Allison Carruth is a Professor of English and Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, where she currently holds the Waldo W. Neikirk Chair for distinguished undergraduate teaching and humanities innovation. Since 2015, she has been the founding director of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS).
Her current research interests include environmental narrative and science communication; the role of artists and writers in American environmental and food justice movements; and evolving relationships in the United States between technological and ecological culture since the 1980s. For over a decade, she has worked on collaborations that aim to bridge ideas from and re-imagine the boundaries between the arts, humanities, and sciences. At present, she is completing a book project entitled Novel Ecologies. Under contract with the University of Chicago Press, Novel Ecologies compares popular and peer- reviewed science, visual culture, and imaginative literature to argue that a new imagination of nature has developed out of confrontations over the last four decades between engineering and environmentalism in the United States. The project terms this imagination nature remade, a framework centered on the West Coast that increasingly influences a wide range of fields, from architecture and civil engineering to molecular biology, geoscience, and conservation.
She is the author of Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food (Cambridge 2013) and co-author with Amy L. Tigner of Literature and Food Studies (Routledge 2018). A co-founder of the multimedia public engagement project Play the LA River, she is involved in ongoing collaborations with artists, scientists and media makers.