Kelly Bushnell, Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams-Mystic

Course: Literature of the Sea

Pronouns: she/her/hers




Undergraduate Institution: University of California, San Diego, Literature and History

Graduate Institutions: University of London, Royal Holloway College (Ph.D.); Mills College (M.A.)

Research: Ocean literatures, especially ecofeminist and animal poetics

Dr. Kelly Bushnell is a teacher and scholar of ocean literatures.  Her publications include essays for scholarly and general audiences on Victorian sea literature, the literary history of our relations with cetaceans, and the politics and poetics of teaching climate change in the humanities.

She has taught literature at the University of London and the University of West Florida, and comes to Williams-Mystic after four months as a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany, working on a book with Inuit Traditional Knowledge Keeper and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer-in-Residence Johnny Issaluk.

Bushnell is an avid waterwoman and balances archival work with fieldwork as often as possible, including as Humanities Scholar-in-Residence on the all-women Sedna Epic Expedition Team, whose expeditions to the circumpolar Arctic focus on knowledge sharing with Inuit women and girls, and documenting climate crisis via diving and snorkeling.  She has served as a volunteer naturalist aboard cetacean conservation and education programs, and as a team leader for the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Team, which rescues and rehabilitates (or necropsies) marine mammals and sea turtles.

Originally from California, when not in Mystic she lives on Coast Salish Land outside Seattle, Washington.  When she’s not teaching or writing, you can find her rowing a wooden boat.

Catch up with her on Twitter, Instagram, and on her website.