Maria A. P. Woolson
Biographical Information

Professional Background

My background combines formal education in the natural sciences and the humanities. Trained in biology, I worked in the environmental field for several years, primarily in Argentina. I was then able to trace the evolution of environmental actions in Latin America over time. I currently teach at University of Vermont for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Honors College, and I am an affiliate of its GUND Institute for Environment. Years ago, I also taught at Middlebury College.
My teaching and scholarship bring together the worldviews of science and the humanities, framed by sustainability as a paradigm for interdisciplinary studies in the context of Latin America. My research interests and publications include transcultural perspectives in Ecocriticism, the culture of water and water governance, and biocultural diversity as an empirical approach to the study of identity and conservation.

Recent Research Interests

My primary field of interest can be understood as the environmental humanities, with a focus on artistic representations that are concerned with the eco-social tensions emerging between local knowledge and global forces. Ecocriticism can be viewed as perspective from critical theory that intersects with environmental studies. My ecocritical work seeks to complicate the dialectics of subject and object –or symbolic culture and material nature– with insights from cultural geography, performance and visual studies, and postcolonial theory. My primary geographic areas of interest are the Southern Cone and Mexico, including the Mexico-US border region.
Secondary research  interests include pedagogy, digital humanities, translation and language contact, and  the study of colonial cobs as socio-cultural artifacts.  I view scholarly research and teaching, as an opportunity to explore and facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas on human nature. 


Courses Taught in Recent Years

Courses in Critical Theory & Environmental Humanities:
The Pursuit of Knowledge, HCOL85 Honors College Seminar, UVM
Climate Crisis & Latin America, HCOL86 Honors Coll Seminar UVM
• Environment, Ecocriticism & Being Global; HCOL 185 UVM
Language and Sustainability, SPAN 95, Romance Lang & Cult, UVM
Environmental Issues in Latin America; Intd 1023 – A contemporary review, Middlebury College
Role of Language and Culture in Climate Change Dialogue; Span1005- A transdisciplinary and transnational analysis of discourse about Climate Change, Middlebury College
Courses in Iberian and Latin American Studies:
Introduction to Hispanic Literatures; Span 140, University of Vermont
Today’s Issues in Spain and Spanish America; Span 308 – A sustainability perspective to contemporary transnational and transatlantic relations impacting the regions today, Middlebury College
Latin America Today; Span 1001 – A contextual trasnsdisciplinary review of contemporary issues in the region through journalistic accounts, Middlebury College
•  Ideas and Cultures of Spanish America; Span 305, Middlebury College
•  Spanish Grammar & Spanish Writing, and Intermediate language study. UVM & Middlebury College