Karla Armbruster | Webster University

Karla Armbruster

Karla Armbruster

Professor, English Department 
Coordinator, Professional Writing Program
Chair, Sustainability Studies Committee 
Pearson House
(314) 246-7577




MA, PhD, Ohio State University
BA, Miami University

Courses Frequently Taught

Introductory Seminar in Literary Analysis
US Writers I and II
Literature of Oppression and Resistance
Human-Animal Transformations in Literature
Environmental Literature
Literary Criticism 
Professional Writing

Research Interests

Animal Studies
Environmental Literature


Karla is the co-editor of two collections of criticism: The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place and Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. She is also Executive Secretary of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, having held several other leadership positions within that organization in the past.

Most recently, she has become very interested in animal studies and is working on a book on literary and popular representations of dogs. This project combines personal narrative, literary and cultural analysis, and scientific information on canine behavior and genetics in order to examine the ways we position dogs on the border between culture and nature. In the process, it explores how our representations of dogs inform not only our relationships with real dogs but also our engagement with the wildness of the natural world. For a taste of this project, read a talk Karla gave on “Dogs, Dirt, and Public Space” at a gathering sponsored by the Animals and Society Institute at Duke University in 2009.

Karla's interests are also reflected in her courses; for example, her Perspectives course on Werewolves, Seal Wives, Grizzly Men and Other Metamorphoses (now offered as Human-Animal Transformations) won the 2011 Distinguished New Course Award from the Humane Society of the United States and the Animals and Society Institute. View the Global Thinking story.