Walter E. Beach '56 Distinguished Chair in Sustainability Studies & Professor of English Language and Literature
Department of English
| 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
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. The project is under development at the Romantic Natural History website. Link to my personal homepage for additional information. Click on the book covers below for information about my work.