Just the facts


Updated: October, 2015

PERSONAL DATA

Charles Mitchell
Professor of American Studies
Elmira College
One Park Place
Elmira, NY 14901
607-735-1937
 
EDUCATION
Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, Ca. January, 1994. Department of History, Program in American Studies

BA, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., June, 1984. Major in Sociology

I also spent a delightful (in retrospect) freshman year at the University of Chicago

I graduated from Regis High School in Manhattan in 1980

 
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Professor of American Studies, Elmira College, Elmira, N. Y. (August 1993-present; promoted to Associate Professor, July 2000; promoted to Professor, July 2014). All the usual duties and responsibilities thereunto appertaining, and then some.

Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies, College of William and Mary, August 1992-
August 1993.  Directed minority recruitment efforts; organized seminar for graduate 
students on college teaching; initiated training program for teaching assistants; wrote Patricia Roberts Harris federal grant proposal.

The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, Fall, 1992. Adjunct Instructor in American Studies; taught freshman seminar on America in the 1960s.
  
Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, 1992-1993. Adjunct Instructor in English (composition).

Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA, January 1989-June 1990. Teaching Assistant for courses in Technology and American Culture, Film and Fiction in the Twentieth Century (Women's Studies), and America from 1945 to the Present.

Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT, Summers, 1987-1992. Designed and taught course on social and political history of America, 1945-1968.  Also taught courses in composition.

The Punahou School, Honolulu, HI, 1985-1986. Instructor in English, Composition, American Literature. (Yes, this is the high school Barack Obama attended, though not while I was teaching there!)

 
PUBLICATIONS
Book:

Individualism and Its Discontents: Appropriations of Emerson, 1880-1950 (University of Massachusetts Press, August 1997).

Essays and Chapters:

"The Bard's Bird, or, The Slings and Arrows of Avicultural Hegemony: A Tragicomedy in Five Acts" in Terrain.org, number 26 (October 2010); reprinted as chapter in Trash Animals ed. Kelsi Nagy and Phillip David Johnson (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

“Zoom-Lens” in Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing 3.1 (Spring-Summer, 2005).

“Teaching the Desert: The Literature of Landscape, in and out of Place” chapter in Teaching in the Field: Working with Students in the Outdoor Classroom ed. Hal Crimmel (University of Utah Press, 2003).

“Confessions of a Vicarious Backpacker” in ISLE 10.1 (Winter, 2003)

“Reclaiming the Sacred Landscape: Terry Tempest Williams, Kathleen Norris, and the Other Nature Writing” in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 32.2 (2003).

“Ruins” in Whole Terrain 11 (2002-03).

“Stiff Necks and Broken Spines” in The Bloomsbury Review 22.6 (November/December, 2002).

“Huck Finn, Hank Morgan, and The Puritan Dilemma” in The McNeese Review 40 (2002).

 “Travel Writing and Local History” and “From Home Place to Home Page” in Carol Kammen and Norma Prendergast, eds. Encyclopedia of Local History (Altamira Press, 2001).

"George Willis Cooke," "George Woodberry," "Friedrich Nietzsche," and "John Dewey" in Biographical Dictionary of Transcendentalism (Greenwood Press, 1996).

"Correspondence" in Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism (Greenwood Press, 1996).

Reviews:

Review of Gary Kroll, America’s Ocean Wilderness: A Cultural History of Twentieth Century Exploration (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008) for Southwest Journal of Cultures (http://southwestjournalofcultures.blogspot.com/ )Winter, 2008.

Review of Lawrence Buell, Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the U. S. and Beyond (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001) for Cercles: Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone (www.cercles.com) December, 2005.

Review of Reviel Netz, Barbed Wire: An Ecology of Modernity (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2004) for Cercles: Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone (www.cercles.com) December, 2005.

Review of John M. Meyer, Political Nature: Environmentalism and the Interpretation of Western Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001) for Environmental History 7.3 (July, 2002).

Review of John P. Herron and Andrew G. Kirk, eds., Human/Nature: Biology, Culture, and Environmental History (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999) for H-NET Book Reviews (August, 2001).

Review of James Loewen, Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong (New York: The New Press, 1999) in Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (Fall, 2000).

Review of Robert R. Archibald, A Place to Remember: Using History to Build Community (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 1999) in Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (Winter, 1999-2000).

Review of Sallee Fox Engstrom, The Infinitude of the Private Man: Emerson’s Presence in Western New York, 1851-1861 (New York: Peter Lang, 1997) in New York History 80.2 (April, 1999).

Review of Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (New York: Oxford U. P., 1993) in Studies in American Humor n.s. 3.1 (Summer 1994).
 
CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION
"The Cure for What Ails Us: Nature as Panacea from Frederick Law Olmsted to Outward Bound," Reading Nature, Madrid, Spain, December 2011.

Chair, "Imagining (and Transforming) the Future of Environmental Studies," American Studies Association, Baltimore, MD, October 2011.

Chair and commentator, “Indigeneity and Sustainability,” American Studies Association, Washington, DC, November 2009.

Chair and participant, “The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister’s Pox: Do Science and the Humanities Belong in the Same Classroom?”  Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Victoria, BC, June 2009.

Chair, “Remembering and Representing Native American Pasts,” American Studies Association, Albuquerque, NM, October 2008.

“Usable Pasts: The Didactic Temptations of Anasazi-Land,” Western Literature Association, Boulder, CO, October 2008. 

Chair, “Teaching Environmental Literatures,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, PA, March 2006.

“Representing the Landscape,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, PA, March 2006.

Chair and commentator, “Philip Roth’s America,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, March 2003.

“Environmental Literature and the American Studies Curriculum,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Toronto, Canada, April 2002.

“Solitaire, Solitude, Solipsism,” Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Flagstaff, AZ, June 2001.

Commentator, “At the Edges: Growth and Complaints on the New York Frontier,” New York State Historical Society, Aurora, NY, June 2001.

“Teaching the Desert” at “Desert Crossings,” a symposium sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Lajitas, TX, January 2001.

“The Landscape of Utopia,” Society for Utopian Studies, Vancouver, BC, October 2000.

“Pragmatism in the Mountains: William James, Wildness, and the Adirondacks,” Adirondack Research Consortium, Saranac Lake, NY, May 2000.

Chair, “Re-Evaluating the Works of Carlos Castaneda,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Buffalo, NY, April 2000.

“Spiritual Landscapes and Landscapes of the Spirit: Loss and Recovery in Terry Tempest Williams and Kathleen Norris,” American Literature Association Symposium on (Auto)biography, Cancun, Mexico, December 1999.

“The Evolution of ‘The Nature Poem,’” Northeast Modern Language Association, Pittsburgh, PA, April 1999.

“Landscapes of Solitude, Landscapes of Belonging: Muir, Austin and Two Sides of the Sierra,” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Claremont, CA, November 1998.

“Abbey, Silko, and the Shifting Environmental Ethic,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, MD, April, 1998.

Chair, “North American Natures,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, MD, April 1998.

“Individualism and Community in The Monkey Wrench Gang and Ceremony,” North American Interdisciplinary Conference on Community and Environment, Reno, NV, February 1998.

“Mark Twain’s Puritan Dilemma,” Modern Language Association, Toronto, Canada, January 1998.

“The Perils of Publicizing: Debating Cronon’s Uncommon Ground,” Mid-Atlantic American Culture/Popular Culture Association, Baltimore, MD, October 1997.

“Into the Wilderness with Emerson and William James,” Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Missoula, MT, July 1997.

Chair, "The Place of Nature and the Nature of Place," Northeast Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, PA, 1997.

"The Adirondacks as Case Study in American Environmental History," part of a panel on "Teaching the Adirondacks: Obstacles and Opportunities" Adirondack Research Consortium Raquette Lake, NY, May, 1996.

"A Place in the Kingdom of Culture: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Varieties of Pragmatism," American Studies Association, Pittsburgh, PA, November 1995.

"The Stink of Old Nests: William Carlos Williams in the Emersonian Grain," Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA.,  March 1995.

"Raymond Carver and Calvinist Humanism," The Situation of Contemporary U.S. Fiction, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA., April 1995.

"Inclusiveness Without Redundancy: William Carlos Williams and the Conducting of America," Southern American Studies Association, Williamsburg, VA, February, 1991.

 
HONORS AND AWARDS
National Endowment for the Humanities "Enduring Questions" Grant, 2014-2016.

Catherine McGraw Rock Award for Excellence in Teaching, Service, and Scholarship, Elmira College, June 2012.

Elmira College Student Association Faculty Appreciation Award, April 2007.

Elmira College Summer Development Mini-Grant, Summer 2004.  Competitive grant; awarded to assist research project “How to Shit in the National Parks.”

National Humanities Center Research Fellowship, Academic Year 2000-2001 (deferred 
acceptance).

Elmira College Summer Development Mini-Grant, Summer, 2000.    Competitive grant; awarded to assist research on manuscript-in-progress, “Landscapes of Solitude, Landscapes of Belonging.”

Inducted as Honorary Member, Pi of New York chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, March 2000.

Elmira College Student Association Faculty Appreciation Award, April 1998.

Josef Stein Award for Excellence in Teaching, Service, and Scholarship, Elmira College, June 1996.

Elmira College Summer Development Grant, Summer, 1996.    Competitive grant; awarded to assist development of teaching and research interests in Environmental History.

Faculty Seminar, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Evolution of Modern Times," sponsored by Jesse Ball DuPont Fund; held at Quarry Farm, Elmira, NY, Summer, 1994.

Haynes Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, May, 1990.  Competitive grant awarded to top ranked Claremont Graduate School students in the Social Sciences.

 
MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Treasurer, Environment and Culture Caucus, American Studies Association, Fall 2008-present
Judge, Annette Kolodny Prize, Environment and Culture Caucus, American Studies Association, 2005-08 (Chair, 2007-08)
Editorial Board, Modern Language Studies 2002-2005
Consultant and Reader for Syracuse University Press, University of Massachusetts Press, Altamira Press.
Judge, Northeast Modern Language Association Book Prize, 1998-99.
Reader for Studies in American Humor, February 1994-2000.

Managing Editor, Studies in American Humor, June 1994-August, 1998.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
American Historical Association
American Studies Association
American Society for Environmental History
Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment


 
COMMUNITY LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS
"The Landscape of Landscape Photography." Presentation and discussion, Tanglewood Nature Center, January 2010.

“Getting Back to Nature: Constructing the American Landscape in Central Park, Yosemite and Niagara Falls.”  Lecture and discussion, Elmira College Reunion, June 2009.

“Is Shakespeare Bad for the Environment?  Evidence: The Starling.”  Talk at the Founder’s Day Dinner, Elmira City Club, May 2007.

“Representing the American Landscape.” Presentation and discussion, Tanglewood Nature Center annual meeting, November 2006.

“Clinging Scoundrels and Sunshine Patriots: The Use and Abuse of a 10 Letter Word.”  Lecture and discussion at Chemung County Historical Society, October 27, 2005.

“From Howling Wilderness to Vacation Destination: Representing the American Landscape in Words and Images.” Lecture and discussion at Waverly High School’s Science and Humanities Research Symposium, Waverly, NY, June 2, 2005.

“In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: Moving Beyond the American Dream.”  Lecture and discussion on Studs Terkel, American Dreams Lost and Found, Jamestown Reads, Prendergast Library, Jamestown, NY, April 23, 2003.

“Headlines of the 20th Century.”  Presented at and moderated panel discussion at Chemung County Historical Society, March 19, 2000.

“Extra! Extra!  Journalism in the Chemung Valley.”  Moderated panel discussion at Chemung County Historical Society, October 1998.

"Huck Finn's American Dilemma." Mark Twain Society, Elmira, NY, December 1996.

"Is Environmentalism Un-American?" Lecture and discussion for American Century Lecture Series, Wayland Free Library, January 1996.

"Environmentalism and the New World Order." Lecture and discussion for American Century Lecture Series, Wayland Free Library, April 1996.

"What is a Neighborhood?" Chemung County Historical Society, Town Meeting on Neighborhoods; delivered introductory lecture and moderated discussion in conjunction with exhibit on "Our Neighborhoods."

 
ACADEMIC SERVICE
OK, who is really interested in this? I have stopped keeping track.

General Education Committee, January2009-December 2009 (Chair, Fall 2009)

Faculty Executive Committee, June 2008-December 2009 (Chair, Fall 2009).

Chair, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, June 2006-June 2008.

Coordinator, Freshman Studies/Freshman Core Program, June 2004-May 2009.

Faculty Review Committee, September 2002-June 2006 (Chair, 2003-2006).

Coordinator, Elmira College Women's Studies Program, September 2002-June 2003.

Chair, Core Curriculum Planning Group, October 2002-February 2003.

Chair, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, June 1999-June 2001.

Curricular Affairs Committee, June 1995-June 2001. (Chair, 1999-2001)

Graduate and Advanced Studies Committee, January 1994-June 1995; Chair, April 1994-June 1995.

 
COMMUNITY SERVICE  (not court-mandated)
Board Member, Tanglewood Nature Center, August 2006-January 2012

Volunteer conservation easement steward and volunteer land preserve steward, Finger Lakes Land Trust

Member, Outreach Committee, Finger Lakes Land Trust, June 2000-December 2003.

Member, Exhibits and Education Committee, Chemung County Historical Society, 1998-present.

"A man's ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but beautiful, while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse than useless, being ugly. Which is the best man to deal with: he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?"


Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"