My academic background is in literature and biology. Currently, my research and writing focus on city-based nature writing and the evolving notion of “urban wilderness,” as well as the environmental and literary history of the Chicago region. More generally, my interests include the sustainability of cities and suburbs; urban ecology and environmental writing; and the study of literature’s relationship to science and nature. My published research takes the form of monographs, scholarly articles and book chapters, academic essays, and book reviews.
Selected Scholarly Publications:
“Unearthing Urban Nature” (pre-publication pdf). Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley. Ed. by Tom Lynch and Susan Maher. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2012. 77-98. A scholarly essay on scientist-writer Loren Eiseley’s investigations and representations of urban and suburban landscapes. (Also see this pdf of Table of Contents and Editors’ Introduction.)
“Empty Lots and Secret Places,” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 18.1 (Winter 2011): 1-20. A scholarly article exploring the life and work of Chicago journalist, naturalist, and urban nature writer Leonard Dubkin (1905-1972).
Co-written with Carl Zimring. “Creating the Sustainable City: Developing an Interdisciplinary Introduction to Urban Environmental Studies for a General Education Curriculum.” Metropolitan Universities Journal 20.2 (July 2010): 105-116. Special issue: ”The Green Revolution of Metropolitan Universities,” ed. by Roger Munger.
Visions of the Land: Science, Literature, and the American Environment from the Era of Exploration to the Age of Ecology (University of Virginia Press, 2002). An ecocritical study of several American scientist-writers, including John Charles Frémont, Susan Fenimore Cooper, John Wesley Powell, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Richard Byrd, Rachel Carson, and Loren Eiseley. Part of the series, “Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism.”
Online reviews of Visions of the Land include:
“Nature, Narrative, and the Scientist-Writer: Rachel Carson’s and Loren Eiseley’s Critique of Science.” Technical Communication Quarterly 12.4 (Fall 2003): 369-387.
“It’s Worth the Risk: Science and Autobiography in Sandra Steingraber’s Living Downstream.” Women’s Studies Quarterly XXIX: 1.2 (Spring/Summer 2001): 170-182.
“Popular Science on the Road: Adventures in Island Biogeography.” In Travel Culture: Essays on What Makes Us Go, ed. Carol Traynor Williams. Westport, CN: Praeger, 1998. 59-71.
“Controlling the Land: John Wesley Powell and the Scientific Management of the American West.” In Science, Values, and the American West, ed. Stephen Tchudi. Halcyon Series on the American West, Vol. 19. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1997. 3-23.
“Antarctic Interfaces: Science, Human Subjectivity, and the Case of Richard Byrd.” Science as Culture 5.3 (1996): 431-458.
Academic Essays and Reviews:
“The Sustainable City: Developing an Interdisciplinary, Team-taught, Hybrid Course.” Proceedings of the 2009 Roosevelt University Mini-Conference on Teaching 6 (Spring 2009). Co-written with Carl Zimring.
“RU collaborating?: From Team-Teaching to Student Group Management in an Online Course.” Proceedings of the 2006 Roosevelt University Mini-Conference on Teaching 3 (Spring 2006): 15-18. Co-written with Amanda Putnam.
“On Beyond Google: Improving the Quality of Student Research.” Proceedings of the 2006 Roosevelt University Mini-Conference on Teaching 3 (Spring 2006): 9-11. Co-written with Mary Beth Riedner, et al.
Review of What the Best College Teachers Do, by Ken Bain. Roosevelt University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Newsletter (Spring 2006).
Review of So Great a Vision: The Conservation Writings of George Perkins Marsh, ed. by Stephen Trombulak. Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment 10.2 (Summer 2003): 260-1.
Critical essays, ranging in length from 50-1,000 words, on “Biology, Zoology, and Literature,” “Francis Crick,” “Empiricism,” “Genetics,” “Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” “James Gleick,” “Alexander von Humboldt,” “Hypothesis,” “Ornithology,” “Positivism,” “Progress,” “Science Reporting,” “Scientific Method,” “Scientism,” and “Henry David Thoreau,” for An Encyclopedia of Literature and Science, ed. Pamela Gossin. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Review of The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions, by David Quammen. Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment 4.1 (1998): 139.
Review of Toward a Dialogue of Understandings: Loren Eiseley and the Critique of Science, by Mary Ellen Pitts. Public Understanding of Science 5.4 (1996).