Dr. Jennifer Wenzel

Pronouns: she/her

Professor of English and Comparative Literature , Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies,



Jennifer Wenzel is a literary critic and scholar of environmental and energy humanities jointly appointed in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of MIddle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.

Her 2006 article "Petro-Magic-Realism: Toward a Political Ecology of Nigerian Literature" pioneered the study of literature and oil, and she has helped to build the interdisciplinary field of energy humanities, in collaboration with the Petrocultures Research Group and the After Oil Collective.

Her single-authored books include The Disposition of Nature: Environmental Crisis and World Literature (Fordham 2019) and Bulletproof: Afterlives of Anticolonial Prophecy in South Africa and Beyond (Chicago and KwaZulu-Natal, 2009). With Imre Szeman and Patricia Yaeger, she co-edited Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (Fordham 2017). She also was among 30+ co-authors of the After Oil book Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice (Minnesota Forerunners, 2021).

She has taught courses at Columbia including "Literature and Oil," "The Nature of Imperialism," and "Anthropocenes and Other Natures." She will be developing courses on "Climate Fictions" and "African Futurisms" in the coming years.