Natalie Deam is an Ames local, happy to be back in the Midwest after studying in France and California. She received a PhD in French literature from Stanford University in 2019 and completed her BAs in French, English, and Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa in 2013. Her work on the intersections between science, literature, and visual culture focuses on queer ecocriticism and critical gender, race, and sexuality studies to challenge the limits of the natural. Across her creative and academic work, Natalie explores the ways that nature and the environment upset notions of literary genre, gender, and the human animal. She is currently working on a collection of short stories examining adolescent experiences of rural ecology and technology and is especially interested in connections between children, robots, and animals. In addition to pursuing writing and teaching, Natalie is a mixed media artist who works in oil and acrylic paint, wood burning, and photography.