Professional Bio


  • Ph.D., University of Colorado
    Dissertation: Senses of the Land: Depictions of Alaska in Recent Non-Fiction
  • M.A., University of Colorado
  • B.A., English, Yale University

I delight in reading great writing, delving with students into issues and characters and rich language, and exploring the societies and landscapes that authors present to us. A particular focus in my teaching and scholarship is the ways that we represent the natural world and our relationship to it, and the implications of such literary representations for our own behavior in the world and towards all who inhabit it. Teaching literature reminds me repeatedly that, as Thoreau puts it, “The universe is wider than our views of it.”

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Select Courses Taught

Ecocriticism and American Literature
Literature of the American Southwest
World Literature and the Environment
Literature Matters
Green Your Eats: The Politics and Poetics of Food
Survey of American Literature I & II
American Literature Since 1917: American Landscapes
Writing Analytically
Intermediate Composition

Research & Scholarship

Select Publications

“Reading the Garden: Excursions into Walden.” Approaches to Teaching Thoreau’s Walden and Other Works. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996.

Select Conference Papers

“Agnostic Ambassadors: The Place of Uncertainty in Richard Nelson and Mary Doria Russell.” Sixth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. Eugene, OR, June 2005.

“Tundra or Riviera?: Northern Exposure and the Limits of Expertise.” Southwest-Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference. Albuquerque, NM, February 2002.

“ ‘A Man Made of Rain’: Nature as Co-author of Richard Nelson’s The Island Within.” Fourth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. Flagstaff, AZ, June 2001.

“A Landscape of Exchange: Sidney Huntington’s Alaska.” Pacific Rim Literary Conference. Anchorage, AK, March 2001.

“ ‘The Obscure and Difficult Trail’: Tracking Wilderness Wanderers.” Representing Place Conference. Flagstaff, AZ, November 1998.

“ ‘Damned in the Midst of Paradise’: The Tragic Mode and Moby-Dick.” North American Interdisciplinary Conference on Environment and Community. Reno, NV, February 1998.

“Genera and Genres: Veracity and Fabrication in Nature Writing.” Second Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Missoula, MT, July 1997.

“Inhabitants of the Dismal Swamp: The Desire to Escape Culture in Thoreau and Jewett.” Culture and Capital Conference. Boulder, CO, April 1997.

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition
  • Finalist for graduate student Teaching Excellence Award, University of Colorado , 2003
  • Elizabeth Colwill Wiegers Fellowship, University of Colorado Department of English, Fall 2001
  • James K. Folsom Scholarship, University of Colorado, Spring 2001
  • University of Colorado Fellowship, 2000-2001