Bethany Wiggin is a Professor of German in the School of Arts and Sciences. She is also the Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH). Her research and teaching span fields usually held apart: early modern German and Atlantic cultural history, and the environmental humanities. Presently, she is working on a book, Utopia Found and Lost in Penn’s Woods, that aims to bridge the disparate timescales between human and natural histories. Through PPEH, Wiggin oversees a vibrant hub for community-engaged work and public environmental humanities, including directing three ongoing projects: The Ecotopian Toolkit for the Anthropocene, My Climate Story, and Intersecting Energy Cultures.

Wiggin began her academic career at Penn in 2003 and received tenure based on a body of work exploring the popularization of reading and the rise of the novel in Europe while also probing early modern transnational fears of the commodification of culture. Her tenure home at Penn is in German, now part of the newly formed Department of French, Italian, and Germanic Studies. She also holds appointments to graduate groups in Comparative Literature and English as well as the Lauder Program for International Studies. At Penn, she has chaired the College taskforce on climate and ecoliteracy and served on strategic committees for energy, sustainability and the environment and for new directions in the humanities.

You can read more about her work on her personal website.