Terry S. Osborne
A Senior Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program and the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, as well as a writer, I’ve taught at Dartmouth since 1986. I’ve focused my teaching and writing energies on the intersections among literature, composition, the natural world, and American constructions of identity. I’ve always been interested in the role of place in humans’ (particularly Americans’) lives, and I’ve pursued this through the literature of place, or more specifically what I’ve called the “Ecological Memoir”—a kind of memoir that deliberately uses a place or environment as an active component of the story.
I’m particularly interested in Americans’ psychological and spiritual relationships with the natural world—their contribution to the environmental degradation we’re witnessing today, and the critical role they will play in determining how we will respond to that degradation in the coming years. I’ve explored this through a broad discipline called “Ecopsychology” which, as Theodore Roszak describes, “proceeds from the assumption that at its deepest level the [human] psyche remains sympathetically bonded to the Earth.” Ecopsychology is fundamentally connected to Deep Ecology, but is willing to address some blind spots built into that connection. Some of those blind spots, for instance, involve issues of race and environmental justice. So Ecopsychology is actively interdisciplinary, spreading its arms as wide as possible—from ecology and anthropology to literature and cultural studies. Its breadth and willingness to connect disparate areas of study is part of its challenge and fascination.
Best Person Rural: Essays of a Sometime Farmer, by Noel Perrin. David R. Godine. 2006.
Sightlines: The View of a Valley through the Voice of Depression. University Press of New England. 2001.