Mary Foltz received her doctorate from the University at Buffalo in 2009. She specializes in contemporary American literature with a specific focus on ecocriticism, postmodern fiction and theory, and queer fiction and theory. Foltz teaches undergraduate and graduate courses that connect the study of literature to problems facing our local communities and world; thus, courses engage with the important issues of our time such as environmental devastation, innovation in science and technology, identity and difference, racism and violence, and sex and gender. Foltz’s research focuses on representations of waste in contemporary fiction; she is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled American Waste: Contemporary American Literature and Excremental Culture. As she explores the reasons why contemporary fiction is littered with the wastes of consumer culture, Foltz connects literary interpretation with research on the impact of sewage systems, landfills, and other methods of waste disposal. Further, she explores literary representations of communities who offer ethical alternatives to current systems in artistic subculture and scavenger communities. Before coming to Lehigh in 2009, Foltz received a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Theology from Georgetown University.