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.
This course will use writing as a way to notice the natural world more closely. We will read American and Russian authors for whom being in nature and writing about nature led to a deeper understanding of their social conditions. We will consider a variety of narrative positions, including those of naturalists, hikers, tourists, mystics, activists, scientists, sportsmen, soldiers, prisoners, workers (firemen at Chernobyl Nuclear station, for example), explorers and others. We will try to understand how and why women and men of the last two centuries constructed nature as they did. Comparative assessments of the two cultures will inevitably emerge, although that is not our only focus. We want to examine (and develop) our own ability to think about our environment critically and responsibly. As our natural habitat grows increasingly fragile, we hope most of all to understand ourselves in it. We will read and write analytical and creative prose, and poetry, and will devote considerable attention in class to reviewing our written work.
This writing seminar relies on the literature and experience of sport as the source material for student essays, portraits and stories. By its nature this subject also offers dynamic and rich examples of current and historical social tensions. As numerous observers have noted, the playing field is nothing less than American society in microcosm, and most issues - race, gender, class, among others - work their way into the lineup, at times with dramatic effect. We will look at a wide range of sports, from professional baseball and basketball to running, climbing and kayaking. Readings will include popular and scholarly articles, stories, essays, biographies, and histories, all of which will serve as critical reference points as well as models of writing.
Writing World War II: 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.