New professors, new goals
Two new professors who have joined the English department, Scott Slovic and Erin James, are bringing the University of Idaho’s program of literature and environment to a new level.
Both professors joined UI’s staff this fall from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Slovic received his master’s and Ph.D. at Brown University where he began his teaching career. Since then he has taught at 12 universities in the U.S. and overseas during the past 28 years. He is a teacher of American literature, imperative literature, professional publishing and editing. He is also a founder of the ecocriticism discipline — the study of of literature and the environment. He has edited the ecocriticism primary journal, “ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment,” since 1995. He will continue to edit it at UI, which will bring some recognition to UI in ecocriticism.
He said he really enjoys creating and introducing people to ecocriticism.
“I want to introduce students to editing and the area and projects and taste of what the publishing field is. It’s not only for English majors, but any students who want to see what kind of field it is and boost students to those kinds of fields,” Slovic said.
He will teach an editing class this spring.
“There are wonderful people at UI, from the faculty to the students. The English department is full of really great friendly people, great writers and scholars,” Slovic said. “I am from Eugene, Ore., so it is good to be back in the Inland Northwest.”
Slovic said he is impressed with the people he has met in the environmental fields developing programs.
“They are all very capable and open-minded,” he said.
Slovic brings in foreign scholars and visitors to work with him on different projects in the environment. They stay for a few months or as long as a year.
“I am proud to bring visitors to enjoy the UI campus and Moscow. It is a comfortable and friendly environment,” he said. “It is a terrific college town with a beautiful campus.”
James is originally from Nova Scotia, received her master’s and Ph.D. in England and started her eight years of teaching there before receiving a job offer in Nevada. Her specialty is in post-colonial, Caribbean, African, comparative and black British literature. She teaches a class on Caribbean literature and hopes to teach classes on all her specialties this spring and upcoming year.
“UI already had a good green energy and a great campus with an appetite for English and environmental literature,” she said. “I loved the college campus and the area. Everyone was so warm and friendly on campus.”
With Slovic and James joining a department that is already involved in environmental issues, they hope to make UI recognized as a place where people can study environmental issues, James said.
New courses will be offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a long-term goal of a degree in ecocriticism.
Emily Aizawa can be reached at email@example.com