I am a Ph.D. candidate in English Language and Literature and a certificate student in the Science, Technology, and Society program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My research interests include postcolonial studies, the environmental humanities, critical infrastructure studies, and environmental ethics. My dissertation, Ecologies of Infrastructure in Contemporary Postcolonial Literatures, seeks to incorporate the recent “infrastructural turn” from the social sciences into literary studies by examining infrastructure as an object that links together the historical spatial logics of colonial regimes with contemporary environmental issues, including resource scarcity, extractive industries, and nuclear proliferation. My project takes a comparative approach to West African and South Asian Anglophone novels published after 1989, and argues that a more robust attention to genre can help literary studies of infrastructure move beyond questions of representation. At Michigan, I teach introductory courses on writing, literature, and the environmental humanities.


Ph.D. in English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, expected 2022

M.A. in Literature, Purdue University, 2016

B.A. in English, La Salle University, 2014


“Strange Kinship Matters: Cultivating an Ecofeminist Ethics of Place in
Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary
Studies in Literature and Environment. 2019, doi: 10.1093/isle/isz009
“Materializing the Improbable: Bodily Intimacies and the Agentic
Materiality of Opium in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy.” Studies in the
Novel, vol. 50, no. 4, 2018, pp. 563-582.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“Indexing Infrastructure: Teju Cole’s Every Day is for the Thief as Multi-Modal Ethnography,” Modern Language Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA. Jan. 9-12, 2020.
“Distributed, Collected, Limited: Infrastructural Ecologies,” Modern Language Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA. Jan. 9-12, 2020.


Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)

African Literature Association (ALA)

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Katherine Hummel

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