Laura Wright (literary scholar)
|Occupation||Professor of English, Western Carolina University|
|Known for||Founding the academic field of vegan studies|
|Alma mater||University of Massachusetts Amherst|
|Notable works||The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror (2015)|
Laura Wright is a professor of English at Western Carolina University. Wright proposed 'vegan studies' as a new academic field, and her book The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror (2015) served as the foundational text of the discipline.
Wright received a bachelor's in English from Appalachian State University in 1992, an MA in English from East Carolina University in 1995, and a PhD in Postcolonial Literature and World Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004.
Wright's 2015 book The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror which proposed the academic field "vegan studies," served as the foundational text for and introduced the discipline.
Some reviewers and academics embraced the identification of a new field of study, calling the book a "foundational work" and "the foundational text for the nascent field" of vegan studies. In her foreword to the book, Carol J. Adams says, "Thanks to this work, we now have a new category: the vegan studies-loving vegan."
In 2016 Kathryn Dolan said in the journal Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment that it "will clearly become an area of further study." Jodey Castricano and Rasmus R. Simonsen called it "the first vegan studies monograph to be published by a university press."
In 2018 Dario Martinelli and Ausra Berkmaniene said "The presence and legitimacy of 'vegan studies' within the academic world, especially since Wright cared to formalize the expression and define a paradigm, is something that should no longer require an explanation or a justification," and that she "coined the expression". Emelia Quinn and Benjamin Westwood called the book "the first major academic monograph" on veganism and the humanities.
Other academics were less sure that a new field had been created. In 2016 Fabio Parasecoli said he was "not sure if Wright's intention to open a whole new field of inquiry and scholarship will come to fruition, but she definitely offers many arguments that deserve attention and reflection." In 2018 Josh Milburn said he would if given the opportunity teach a course on vegan studies, but that he remained "unsure whether there truly is a literature sufficiently unified to be labelled a new discipline.
Wright has given several talks to academic conferences about the introduction of vegan studies, including keynote addresses at Towards A Vegan Theory: An Interdisciplinary Humanities Conference at Oxford University, Animal Politics: Justice, Power, and the State at Internationale School voor Wijsbegeerte, and a lecture, The Dangerous Vegan: The Politics of Scholarship, Identity and Consumption in the Anthropocene, at Appalachian State.
Awards and honors
- University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching (2018)
- National Humanities Center Fellowship (2012)
- Modern Language Association Florence Howe Award for Feminist Scholarship (2008)
- (2019) ed. Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism. Reno: University of Nevada Press.
- (2015) The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
- (2014) with Jane Poyner and Elleke Boehmer, eds. Approaches to Teaching Coetzee's Disgrace and Other Works. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.
- (2013) with Elizabeth Heffelfinger. Visual Difference: Postcolonial Studies and Intercultural Cinema. New York: Peter Lang.
- (2010) Wilderness into Civilized Shapes: Reading the Postcolonial Environment. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
- (2006) Writing Out of All the Camps: J. M. Coetzee's Narratives of Displacement. New York: Routledge.
- "Author of 'The Vegan Studies Project' returns to alma matter[sic]". Wautaga Democrat. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "Laura Wright". Western Carolina University. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "Laura Wright". Western Carolina University. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- Nicole, Seymour (2018-10-30). Bad environmentalism : irony and irreverence in the ecological age. Minneapolis. p. 121. ISBN 9781452958095. OCLC 1039215612.
- Wright, Laura (2015). The Vegan Studies Project: food, animals, and gender in the age of terror. Athens: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820348544. OCLC 920013340.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Martinelli, Dario; Berkmaniene, Ausra (February 12, 2018). "The Politics and the Demographics of Veganism: Notes for a Critical Analysis". International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. 31 (3): 501–530. doi:10.1007/s11196-018-9543-3.
- Yunker, John (August 25, 2019). "The Emergence of Vegan Studies". Retrieved August 28, 2019.
- Quinn, Emilia; Westwood, Ben. "RUNNING AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE: 'TOWARDS A VEGAN THEORY'". University of Oxford. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- Brenton, Keith (2015-09-23). "WCU faculty member's book looks at perceptions of veganism". Western Carolina University. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror". University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- Adams, Carol J. "Foreword", in Wright (2015), p. xvii.
- Dolan, Kathryn (November 2016). "The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror. By Laura Wright". Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. 23 (3): 644. doi:10.1093/isle/isw059.
- Castricano, Jodey; Simonsen, Rasmus R. (2016). "Introduction: Food for Thought". In Castricano, Jodey; Simonsen, Rasmus R. (eds.). Critical Perspectives on Veganism. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. v–xv. ISBN 978-3-319-33418-9.
- Quinn, Emelia; Westwood, Benjamin (2018). Thinking Veganism in Literature and Culture: Towards a Vegan Theory. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783319733791.
- Koljonen, Marianna (August 19, 2019). "Thinking and Caring Boys Go Vegan: Two European Books That Introduce Vegan Identity to Children". Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature. Johns Hopkins University Press. 57 (3): 13–22. doi:10.1353/bkb.2019.0052. ISSN 1918-6983.
- Kubisz, Marzena (January 2019). "Veganisation of the Academy and the New Humanities: Veganism in the Context of Literary and Cultural Studies". Er(r)go Teoria–Literatura–Kultura (in Polish).
- Parasecoli, Fabio (2016-02-09). "The Vegan Studies Project: On Being Vegan in America". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- Milburn, Josh (2018). "Book review: Critical Perspectives on Veganism, edited by Jodey Castricano and Rasmus R. Simonsen". Journal of Animal Ethics. 8 (2): 252–253. doi:10.5406/janimalethics.8.2.0252. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "Towards a Vegan Theory". University of Oxford. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- ""The Dangerous Vegan: The Politics of Scholarship, Identity and Consumption in the Anthropocene" with alumna Dr. Laura Wright". “The Dangerous Vegan: The Politics of Scholarship, Identity and Consumption in the Anthropocene” with alumna Dr. Laura Wright. 2019-10-04. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
- "Wright Named One of Top Teachers in UNC System". Western Carolina University. Aug 23, 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- "WCML Award Winners". Women's Caucus for the Modern Languages. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- Laura Wright (2019). Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism. University of Nevada Press. ISBN 978-1-948908-11-5.
- "Laura Wright". Amazon. Retrieved 4 January 2019.