Allison Carruth is an Associate Professor at UCLA in the English Department, Institute for Society and Genetics, and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Prior to UCLA, she served as Associate Director of Science, Technology and Society at Stanford. She is currently working on a collaborative public art and environmental outreach project called Play the LA River.
Her research, writing and teaching focus on contemporary American literature; new media art; art-science collaboration; the interplay of food cultures, bioscience and environmental movements; and digital culture. Her first book is entitled Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Her current book project is Digital Utopias, Networked Ecologies, an investigation of how the often utopian promises of digital infrastructure and rhetoric in the United States (particularly around innovation and open source) have since the 1980s shaped ecological science, green activism, and environmental aesthetics. From open-pollinated seed cooperatives and patented GMOs to bioart prototypes and extinction narratives, the project examines imaginative literature, new media art, science writing, and material culture to trace the far-reaching effects of the digital age on American environmental thought and praxis. In addition to this work, Professor Carruth is co-authoring the book Literature and Food Studies with Amy L. Tigner and conducting longer term research on avant-garde aesthetics related to food in the context of the multifaceted history of culinary experimentation.
Recent publications include essays in Modern Drama, Modern Fiction Studies, Modernism/Modernity, Parallax, Public Culture and Public Books and in book collections from Oxford UP and Routledge. She has organized several major conferences and symposia, including, in 2011, a national conference entitled Food Justice with the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.