Brenda Brueggemann

Brenda Brueggemann, BA, MA, University of Kansas; PhD, University of Louisville. Professor and Aetna Chair of Writing, University of Connecticut. 

Brenda Jo Brueggemann is currently the Aetna Endowed Chair of Writing and a faculty member in the Department of English, Affiliate Faculty in Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and American Studies at the University of Connecticut. 

She is the Co-Editor of Disability Studies Quarterly—the first journal, and the international journal of record, for the field of Disability Studies. In the early 2000s, she initiated programs in Disability Studies and American Sign Language at The Ohio State University. 

Her scholarly publications include nine (9) books authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited and over 80 articles or book chapters. Numerous awards and grants for service, teaching, and research have occurred throughout her public and academic career; they have all been related to her work in Disability Studies and Deaf Studies. In 1995, she was one of the principal people in forming the first academic institutional committee and initiatives for “Disability Studies” in higher education with the Modern Language Association.  She has served as the Chair of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) the MLA Committee on Disability Issues, and the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.

As a native western Kansas farm girl who also happened to grow up deaf (and who was also a first-generation college student), Brueggemann has always been committed to equity and inclusion –and disability rights—in higher education and across global and American settings. She began her teaching career as a high school German, Journalism, and American Literature teacher.

Rochelle Johnson

Rochelle Johnson, BA, Bates College; MA, PhD, Claremont Graduate University. Bernie McCain Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Environmental Studies, The College of Idaho. 

Rochelle L. Johnson (she/her) is President of the Thoreau Society, Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies at the College of Idaho, and a former president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). Her writings on 19th-century landscape aesthetics appear in journals and anthologies, and in her Passions for Nature: Nineteenth-Century America’s Aesthetics of Alienation. She has co-edited five books, including Thoreau in an Age of Crisis: New Essays on an American Icon. Her research has been supported by the American Antiquarian Society, Yale’s Beinecke Library, Idaho Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). She is completing a book about climate grief and 19th-century naturalist Susan Fenimore Cooper. See

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