Byron Santangelo

Membership:  2017

Member Bio

Byron Santangelo is a professor of English and environmental studies at the University of Kansas. His research focuses on the intersection of sub-Saharan African literature, grassroots environmental activism and writing, and environmental justice. Deploying an interdisciplinary critical framework informed by postcolonial studies and political ecology, his work makes visible legacies of African environmental writing that challenge dominant Western conceptions of nature and environmentalism and point to the impossibility of separating environmental projects from issues of social struggle and injustice. Recently, Byron codirected a project entitled Migration Stories: Africans in Midwestern Communities, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and run by the Kansas African Studies Center at the University of Kansas. The project gathered and disseminated stories in various forms about both the experience of immigration for Africans and the impact of changing demographics for Midwestern communities.


 A Crisis of Liberty: Climate Change and Traumatic Displacement in Teju Cole’s Open City


  • “Petro-Violence and the Act of Bearing Witness in Contemporary Nigerian Literature.” In A Cambridge Global History of Literature and the Environment, edited by Louise Westling and John Parham, 363¬–76. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • “Foreword.” In The Natures of Africa: Ecocriticism and Animal Studies in Contemporary Cultural Forms, edited by Fiona Moolla, vii–xv. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2016.
  • “Witnessing the Nature of Violence: Resource Extraction and Political Ecologies in the Contemporary African Novel.” In Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches, edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Jill Didur, and Anthony Carrigan, 226–42. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Different Shades of Green: African Literature, Environmental Justice, and Political Ecology. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2014. (Awarded 2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title [American Library Association]; Finalist, Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Ecocriticism Book Prize)
  • with Garth Myers, eds. Environment at the Margins: Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011.
  • African Fiction and Joseph Conrad: Reading Postcolonial Intertextuality. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.