Ashton Nichols

Walter E. Beach '56 Distinguished Chair in Sustainability Studies & Professor of English Language and Literature

Department of English
phone: 717.245.1359
fax: 717.245.1942


I teach courses in Romanticism, nineteenth-century literature, literature and the environment, and nature writing. I am interested in the relationship between literature and natural history in the century before Darwin's On the Origin of Species. I am a founding faculty member of Dickinson in the Galápagos, a program that takes Dickinson students and faculty to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, the site of Darwin's earliest research into natural selection. In addition, I have served as the director of the Dickinson Arts and Humanities Program< in London and Norwich, England. 

My most recent book, Beyond Romantic Ecocriticism: Toward Urbanatural Roosting, chronicles the revolutionary turn away from the Enlightenment view of “Nature” (as static and separate from humans) as it moved towards a Romantic “nature” (characterized by dynamic links among all living things), drawing important new conclusions about twentieth- and twenty-first century ideas of nature. My current scholarly project, A Romantic Natural History, explores literary and scientific texts from 1750 to 1859. This research traces our current environmental concerns to their sources in earlier ideas about relations between human beings and the natural world. Click on the book covers below for information about my work.

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