joined in 2019, and contemplates the extra‐human timescales and far-reaching social and intellectual demands of climate change, while offering new approaches to research in the humanities and sciences alike.