Yanoula Athanassakis is Clinical Associate Professor in the departments of English and Environmental Studies. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After earning an M.A. in English Languages from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she received her M.A./Ph.D. in English Literature and Global Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Athanassakis is also Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative and serves as Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
Athanassakis’ research interests include literary representations of the environment and non-human animals, the Anthropocene, animal studies, the environmental humanities, race and gender, and food studies. Athanassakis’ book, Environmental Justice in Contemporary U.S. Narratives (2017), is part of Routledge’s Environmental Humanities series. Her academic work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections and she has written for popular media on topics ranging from pet adoption to food tours. Athanassakis’ teaching interests include environmental justice literature, courses on veganism and animals, courses on animal theory, multi-species engagements, and climate change literature. She is keenly interested in public humanities and the relationship between universities and various publics, particularly on issues of environmental degradation and climate change communication and fluency.
Prior to joining NYU, Athanassakis was an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow (2012-2014, Rutgers Women’s and Gender Studies) and Literature Fellow (UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies, 2011-2012). Athanassakis is a recipient of teaching and research awards including ones from the Mellon Foundation and from the University of California’s Office of the President.