For (undergraduate) Students
Please use my official U of O email address for all inquiries regarding current courses or letters of recommendation:
Students of the past: send me an email or a FB message and let me know what and how you are doing!
Virtual Office Hours:
Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 and Thursdays 3:30-5, and by appointment. Via Zoom or by phone. Email me for appointment, zoom info, or phone number.
ENGL 407: Seminar: Theory: Animals, Ethics, Environment
Office Hours: TBD
ENG 230: Intro to Environmental Lit
What role can literature play in exposing environmentally harmful modes of thinking, being, and acting, while dramatizing appealing alternatives? How are environmental issues connected to social hierarchies such as race, class, sexuality and disability? How can literature and film inspire us to imagine and create more socially just and environmentally oriented futures? This course introduces important questions, concepts, concerns and texts in environmental literatures, organized into three sections: colonialism, wilderness, and indigenous cultures; toxins, environmental justice and the problem with the “natural;” and extinction, posthumanism, and future visions. We will read and discuss three novels, Louise Erdrich, Tracks; and Helena Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus, and Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation. We will also read and discuss poetry, essays, and short films, such as the animated “Slurb” by Marina Zurkow, the SF film “Pumzi” by Wanuri Kahiu, and Maya Lin’s digital media work, “What is Missing.”
ENG 469/569: Literature and the Environment: Ocean Life in Literature and Film
Although environmental studies has focused on terrestrial environments, the concern for ocean ecologies and the interest in ocean life—from jellyfish to octopus to whales—is rapidly expanding. This class will explore ocean life in literature, film, and theory, from monstrous figures in classical mythology, through Jules Verne’s 19thcentury novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, to the surrealist short films of Jean Painlevé, to Nnedi Okorofor’s Afrofuturist SF novel Lagoon, to contemporary poetry, film, and popular science. We will discuss the environmental implications of how marine species are depicted—for example, as monstrous, alien, aesthetically breathtaking, or extraordinarily intelligent—as we attempt to imagine and think with some of the most captivating creatures from the sea.
Letters of recommendation (undergraduates):
If you would like to ask me for a letter of recommendation, you will first need to provide the following: 1) copies of the best written work you did in my classes, with my comments 2) copies of your statement of purpose and resume or c.v. and 3) a clear list of deadlines. You can put one file of paper copies in my department mailbox or create one PDF of all that material and email it. The more information you provide faculty the more specific and convincing our letters will be.
If I agree to write the letters, please be sure to make the process clear and organized. If the letters are to be submitted electronically, please provide me with *one* clear email explaining everything, and making deadlines clear (not multiple, scattered, fragments.) If any letters are to be mailed, make sure to fill out all forms as much as possible and include addressed envelopes. Allow three weeks for processing or at least a month during the summer when I may be out of town. (Please note that I cannot write letters of recommendation from November 20 to January 10th, during the end of the semester, the holidays, and the start of the semester.)
If you are applying for graduate school or law school you will want to ask several faculty members to critique your statement of purpose and c.v., as many programs are extremely competitive. [Note that some students hear they should "get a letter" from faculty after graduating. But this doesn't make sense because letters are tailored for specific purposes; they are rarely so general. Also, most letters are submitted through confidential online systems--they are not submitted by the students themselves. So I prefer not to write a general letter for anyone.]