Co-Director - Writing Program
Before then, he was a counselor at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont, and also a high school history and English teacher. He has a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Vermont, and an M.A. in American history from the University of Massachusetts.
A freelance writer with an interest in outdoor recreation, he has written two books on fishing and serves as a contributing editor at Gray's Sporting Journal, where he edits and writes a column on the history of hunting and fishing.
This course will explore the work of scholars, essayists, and creative writers in order to use their prose as models for our own. We'll analyze scholarly explication and argument, and we'll appreciate the artistry in our finest personal essays and short fiction. Students will complete a series of critical essays in the humanities and natural sciences and follow with a personal essay and a piece of short fiction. Students will have an opportunity to submit their work for peer review and discussion; students will also meet individually with the instructors. Frequent, enthusiastic revision is an expectation. Limited to Division One Students. In this course students are generally expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time. This course will be reading, writing, and discussion-intensive.
This course will focus on American presidential elections and try to understand not only their impact on people living at the time, but how our understanding of them continues to shape our present politics. We will look at contemporary and historical interpretations of elections in scholarship, journalism, film, fiction, and other media. We will pay special attention to the treatment of historically significant elections and to coverage of the 2016 elections. Students will be expected to produce a substantial portfolio of essays and journalism. This course can be used to satisfy Division I distribution requirements.
Tumultuous and robust, American cities have certainly enjoyed a rich history. As this course is primarily a writing seminar, we're particularly interested in how Americans have given voice to their urban experience, beginning with the literary realism of the late 19th century and culminating in the various expressions of the hip-hop culture of today. Are there universals in the urban story? How and why do shifting populations tell different stories? We'll read history, biography, autobiography, journalism, fiction, and poetry in order to understand the tensions that have informed urban life. More importantly, we'll also study these writings with an eye towards adopting their approaches in our own critical and creative written assignments.
World War II defined an era and transformed the lives of all who endured it. In doing so, the war has become a growing source of stories, and these tellings will be the subject of the discussions, writings, and projects in this course. Stories, above all, provide clues to the meanings we have attached to the politics and experience of the war, and the resulting social transformations within the United States, particularly with regard to matters of race, gender, and class. We will draw widely from journalists, scholars, novelists, artists, and participants, and we will certainly consider whose stories are heard and why. But we also intend to study these writings as human productions in their own right. What do they teach us about the method of history and craft of storytelling? We hope to identify authorial choices and, ultimately, incorporate what we learn into our own analytical and creative historical writings.
This course will explore the questions surrounding the coming of the American Civil War (1861-1865), the war itself, Reconstruction (1866-1877) and how we have come to remember those events today. As much a writing seminar as a history class, the course will focus on selections from the voluminous writing the conflict produced: letters, journals, diaries, and autobiographies. We will study poetry, short stories and novels; biographies and scholarly monographs and articles on the various debates surrounding the war. These forms of writing will also serve as models for student written work. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion and complete four writing assignments.
This seminar will explore approaches to writing about people in the outdoors -- working, playing, transforming nature, or simply contemplating the world. We will read and critique a number of genres including traditional nature writing, historical accounts, creative nonfiction, fiction, and academic analyses. We will pay particular attention to narrative choices and the role of the narrator as well as to the use of landscape description, scientific language, and other vehicles for constructing ideas of nature. Our analytical focus will be on the historical and cultural origins of both mainstream and critical views of the human presence in the natural world. We will use these readings both as models of good writing and as contributions to the rich discourse about people in the outdoors. These readings will also help us develop some criteria for peer review of written work. There will be regular writing assignments, including portraits, analysis of primary historical materials, literary journalism, advocacy, and creative expression. Students will be expected to contribute to class discussion and group critique in an informed and constructive manner.