Jane Costlow is Clark A. Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies, and teaches courses in environmental literature and visual cultures at Bates. Her academic training is in Russian literature and culture; she has traveled extensively to Russia and the Soviet Union, beginning in her graduate years with a year in Leningrad. She is fascinated by how writers, artists and film makers use their talents in representing place – whether to protest environmental injustice or reveal the amazing beauties of the natural world. Costlow recently published a major study of the forest in 19th century Russian culture, published by Cornell University Press, which won the 2014 USC Award for Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies. She co-edited a volume of essays on non-human animals in Russian culture and history (Pittsburgh University Press, 2010), and has written extensively on Russian women writers. Together with colleagues in Finland, she is completing two edited volumes on the cultural meanings of water, both in Russia and across cultures.
Professor Costlow teaches courses in the ES program that focus on meanings of nature and senses of place in a diverse array of cultures and historical periods. She also teaches a course that explores disaster narratives – from Katrina and Chernobyl to the “slow catastrophe” of climate change. Other courses include “Nature and the Novel” and “Nature in Russian Culture,” along with a short term entitled “Walking: the practice, politics and pleasures of your own two feet.”
Supported by The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund at Yale University