Jarvis’s ‘Lucky Mud & Other Foma’ brings Vonnegut’s Planetary Citizenship to new audiences

Roger Coda
Dr. Christina Jarvis

Dr. Christina Jarvis (photo by Patrick Stokes) 

Department of English Professor Christina Jarvis of the State University of New York at Fredonia has been busy, busy, busy. That’s what Bokononists, members of the invented religion in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle,” say when they contemplate how “complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.” 

But the phrase also describes Dr. Jarvis’s recent publications and appearances since her book, “Lucky Mud & Other Foma: A Field Guide to Kurt Vonnegut’s Environmentalism and Planetary Citizenship,” was published by Seven Stories Press in November 2022.

Jarvis officially launched “Lucky Mud & Other Foma” on Nov. 12, at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis with a book signing and interview event with noted Vonnegut scholar William Rodney Allen. She also read a birthday tribute during the museum’s Vonnegut Centennial celebrations, which included remarks by Julia Whitehead, Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library CEO, and renowned author Tim O’Brien, musical performances and numerous special exhibits.

Jarvis’s Vonnegut expertise was also featured in Zack Savitsky’s Science Magazine article “100 Years After His Birth, Kurt Vonnegut is More Relevant to Science” and the accompanying Nov. 10 Science podcast Kurt Vonnegut’s Contribution to Science. 
Building on the enthusiastic reception of “Lucky Mud & Other Foma” by top Vonnegut scholars Ginger Strand, Tom Roston, Marc Leeds and Suzanne McConnell, excerpts from the book were released in two popular literary outlets in November. Jarvis published “Human Misbehavior: Deep Time and the Anthropocene in Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Galápagos’” in Bookforum and “‘Polluters Will Be Looked Upon as Swine.’ On Kurt Vonnegut’s Environmental Activism” in Literary Hub.

Jarvis also appeared on The History of Literature podcast with host Jacke Wilson on the Dec. 8 episode, “Kurt Vonnegut, Planetary Citizen,” which is available on the show’s website, Podvine and Stitcher.

Other upcoming and recently released conversations about Jarvis’s experiences writing the book and teaching Vonnegut courses include her “Arts on Fire” interview with Anthony Merchant, which will air on WRFA-LP 107.9 FM on Dec. 30 and a conversation with distinguished SUNY Fredonia English alumnus Randy Cronk, which is available on YouTube.

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