Ann Fisher-Wirth, professor of English and director of the environmental studies program at the University of Mississippi, has been chosen as a fellow of the Black Earth Institute, a think tank of artists and scholars devoted to serving environmental and social causes with their art.
“I am very pleased to be chosen as a fellow for the Black Earth Institute,” Fisher-Wirth said. “It is a big honor and a wonderful validation of my work as a poet and environmental activist. It reflects on the support I have been given at the University of Mississippi, both as a member of the English department and as director of the minor in environmental studies.”
Fisher-Wirth was among seven, chosen from nearly 100 applicants, selected for the fellowship.
“Ann Fisher-Wirth has a reputation for being a strong environmentalist both in her professional and personal life,” said Ivo Kamps, chair of the UM Department of English. “Her commitment to leaving our planet a place our children and grandchildren can hope to enjoy is evident in her poetry and her teaching.”
Many of the courses within the English department that focus on literature and the environment are available to students because of Fisher-Wirth, he said.
“As director of the environmental studies minor, she continues to bring in many speakers and organizes events that expose our students to one of the most pressing issues of our time,” Kamps said. “Her selection as a fellow of the Black Earth Institute is a recognition of the important work she has done, is doing and will do in the future.”
Fellows are chosen every three years. Fisher-Wirth’s fellowship is a three-year term from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2018. The aim of the fellowship is to collaborate with other fellows and promote awareness of the Black Earth Institute’s mission.
Each year, the selected fellows gather in Black Earth, Wisconsin, with founder Michael McDermott and several former fellows and scholars to discuss social justice and environmental topics and share their individual experiences. Fellows also take turns editing special issues of the institute’s online journal, About Place.