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Matthew Henry

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1401

Matthew earned his PhD in English Literature Arizona State University in October 2018. His research takes an environmental humanities approach to examine 20th- and 21st-century US (esp. indigenous/multi-ethnic) and postcolonial literature and culture at the intersections of human-induced environmental change, resource extraction, and social justice. His dissertation, "Hydronarratives: Water and Environmental Injustice in Contemporary US, Canadian, and Pakistani Literature and Cultural Representations," examines a growing, transnational body of work that explores the social and environmental impacts of modern water systems. These "hydronarratives" frame contemporary water crises in terms of social and economic justice and advance counternarratives of resistance and resilience in the face of human-caused droughts, floods, water contamination, and sea level rise. 

In his research, Matthew seeks to advocate for the humanities' critical role in envisioning and implementing equitable, community-based, and culturally-situated responses to the current global climate crisis. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journals Environmental Humanities, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature; the MLA-sponsored edited collection Approaches to Teaching the Works of Karen Tei Yamashita (MLA, 2019); High Country News; and Oxford University Press Blogs. Matthew seeks to contribute to ongoing conversations in American literary and cultural studies, especially from transnational perspectives; postcolonial literary studies; and the environmental humanities. In May 2018, for example, he gave an invited talk on research related to the third chapter of his dissertation on energy extraction in Appalachia at Stanford University as part of the Stanford Environmental Humanities Project lecture series. 

While at ASU, he has designed and taught (as sole instructor of record) several lower- , upper-, and graduate-level writing, literature, and environmental humanities courses. In Fall 2016, he taught ENG 367: Environmental Issues in Literature and Film, the featured course for the ASU English Department's Environmental Humanities Certificate -- the first undergraduate environmental humanities program of its kind in the nation (est. 2009). In Spring 2017, he designed and taught  "American and Postcolonial Literatures of the Environment," a graduate course delivered via Skype to a group of twenty-five students at Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore, Pakistan as part of a US State Department-funded grant between ASU and Kinnaird that explored the globalization of research and teaching in American literary studies. He has also taught first-year composition, a British literature survey, and "Introduction to Contemporary Literature" 

He currently serves as a member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment's Standing Committee on Activism and recently served as literary editor for ASU's Climate Futures Initiative's Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest.


PhD in English and Environmental Humanities - Arizona State University, 2018

MA in English Literature - University of Montana, 2010

BA in English Literature - University of Montana, 2008


Peer-Reviewed Articles

"Extractive Fictions: Energy and Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene." Environmental Humanities (Revised and Resubmitted, September 2018)

"Nonhuman Narrators and Multinatural Worlds in Karen Tei Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rain Forest." ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment. (Forthcoming, 2017). 

“Neoliberalism’s Children: India’s Economy, Organized Crime, and Wageless Life in The Moor’s Last Sigh.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 46.3 (July 2015): 137-163. 


Book Chapters

(Co-authored with Claudia Sadowski Smith). "Tropic of Orange, Global Migration, and the Emergence of Climate Fiction." Approaches to Teaching the Works of Karen Tei Yamashita. Eds. Pamela Thoma and Ruth Y. Hsu. New York: Modern Language Association of America. (Forthcoming, 2018). 


Relevant Creative Work

"Victor and the Fish." High Country News. 14 Nov. 2016. Web.

Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 200Critical Reading & Writing/Lit
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 367Environmental Literature&Film
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 204Intro to Contemporary Lit
Professional Associations: 

ACLA: American Comparative Literature Association; ASLE: Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment; SAMLA: South Atlantic Modern Language Association