Profile picture of Louise Westling

Louise Westling

Professor Emerita
College Scholars, English, Food Studies
Phone: 541-346-3938
Office: 827 PLC


I teach in both the English Department and the Environmental Studies Program. My current research focuses on ecophenomenology and literature, animality, and embodiment in language.  A related activity is herding sheep with Australian Kelpies, a good way to learn and develop cross-species communication.  Recent conference presentations have been

  • "The Human/Animality Dance of Sheep Herding," which draws upon Vicki Hearne's and Donna Haraway's work but extends their considerations with the phenomenological attention to language of Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
  • "Stranded on the Ark: Yann Martel's Life of Pi."
  • "Merleau-Ponty's Human-Animality Intertwining""



  • The Logos of the Living World: Merleau-Ponty, Animals, and Language
  • Editor, The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment
  • Sacred Groves and Ravaged Gardens: The Fiction of Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O'Connor
  • Eudora Welty
  • The Green Breast of the New World: Landscape, Gender and American Fiction.
  • Editor, He Included Me: The Autobiography of Sarah Rice
  • Editor, Witness to Injustice by David Frost, Jr.

Recent articles:

  • "Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and the Question of Biological Continuism," (New Formations 2012)
  • "The Zoosemiotics of Sheep Herding with Dogs," in The Semiotics of Animal Representations (2013)
  • "Literature and Ecology," in Teaching Ecocrticism and Green Studies (2012)
  • "Merleau-Ponty's Ecophenomenology," in Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (2011)
  • "Merleau-Ponty's Human-Animal Intertwining," Configurations (2010
  • "Virginia Woolf and the Flesh of the World" (New Literary History 1999)
  • "Darwin in Arcadia: Brute Being and the Human Animal Dance from Gilgamesh to Virginia Woolf" (Anglia 2006)
  • "Literature, the Environment, and the Question of the Posthuman" (Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies  2006)
  • "Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty: Ecopoetics and the Problem of Humanism" (Culture, Creativity and Environment 2007).