Texas Tech University

Open Ground

The Literature, Social Justice, And The Environment (LSJE) program is a working group of faculty and students and community members. Our departmental home is English, but we are invested in interdisciplinary and undisciplinary collaborations across campus/civic/regional communities. New writing is added to Open Ground two times per year (once per term) and we want you to join this conversation. We welcome submissions from anyone interested in the environmental humanities, and particularly look for book reviews, essays, manifestos, event reviews, and creative writing. Send all submissions to Cordelia Barrera.


Fall, 2016

We kick off this year's LSJE Lunchtime Speaker's Series with the same format and in the same room (ENG/PHIL 201), but with a different date (the first Wednesday of every month) and time (12:30 - 1:30 PM). 

September 7th: Dr. Scott Baugh, "Sustainable 'Developments' in Contemporary Latin American Political Cinema" and Iracema Quintero, "Empowering Others By Empowering One's Self: Mestizo Feminism in Real Women Have Curves."

Spring, 2016

This semester we kick off our Brown Bag Series, which takes place the last Wednesday of every month and features a short talk from one faculty member and one graduate student at Tech within the LSJE Initiative. Lunch will be provided and all meetings are held in ENGL 201 from 12:30 - 1:30 pm.

Febraury 3rd: Dr. Sara Spurgeon, "Days of Future Past: History, Memory, and Indigenous Futurism;" and Mike Lemon, "'And a man-sized job to conquer her': Exploitation of Women and Land in Mary Austin's Cactus Thorn."

February 24: Dr. Cordelia Barrera, "Apocalyptic Portents and Eutopic Underworlds: an Anzaldúan Reading of Herrera's Signs Preceding the End of the World"

Luke Morgan, "Understanding Cli-Fi's Hesitance to Hope: Natural Relationship and Ecological Ideology in Bacigalupi's The Water Knife."

March 30: Dr. Marta Kvande, "Had you no lands of your own?": Seeking Justice in The Female American (1767);" and Bernadette Russo, "Shadows of Home: Phantom Pains of Dyaspora"

April 27: Dr. Wyatt Phillips, "Deliverance, Atlanta, and Appalachia: Ecological Regionalism in James Dickey and John Boorman's post-classical "Western"" and Dr. Monica Montelongo's "Hollywood, Hicthcock, and Aztlán: Performing Chicana Body Politics and Western Mobility in Manuel Munoz's What You See in the Dark"


The Ecocriticism Book Club will meet each month, at various locales. Meetings begin at 7:30 PM.

February 8: Discussions from The Ecocriticism Reader

March 28: Ana Castillo's The Guardians


April: TBD

May: TBD

Spring, 2015

Our second issue features writing from Texas Tech faculty in Creative Writing, Comparative Literature, Technical Communications and Rhetoric, and Literature, as well as an essay by an incoming PhD student in LSJE. We are also always happy to celebrate pieces we are reading, written LSJE faculty and friends which are published elsewhere; especially Kurt Caswell's wonderful piece on the Sowell Collection and Mark Stoll's reflection on the anniversary of Earth Day.


Fall, 2014

This is our first issue, and we're thrilled to have gathered some of our favorite writing from some of our favorite writers from within the Literature, Social Justice, and the Environment program. Some of our Spring issue will be devoted to responses to an LSJE event we're hosting on April 1 & 2 called "Art After Drought." However, we'll also continue to consider any writing from faculty, students, and community members that falls broadly within the rubric of the environmental humanities.

Open Ground

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For information on how to contribute to Open Ground, email Cordelia Barrera.