During my undergrad studies at American Studies Leipzig and Ohio University, I have developed an increasing fascination with US-American perceptions of, and relations to the natural environment. I therefore wrote my BA thesis on ecologically informed notions of identity in Terry Tempest Williams's Refuge. As I wish to further explore ideas of nature and wilderness during my MA studies, I am situating my research within the fields of ecocriticism as well as environmental history and literature. At the same time, the wide range of topics, methods, and approaches taught at this institute enables me to consider 'America' and the world from various perspectives that I could not see with my head too firmly stuck in Thoreau's cabin. Co-editing the 9th issue of aspeers complements my professional development in ways that will prove valuable beyond the fields of academia and publishing.