Hi, my name is Agnieszka and I am a professor of American literature at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. I teach African American literature, eco-writing, gender studies, 20th and 21st century fiction, and am currently working on a book about war narratives and genre. I am originally from Warsaw, Poland, but I grew up in Los Angeles, California, and have lived for the last 25 years in Geneva and now Lausanne, Switzerland.
I started this blog in 2017 when I visited Kentucky and was profoundly moved by the historical and environmental resonances of the area. I feel it is important to travel with a critical awareness of the past and present significance of a place, especially in relation to the questions that are most pressing for our time. i.e., the survival of the planet and our ability to adapt our lifestyles to a more sustainable and less destructive form of dwelling together. As a professor of American literature and culture, I have been intensely focused on the role of the United States on this front, both as a major player in the global resource grab and a laboratory of innovative thinking and experimentation. Living now in Europe, I feel I have a broader vision of both the problems and possible solutions to the question of our physical and spiritual survival on this irreplaceable and precious planet. I should mention that my partner, Christian Arnsperger, is a professor of sustainability and the existential aspects of environmentalism here at Lausanne, and he’s had a big influence on my ‘green turn’. (He also has a blog, called ‘Permacircular Horizons’.)
My blogs are turning out to be relatively infrequent but quite long. I am very grateful to anyone who takes the time to read them. As the Sanskrit word ‘Namaste’ signifies, ‘the divine in me bows to the divine in you’. An idea that the Transcendetalists and the Beats and many other poets, artists, seekers and holy hippies in America have heartily embraced. May our sacred sparks live long and shine!