Faculty Profile

Ash Nichols

Professor of English and Environmental Studies; Walter E. Beach '56 Distinguished Chair in Sustainability Studies (1988)

Contact Information

nicholsa@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Building Room 192
717.245.1660
http://users.dickinson.edu/~nicholsa/

Bio

His fields include 19th- and 20th-century British literature and contemporary ecocriticism, with an emphasis on Romantic poetry and American nature writing. He also regularly teaches courses in nature writing. His current research focuses on Romantic natural history, 1750-1850 and urbanatural roosting.

Education

  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1975
  • M.A., 1979
  • Ph.D., 1984

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

WRPG 211 Writing About Natural History
Cross-listed with ENGL 212-02.Permission of Instructor Required.Part of the Natural History Sustainability Mosaic.Part of the semester long Natural History Sustainability Mosaic by application only.ENGL 212: This course is designed only for students who are registering for the three (3) classes in the Fall 2016 Natural History Sustainability Mosaic II. It will improve your skills as a writer of expository prose by emphasizing the genre of natural history writing. We will concentrate on a variety of writing problems and techniques: description, summary, narration, argumentation, analysis, and interpretation. Our focus will be on the natural world, natural history, and human connections to that world. Numerous field trips (Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina Fossil Quarry, Pennsylvania Elk Herd) to museums (Carnegie in Pittsburgh, State museum in Harrisburg) and field experiences (insect collecting, turtle trapping, saw-whet owl banding, hawk watching) will form the basis of our writing. Discussions of essay reading assignments will be supplemented by group workshop sessions and individual tutorials.

ENGL 212 Writing About Natural History
Cross-listed with WRPG 211-02.Permission of Instructor Required.Part of the Natural History Sustainability Mosaic.Part of the semester long Natural History Sustainability Mosaic by application only. ENGL 212: This course is designed only for students who are registering for the three (3) classes in the Fall 2016 Natural History Sustainability Mosaic II. It will improve your skills as a writer of expository prose by emphasizing the genre of natural history writing. We will concentrate on a variety of writing problems and techniques: description, summary, narration, argumentation, analysis, and interpretation. Our focus will be on the natural world, natural history, and human connections to that world. Numerous field trips (Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina Fossil Quarry, Pennsylvania Elk Herd) to museums (Carnegie in Pittsburgh, State museum in Harrisburg) and field experiences (insect collecting, turtle trapping, saw-whet owl banding, hawk watching) will form the basis of our writing. Discussions of essay reading assignments will be supplemented by group workshop sessions and individual tutorials.

ENGL 339 Writing About Natural History
May include Renaissance tragedy, the romance, development of the novel, 17th-18th century satire and its classical models, or autobiography and memoir. Prerequisite: 220 or permission of the instructor.

ENST 500 Independent Study

ENGL 500 Independent Study

Spring 2017

ENGL 101 Environment, Culture & Values
Cross-listed with ENST 111-01. Perhaps no genre of literature is as uniquely American as American nature writing. No genre can tell us as much about our environment, environmental culture, and the values that derive from and depend upon our natural environment. We will also work to define "nature" and to understand the complex connections between humans and the nonhuman environment they inhabit. Our guides will be Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams, Bill McKibben, and others. The course will be a study of metaphor, poetic and prose styles, and the link between literary and naturalistic observation. Our texts will be literary; our contexts will be environmental, cultural, and ethically ecological. Are humans a part of the natural environment? Do we see ourselves as distinct from nature? Is our environment beautiful and benign (sunsets, daffodils, puffins) or ugly and destructive (hurricanes, cancer, death)? We will examine the current importance (as well as the controversial aspects) of evolutionary ideas, and we will emphasize the role played by literature in the development of our own environmental assumptions and values. Two essays and a final exam.

ENST 111 Environment, Culture & Values
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-01.

ENGL 379 Thoreau Leopold Abbey McKibben
May include romantic postmodernism, the Irish renaissance, post-colonial literature, the Edwardians, and political literature between the world wars. Prerequisite: 220 or permission of the instructor.