Radio Segments Produced
Fossil Fuel Resistance Stories
Eye of the Needle: Women's Stories of Homelessness, Life, Death, and Resistance
Book 2, Published 2011
Play Adapted from Book 2
Poetry Chapbook Under Review
Book 1-- Published 1999
The Thin Green Line is People
Recent Personal Favorites
Desiree Hellegers is a university professor, oral historian, poet, playwright, member/producer with the Old Mole Variety Hour Collective on KBOO Radio in Portland, Oregon, and contributor to Counterpunch.org
A brief and privileged experience of houselessness as an undergrad and working outside academia--as a bartender, taxi driver, janitor, cook, office temp, caregiver, motel maid, detox driver, and live-in shelter worker--shapes their work as a teacher and scholar/writer. Their first job out of university was as a Jesuit Volunteer on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. They were fired.
Their research and teaching has benefited from spending fifteen years as a medical guardian and advocate for other formerly houseless activists with compound disabilities. Their family has an unusually high number of people with compound disabilities, one of many motivations for their father's childhood flight from the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Hellegers has taught for nearly thirty years in the English Department at Washington State University Vancouver classes ranging from Shakespeare through a postcolonial/ecofeminist/climate justice lens, to Creative Writing (poetry, creative nonfiction), to Native Literature co-taught with Chinook Tribal Chair Tony Johnson–in a fifteen foot tribal canoe on the Columbia River.
They co-founded (with Noel Sturgeon) WSU's Collective for Social and Environmental Justice (CSEJ) in 2002. CSEJ coordinates/d public events, talks and conferences, and for years offered a certificate in Social and Environmental Etudies and will again soon.
Hellegers is a Co-PI–with Steve Fountain and Jude Wait–of the new Food System Justice Action Research Project (FSJAR), which focuses on advancing food security and sovereignty in SW WA.
More information on Hellegers' work can be found at:
Their hobbies include weaving, spinning, participating in kayaktivist blockades of fossil fuel infrastructure, creating salvage art, and playing piano.
Degrees: B.A., Georgetown University
M.A./Ph.D., University of Washington
Visiting Fellow, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University ('91-2)
Books: No Room of Her Own: Women's Stories of Homelessness, Life, Death, and Resistance (Palgrave 2011)
Handmaid to Divinity: Natural Philosophy, Poetry and Gender in Seventeenth England (2000)
Dumbo Elegies (chapbook under submission to Tupelo)