Sarah Ensor

Position title: Assistant Professor

Pronouns: She/her/hers


Helen C. White, Rm. 6111

Research Interests

Environmental Humanities, Queer Theory, American literature (primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries, with a specific interest in American regionalism and AIDS literature)

Degrees and Institutions

  • B.A., University of Michigan (2003)
  • M.A., Cornell University (2009)
  • Ph.D., Cornell University (2012)

Recent Publications


Queer Lasting: Ecologies of Care at Future’s End (forthcoming, NYU Press)

The Cambridge Companion to American Literature and the Environment (2022, co-edited with Susan Scott Parrish)

Selected Articles

“Queer Reading, Queer Dying” (forthcoming in The Queer Death Studies Reader)

“Residually Queer: Toward a Queer Ecological Theory of Burning Out” (forthcoming in Queer Trash and Feminist Excretions: New Directions in Literary and Cultural Waste Studies)

“(In)conceivable Futures: Henry David Thoreau and Reproduction’s Queer Ecology” (in The Cambridge Companion to American Literature and the Environment)

“The Ecopoetics of Contact: Touching, Cruising, Gleaning” (ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment [Special Cluster on Queering Ecopoetics, 2018])

“Relative Strangers: Contracting Kinship in the Queer Ecology Classroom” (American Literature 89.2 [Pedagogy Special Issue, June 2017])

“Spinster Ecology: Rachel Carson, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Nonreproductive Futurity” (American Literature 84.2 [Ecocriticism Special Issue, June 2012])

Courses Taught

English 825: Queer Ecologies
English/Environmental Studies 533: Gender, Sexuality, and the Environment
English/Gender and Women’s Studies 350: Willa Cather and Reading Queerly
English 245 (Seminar in the Major): Literary Architectures: Making Space in American Literature
English/Environmental Studies 153: Introduction to Environmental Humanities


Recipient of the 2024 UW-Madison Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence Teaching Award