Priscilla Solis Ybarra is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Texas. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of English at Rice University with specializations in Chicana/o Literature and Ecocriticism. She first began thinking about the links between literature and the environment while she was conducting research at the University of North Texas as a participant in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, a federally-funded program for undergraduate researchers with low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented backgrounds. She received her B.A. in English in 1997. Her current book-in-progress, Brown and Green: Mexican American Environmental Writing, is the first study to engage a long-range environmental literary history of Chicana/o writing.
Dr. Ybarra's most recently published article, "Erasure by U.S. Legislation: Ruiz de Burton's Nineteenth-Century Novels and the Lost Archive of Mexican American Environmental Knowledge," is in the essay collection Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Stephanie LeMenager, Ken Hiltner, and Theresa Shewry. Before that, Dr. Ybarra published an article in the June 2009 issue of the journal MELUS, titled "Borderlands as Bioregion: Jovita González, Gloria Anzaldúa, and the Twentieth Century Ecological Revolution in the Rio Grande Valley." Her book chapter “Lo que quiero es tierra: Longing and Belonging in Cherríe Moraga’s Ecological Vision” was published in the 2004 collection New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism, and a co-authored article about Mexican and Mexican American environmental writing was published in the 2008 Modern Language Association collection Teaching North American Environmental Writing. She also published the entry on "Chicana/o Environmental Ethics" in the 2009 Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, which won a Booklist Editor's Choice Award for a Reference Work in 2009.
Dr. Ybarra's most recent invited public lecture was at the University of Bucharest, Romania where she delivered a plenary address for the annual Department of English conference on the topic "Ecocriticism: Nature Writing Foundations, Social Justice Transformations, Decolonial Futures." In 2011, Ybarra spoke at the University of Nevada, Reno, hosted by the Department of English. There she participated in a roundtable discussion with J. Baird Callicott and UNR faculty and graduate students on "The Future of Environmental Philosophy and Ecocriticism." Later in the day, she also offered a lecture based on her recent essay on Ruiz de Burton's 19C novels. (Follow this link for a news item on this event.) In Summer 2010, she went on a lecture tour with Callicott around Japan where they spoke together at Nara Women's University, the University of Hyogo, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and at a community gathering on Sado Island. Her lectures concerned ethnic diversity and the study of environmental literature. In November 2009, Dr. Ybarra spoke at the University of Edinburgh, courtesy of the Environment, Culture, and Society Programme. Because she was just about an hour and a half west of John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland, she presented a lecture that included a discussion of the writer and avid hiker's encounter in the California mountains with a young man of Spanish/Irish descent: "John Muir's 'Dark Stranger:' Mexican American Writing's Transnational and Bioregional Challenges to Contemporary Ecocriticism." Dr. Ybarra has also presented talks at various national and international conferences, including the Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Western Literature Association, Congreso Internacional de Literatura Chicana, and two conferences organized by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis.
She has taught courses for the Departments of English at Texas Tech University, Rice University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and for American Studies at Yale University. She currently teaches courses on Latina/o Literature and environmental literary studies at the University of North Texas.
on a Kyoto streetcar with Baird, Summer 2010