photo of annual faculty book celebration

Faculty Book Celebration

Recognizing the milestone of publication and the creative achievement of our faculty

2024 Faculty Book Celebration

In Defense of Tackiness: The Queer Environmental Politics of Glitter

Nicole Seymour, Professor of English, California State University, Fullerton, and Author, Glitter

4 pm | Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Nicole Seymour



Nicole Seymour works at the intersection of environmental issues and queer issues, with a particular focus on the role of aesthetics and affects in related activist movements. She is the author of Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination (University of Illinois Press, 2013), which won the 2015 Book Award for Ecocriticism from the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), which was included in the Chicago Review of Books’ list of the “Best Nature Writing of 2018.” Her latest book, Glitter (Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series, 2022), offers an environmental-cultural history of a substance often dismissed as frivolous. Seymour recently held fellowships at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently professor of English and graduate advisor for the Environmental Studies Program at California State University, Fullerton.

Washington University faculty speakers 

Ila Sheren

Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology
Border Ecology: Art and Environmental Crisis at the Margins (Springer Link, 2023)

Hayrettin Yücesoy

Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies, Disenchanting the Caliphate: The Secular Discipline of Power in Abbasid Political Thought (Columbia University Press, 2023)

Past Faculty Book Celebrations

“What Good Is Higher Education for Our Cities?” (2023)


Davarian Baldwin, the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Trinity College

Washington University faculty speakers: Miguel Valerio, assistant professor of Spanish and of performing arts (affiliate); and Lynne Tatlock, the  Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and chair, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and director, Program in Comparative Literature


“Let Your Talent Be Your Guide” (2022)


Charles Johnson, professor emeritus, University of Washington, author of novels, short stories, screen- and teleplays, and essays

Washington University faculty speakers: Diana Montaño, assistant professor of history; and Julia Walker, associate professor of English and performing arts, and chair, Performing Arts Department


“What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?” (2021)

Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Washington University faculty speakers: Douglas Flowe, assistant professor of history; and Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies


“Blackface Broken Records: On the Eve of the Blues Feminist Experiment” (2020)

Daphne Brooks, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, and Professor of Theater Studies, American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

Washington University faculty speakers: William Acree, associate professor of Spanish, American culture studies (Affiliate) and performing arts (Affiliate), and associate Director, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity; and Jonathan Fenderson, assistant professor of African and African-American studies


“Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conservation” (2019)

Caroline Levine, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities, Cornell University

Washington University faculty speakers: John Hendrix, associate professor of art; and Michelle Purdy, assistant professor of education


“The Origins of Today’s Billionaire-Funded Radical Right and the Crisis of American Democracy” (2018)

Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University 

Washington University faculty speakers: Joanna Dee Das, assistant professor of dance; and Corinna Treitel, associate professor of history


“The Humanities After 2016: What Do We Want to Become?” (2017)

Sidonie Smith, the Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities, professor of English and women’s studies, director, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan

Washington University faculty speakers: Ron Mallon, associate professor of philosophy; and Sowande’ Mustakeem, assistant professor of history and of African and African-American studies

“The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions” (2015–16)

Christiane Gruber, associate professor, history of art, University of Michigan

Washington University faculty speakers: Catherine Keane, associate professor of classics; and Zhao Ma, assistant professor of modern Chinese history and culture

“From ‘Plessy’ to Ferguson: Why the Humanities Matter Now” (2014)

George Lipsitz, Professor of Black Studies and Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Washington University faculty speakers: Paige McGinley, assistant professor of performing arts; and Ignacio Sánchez Prado, associate professor of romance languages and literatures

“Books, Libraries, and the Digital Future” (2013)

Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library at Harvard

Washington University faculty speakers: Shefali Chandra, associate professor of history; and Ignacio Infante, assistant professor of comparative literature and of Spanish

“The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen” (2012)

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University

Washington University faculty speakers: Mary Jo Bang, professor of English; and Nancy Reynolds, associate professor of history, of Jewish, Islamic and near Eastern languages and cultures, and of women, gender and sexuality studies

“Of Books and the Internet” and “An Evening with Roz Chast” (2011)

Douglas Brinkley, noted author and commentator, professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy; and Roz Chast, staff cartoonist for The New Yorker

Washington University faculty speakers: Peter Kastor, associate professor of history and of American culture studies; Jessica Rosenfeld, assistant professor of English; Akiko Tsuchiya, professor of Spanish and of women, gender, and sexuality studies; and Craig Monson, professor of music

“Academic Publishing in Transition” (2010)

 Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University

Washington University faculty speakers: Anca E. Parvulescu, assistant professor of English; and William E. Wallace, the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History & Archaeology

Eighth Annual Faculty Book Celebration (2009)

Louis Menand, essayist, literary critic, journalist, and author

Washington University faculty speakers: William Lowry, professor of political; and Lori Watt, assistant professor of history and International & Area Studies

Faculty Book Celebration & International Humanities Prize Ceremony (2008)

Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism, University of California-Berkeley, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and author of five books

Washington University faculty speakers: Beata Grant, professor of modern Chinese language and literature, and Patrick Burke, assistant professor of music

“The Writer’s (Secret) Life: Woundedness, Rejection, and Inspiration” (2007)

Joyce Carol Oates, award-winning author

Washington University faculty speakers: Ahmet T. Karamustafa, professor of history, of religious studies and of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern studies; and Marina MacKay, assistant professor of English

Faculty Book Celebration & Inaugural International Humanities Prize Ceremony (2006)

Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize-winning novelist

Washington University faculty speakers: John R. Bowen, the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences; and Lingchei Letty Chen, assistant professor of modern Chinese language and literature