Katarzyna Olga Beilin

Position title: Professor

Email: kobeilin@wisc.edu

1006 Van Hise Hall

headshot: Kata Beilin

Fall 2024 Office Hours

coming in early September



Kata Beilin is a professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and affiliated with the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS) program, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE), and the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kata’s research interests are focused on contemporary Mayan literature and culture; Mayan resistance and Mayan relationships with forests, bees, maize and milpa. She has directed an award-winning documentary, titled Maya Land: Listening to the Bees (2022). She is currently working on a book manuscript titled The Return of the Mayan Moment; A Struggle for the Forests, for which she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2022-23. Her previous work spanned the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America with a focus on environmental issues, human relations with animals and plants, indigenous epistemologies, alternative economies, conceptualizations of time and memory. Together with other Environmental Humanities scholars, she has launched an Environmental Cultural Studies platform that has produced interdisciplinary research and sparked debates published in three recent volumes that she has co-edited Ethics of Life; Contemporary Iberian Debates (Vanderbilt University Press, 2016), Polemical Companion to Ethics of Life (2016), and Environmental Cultural Studies Through Time in Luso-Hispanic World (2019). She has edited the LASA Forum titled Climate Change as a Cultural Problem: Transdisciplinary Environmental Humanities and Latin American Studies (Spring 2022). Kata is ready to mentor students working on Mayan culture, environmentally focused Latin Americanists and Iberian Studies scholars.


PhD, University of Chicago

Selected Honors and Awards

2023 First Prize for Maya Land: Listening to the Bees, at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York

2022-23 Fulbright Fellowship to study Mayan contemporary culture

2018 PI. Bradshaw-Knight Foundation Grant

2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title for In Search of Alternative Biopolitics.
(Granted by American Librarian Association)

2017 Carson Fellowship, Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society, Münich

2017 Center for European Studies Research Grant, UW-Madison.

2016 Faculty Development Grant to Study Ecological Economics

2015 PI. Interdisciplinary Research Award, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Graduate Research & Education, UW-Madison.

2012 Institute for Research in the Humanities Resident Fellowship, UW-Madison.

Selected Articles

Future with a Past: “Future Scenarios of Development in Yucatan in ¿Qué les pasó a las abejas? Feature Article. Humanities. 2022; 11(2):55.

Milpa Melipona Maya; Mayan Interspecies Alliances Facing Agribiotechnology in Yucatan” with Sainath Suryanarayanan. ACME, International Journal of Critical Geographies. Vol 19, No 2, 2020.

Climate Change as a Cultural Problem: Transdisciplinary Environmental Humanities and Latin American Studies” Introduction. LASA Forum, Spring, 2022.

Memories from Underground; Interspecies Memory in the Times of Climate Change” 452 F: Revista de la teoría de la literatura y de la literatura comparada. Invited. Special Issue on Ecocriticism. Universidad de Barcelona. Vol 21, 2019.

Toxic Bodies: Water and Women in Yucatán” Angel Polanco and Kata Beilin. Environmental Cultural Studies Through Time. Ed. Kata Beilin, Kathleen Connolly, and Micah McKay. Hispanic Issues Online. 2019.

The World According to Amaranth; Interspecies History of Tehuacán Valley and Vegetal ReexistenceEnvironmental Cultural Studies; Latin American and Iberian Studies. Ed. Kata Beilin, Kathleen Connolly and Micah McKay. Hispanic Issues Online. 2019.

The War Between Amaranth and Soy: Interspecies Resistance to Transgenic Soy Agriculture in Argentina” with Sainath Suryanarayanan. Environmental Humanities 9,2, Nov 2017: 204-229.