Sharon Kunde’s academic writing encompasses late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American nature writing and literary criticism, examining the ways in which racialized assumptions about the parameters of supposedly-nonhuman nature underpin equally exclusive ideas about what constitutes American literature and the reading methods appropriate to it. She works to imagine more capacious and inclusive reading practices.
If “nature” has been at the heart of American notions of literary value, then Douglass and Thoreau help us see that tackling the racial dimensions of literary nature is a way to undo and desediment disciplinary protocols about literature’s value and the purposes of reading. Practicing denaturalizing reading, we might disassemble and coopt bits of the institutional machinery always on the verge of enclosing and consuming us.
Book Project: “Natural Reading”
“Natural Reading: Race, Place, and Literary Practice in the United States from Thoreau to Ransom” in Twentieth-Century Literature, Fall 2021 (67:3).
Review: “Falter” by Bill McKibben
Review of “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?” in International Studies in Literature and the Environment.