Jennifer Wenzel

Jennifer Wenzel

Research Interests


B.A. English and History, Austin College, 1990; M.A. English, Indiana University, 1992; Ph.D., English/ Ethnic and Third World Literatures, University of Texas at Austin, 1998.

Jennifer Wenzel is jointly appointed in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. She is an affiliate of the Columbia Climate School.

Her first book, Bulletproof: Afterlives of Anticolonial Prophecy in South Africa and Beyond, published by Chicago and KwaZulu-Natal in 2009, was awarded Honorable Mention for the Perkins Prize by the International Society for the Study of Narrative. With Imre Szeman and Patricia Yaeger, she co-edited Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (Fordham 2017). Her recent monograph, The Disposition of Nature: Environmental Crisis and World Literature (Fordham 2020), was a Finalist for the 2020 Book Prize by the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) and was shortlisted for the 2022 Ecocriticism Book Prize awarded by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. As part of the After Oil Collective, she co-authored Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice (Minnesota Forerunners Series, 2022).

Her essays on postcolonial theory, environmental and energy humanities, memory studies, and African and South Asian literatures, have appeared in journals including AlifCultural CritiqueModern Fiction Studies, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, PMLAPostcolonial StudiesPublic CultureResearch in African LiteraturesResilience, and Substance. She has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, ACLS, NEH, and Princeton University's Davis Center for Historical Studies. She is currently at work on a new book project, "The Fossil-Fueled Imagination: How (and Why) to Read for Energy."

With Brian Larkin, she is faculty co-director and co-chair of the Governing Board of the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Read a Columbia College Today profile of Professor Wenzel. View her scholarship at