Roy Scranton

Scranton Profile

Associate Professor of English
Director, Environmental Humanities Initiative

Specialties: Environmental humanities, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary journalism, war writing, 20th-century American literature

Degrees: BA and MA, The New School; PhD, Princeton University

Roy Scranton is the author of five books, including Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization, the monograph Total Mobilization: World War II and American Literature, and the novel War Porn. In addition, Scranton co-edited Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War and What Future: The Year's Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate, and Reinvent Our Future. His essays, articles, and reviews have been published in the New York Times, The Nation, MIT Technology Review, The Baffler, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Scranton's New York Times essay “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene” was selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014, and his essay “The Terror of the New” was selected as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015. He won the Theresa A. White Literary Award for short fiction (2009), was the recipient of a Mrs. Giles G. Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities (2014–2015), was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University (2016), and was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship in Fiction (2017). 



  • Total Mobilization: World War II and American Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.
  • I Heart Oklahoma! New York: Soho Press, 2019.
  • We’re Doomed. Now What? New York: Soho Press, 2018.
  • War Porn. New York: Soho Press, 2016.
  • Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2015.

Selected Essays and Articles

  • “Why Do We Cling to Art in Apocalyptic Times?” Art in America, 28 May 2020.
  • “Beginning with the End.” Emergence, 30 April 2020.
  • “Climate Change is not World War.” New York Times, 18 September 2019.
  • “We Broke the World: Facing the Fact of Extinction.” The Baffler 47, September/October 2019.
  • “Learning to Live in an Apocalypse.” MIT Technology Review 122:3, May/June 2019.
  • “Raising My Child in a Doomed World.” New York Times, 16 July 2018.
  • “Swept Up: Who Is the Subject of Climate Change?” Frieze 196, June/July/August 2018.
  • “Anthropocene City: Houston as Hyperobject.” Mustarinda, 2017.
  • “My Flesh and Blood: Omer Fast’s Continuity.” Parkett 99, 2017.
  • “Another Storm is Coming.” New York Times, 2 October 2016.
  • “The Fantasy of American Violence.” New York Times, 3 July 2016.
  • “Tourists at the End of the World,” The Nation, 9 November 2015.
  • “The Trauma Hero: From Wilfred Owen to Redeployment and American Sniper,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 25 January 2015.
  • “Naomi Klein Has a New Shock Doctrine,” Rolling Stone, 9 October 2014.
  • “Back to Baghdad: Life in the City of Doom,” Rolling Stone, 31 July 2014.
  • “The Terror of the New,” Sierra Nevada 25, 2014. Recognized as notable in The Best American Essays 2015.
  • “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene,” New York Times, 10 November 2013. Selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 (Mariner, 2014) and anthologized in The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments (Liveright, 2015), Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments: A Stone Reader (Liveright, 2017), Energy Humanities: An Anthology (Johns Hopkins, 2017), and elsewhere.
  • “Recognizing the Thing Itself in Harry Mathews’s Cigarettes,” Contemporary Literature 54:3, Fall 2013.

Selected Reviews

  • On Andrew Bacevich, Age of Illusions and Michael Klare, All Hell Breaking Loose. The New Republic, May 2020.
  • On Jeremy Treglown, Mr. Straight Arrow. The New Republic, July/August 2019.
  • On David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth and Bill McKibben, Falter. Los Angeles Review of Books, 3 June 2019.
  • On Nathaniel Rich, Losing Earth. Bookforum, April/May 2019.
  • On Paul Schrader, dir., First Reformed. The Yale Review, January 2019.
  • On Ahmed Saadawi, Frankenstein in Baghdad. The New Republic, 2 March 2018.
  • On Bertolt Brecht, War Primer. Los Angeles Review of Books, 4 June 2017.
  • On Nancy Sherman, Afterwar and Michael Putzel, The Price They Paid. Dissent, Winter 2016.
  • On Anne Carson, <Red Doc. Contemporary Literature 55:1, Spring 2014.
  • On Sinan Antoon, The Corpse Washer. Kenyon Review, Spring 2014.

Selected Fiction and Poetry

  • “Homecoming,” Baghdad Noir, ed. Samuel Shimon. New York: Akashic Press, 2018.
  • “The Fall Kills” (fiction), LVNG, 2016.
  • “Above the BQE” (poem), Boston Review, July/August 2014.
  • “The Oriental” (fiction), Satellite/Transmission 4, 2014.
  • “The Fall” (fiction), Prairie Schooner 87:4, Winter 2013.
  • “America (Song of Pleasure)” (fiction), Epiphany, Fall/Winter 2012/2013.
  • “If I Could Move My Hands” (poem), Beloit Poetry Journal, Winter 2012/2013.
  • “And nevermore shall we turn back to the 7-11” (poem), Painted Bride Quarterly, Fall 2012.
  • “Copley Square Blues” (poem), The Massachusetts Review, Fall 2011.
  • “Never Closer” (fiction), winner, Theresa A. White Literary Award, Quiddity, Spring/Summer 2010.
  • “Point, Lines, Space” (fiction), LIT, Spring 2009.
  • “Gray is Green” (fiction), Denver Quarterly, Summer 2008.


Contact Information
215 Decio Hall
(574) 631-6165

Postal address
Department of English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556