While I am always delighted to have an opportunity to teach in my fields of specialization (19th and 20th Century American Literature), my passion for ecological thinking enables my pedagogical range to continue to make new connections and trace paths of relation -- especially across elongated geographic, temporal, and cultural planes. I always approach teaching literature and philosophy with practical concerns and questions: How can reading this work help us to understand our current historical moment? What can we learn from comparative and ancient traditions? How do poetry and literature transmit cultural wisdom and diversify our perspectives? What formal and rhetorical strategies do they employ to transit much wisdom? In a contemporary cultural moment where there is much talk about the "death of the humanities," I resolutely believe in their enduring value. Indeed, as my students and I often come to realize in classroom discussions, the humanities open spaces for intimacy, immediacy, sincerity, empathy, and creativity, and social change. As such, literature helps us to become better thinkers, citizens, friends, and people in general. 

Courses Taught at Stony Brook University

Interdisciplinary Program in Sustainability Studies

  • Critical Analysis and Interpretation in the Environmental Humanities 

  • The Literature of Extreme Events

  • Personal Responsibility & Sustainability (Independent Study) 

Undergraduate College in Human Development & The Honors College

  • Yoga for Academic Wellness
  • Permaculture and Regenerative Design 
  • Eating Mindfully

Department of English

  • Environmental Literature 

  • Native American Literature 

  • World Literature: Ancient to Modern

  • Buddhism & Poetry: Meditation, Perception, and the Work of Translation 

  • Twentieth Century American Literature: Place, Identity, & History

  • Survey of American Literature: 1865-1945

  • Literary Analysis and Argumentation

  • Introduction to Poetry: American Romantics

  • Introduction to Poetry: Poetic Form & World Context

  • Introduction to Fiction: Reading like a Writer

  • Introduction to Drama

Program in Writing & Rhetoric

  • Introductory Writing Workshop

  • Intermediate Writing Workshop

To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin.                                                                      

                                                                                                                           -bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress  


Environmental Humanities students enjoying a final session, reading and writing haiku, under Stony Brook's cherry blossoms

Environmental Humanities students enjoying a final session, reading and writing haiku, under Stony Brook's cherry blossoms

Novelist Jessica Lott visits Intro to Fiction and offers  heart-warming and honest dialogue on the process and power of fiction. 

Novelist Jessica Lott visits Intro to Fiction and offers  heart-warming and honest dialogue on the process and power of fiction. 

Stony Brook's finest, celebrating the publication of their poetry anthology with a reading in the Poetry Center. 

Stony Brook's finest, celebrating the publication of their poetry anthology with a reading in the Poetry Center. 

Students from Honors 117: Permaculture and Regenerative Design doing on-site project development, Elija Farm, Spring 2017.