Allison Carruth

Professor of American studies and environmental studies, Princeton University

Allison Carruth is Professor in the Effron Center for the Study of America and High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University, where she directs Blue Lab and the lab's Climate Stories Incubator. She is the author of Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food (Cambridge UP, 2013), Literature and Food Studies (with Amy L. Tigner, Routledge 2017), and Novel Ecologies: Nature Remade and the Illusions of Tech (University of Chicago Press, 2025). From 2016-2020, she was the founding faculty director of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) at UCLA. She has published scholarship widely in venues such as Agriculture and Human Values, ASAP Journal (Arts of the Present), Modernism/modernity, PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association, Public Culture, and Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities. Her current research areas include the cultural dimensions of climate change and climate action, established and emerging forms of environmental narrative, new media, and evolving relationships between environmentalism, environmental science and technology in a contemporary US context.

Blue Lab at Princeton

Launched in 2021, Blue Lab is an environmental research, storytelling and art group. Our multidisciplinary team investigates and creates original stories and creative projects about lived experiences of large-scale environmental challenges—from climate change and green energy to multispecies justice and food and water futures. In this work, we bridge the tools of art and science, research and creative practice, historical knowledge and speculative imagination. Our animating question is how different people make sense of real-time environmental change (and in some cases catastrophic loss) in relationship to intergenerational memories of and future aspirations for the places they love, value and call home. As part of the lab's ongoing Climate Stories Incubator (CSI), we are currently working on projects centered in California, New Jersey, the mid-Atlantic coastline, British Columbia, the Philippines, the Puna region of Latin America and Paiute and Shoshone lands in northern Nevada.

Featured Talks & Events

Nature by Design

November 18, 2019

Proposals to revive and reintroduce extinct species—known as de-extinction—garner outsize attention in discussions of biodiversity loss and climate adaptation. “Nature by Design” compares the scientific literature and popular science around de-extinction as it has been envisioned in the U.S. and considers its complicated relationship to the discourse of rewilding cities, farmlands, forests and parks.