Walter Phillips | Towson University


Biography

Dana Phillips received a B.A. from Furman University, an M.A. from the University
of Georgia, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Before coming to Towson, he taught at
the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Bryn Mawr College, Brown University,
the Bread Loaf School of English in Juneau, Alaska, and (as a Fulbright Senior Specialist)
the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 Dr. Phillips is an Americanist. He has published articles on literature and the environment,
and on Walt Whitman, Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph
Waldo Emerson. His book The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America was published by Oxford University Press in 2003; it won the Modern Language Association’s
prize for best book by an independent scholar in 2004, and was republished by Oxford
Scholarship Online in 2007.
  In his most recent scholarship, Dr. Phillips has focused on notions of “taste” in
Thoreau’s work; on the treatment of the mathematical sublime and nationalism in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass; on concepts of the natural and the artificial in relation to the sense of place; on
the cognitive skills, communicative abilities, and cultural traditions of animals,
especially elephants; and on depictions in film and literature of biophilia and biophobia
in relation to apex predators, especially grizzly bears.

SCHOLARSHIP:

American literature; ecocriticism and environmental studies.

RESEARCH:

New materialist ecocriticism; narratives of collapse; environmental novels; ecological
and ecocritical theory.

PUBLICATIONS AND CREATIVE ACTIVITIES:

Book: The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America. New York:
Oxford University Press, 2003. Winner, 2004 MLA prize for Best Book by an Independent
Scholar. Republished by Oxford Scholarship Online, 2007.

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Chapter. “The Environmental Novel of the American West.” In The Cambridge History
of Western American Literature. Susan Kollin, ed. Cambridge U P. In press.

Chapter. “Collapse, Resilience, and Sustainability in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam
Trilogy.” In Literature and Sustainability. Adeline Johns-Putra, John Parham, and
Louise Squires, eds. Manchester U P. In press.

Chapter. “Weeping Elephants, Sensitive Men.” Chinese translation of 2010 Safundi article
to be published as chapter one of Global Ecological Discourse, Local Expression. Hueichu
Chu, Hannes Bergthaller, and Dana Phillips, eds. National Chung-Hsing U P, Taichung,
Taiwan. Forthcoming in 2015.

Article. “Posthumanism, Environmental History, and Narratives of Collapse.” Interdisciplinary
Studies in Literature and Environment (ISLE) 22.1 (Winter 2015): 63-79.

Article. Co-authored with Hannes Bergthaller, Rob Emmett, Adeline Johns-Putra, Agnes
Kneitz, Susanna Lidström, Shane McCorristine, Isabel Pérez Ramos, Kate Rigby, and
Libby Robin. “Mapping Common Ground: Ecocriticism, Environmental History, and the
Environmental Humanities.” Environmental Humanities 5 (2014). Online (open access).

Book Chapter. “Excremental Ecocriticism and the Global Sanitation Crisis.” In Material
Ecocriticism. Serenella Iovino and Serpil Opperman, eds. Bloomington: U of Indiana
P. 2014. 172-85.

Book Chapter. “Expostulations and Replies.” In Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader.
Ken Hiltner, ed. New York: Routledge. 2014. 259-66. Excerpt from Chapter One of The
Truth of Ecology.

Review Essay. “Ecocriticism’s Hard Problems (Its Ironies, Too).” American Literary
History 25.2 (2013): 455-67.

Article. “ ‘Slimy Beastly Life’: Thoreau on Food and Farming.” Special issue on Material
Ecocriticism coedited by Heather Sullivan and Dana Phillips. ISLE (Interdisciplinary
Studies in Literature and Environment) 19.3 (Summer 2012): 532-47.

READ:  https://www.towson.edu/fcsm/departments/chemistry/facultystaff/joseph-bushey.html

Book Chapter. “He Ought Not Have Done It: McCarthy and Apocalypse.” Cormac McCarthy:
All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road. Sara Spurgeon, ed. London:
Continuum, 2011. 172-88.

Review Essay. Timothy Morton, Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics.
Special Issue on Deconstruction and Ecocriticism. Oxford Literary Review 32.1 (2010):
151-61.

Article. “Weeping Elephants, Sensitive Men.” Special issue on Animal Studies and Ecocriticism.
Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 11.1-2 (January-April 2010):
19-47.

Article. “Ecocriticism, Ecopoetics, and a Creed Outworn.” New Formations 64 (Spring
2008): 37-50.

Article. “Thoreau’s Aesthetics and ‘The Domain of the Superlative.’” Environmental
Values 15.3 (2006): 293-305.

Article. “Leaving Walden.” Special issue on Walden Sesquicentennial. Nineteenth-Century
Prose 31.2 (Fall 2004): 230-62. Reprinted in More Day to Dawn: Thoreau’s Walden for
a New Century. Sandra Harbert Petrulionis and Laura Dassow Walls, eds. Amherst: U
of Massachusetts P, 2006. 211-40.

Article. “Ecocriticism, Literary Theory, and the Truth of Ecology.” Special issue
on Ecocriticism. New Literary History 30.3 (Summer 1999): 577-602.

Article. “Don DeLillo’s Postmodern Pastoral.” In Reading the Earth. Michael Branch,
et al., eds. Moscow, Idaho: U of Idaho P, 1998. 235-46. Reprinted in Don DeLillo (Bloom’s
Modern Critical Views). Harold Bloom, ed. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003. 117-27.
Excerpted in Don DeLillo: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide (Bloom’s Major Novelists).
Harold Bloom, ed. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003. 116-19.

Article. “Cormac McCarthy, History, and the Ugly Facts of Blood Meridian.” American
Literature 68.2 (June 1996): 433-60. Reprinted in Cormac McCarthy: New Directions.
James Lilley, ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002. 17-46.

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Article. “Nineteenth-Century Racial Thought and Walt Whitman’s ‘Democratic Ethnology
of the Future.’” Nineteenth-Century Literature 49.3 (Fall 1994): 289-320. Reprinted
in Walt Whitman: A Collection of Poems (The Harcourt Casebook Series in Literature).
J. Michael Léger, ed. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt College. 2000. 116-41.

Article. “Whitman and Genre: The Dialogic in ‘Song of Myself.’” Arizona Quarterly
50.3 (Fall 1994): 31-58.

Article. “Is Nature Necessary?” Raritan 13.3 (Winter 1994): 78-100. Reprinted in Ecocriticism:
Essays in Literary Ecology. Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, eds. Athens, Georgia:
U of Georgia P, 1996. 204-22.

GRANTS AND CONTRACTS:

Fulbright Senior Specialist’s Grant, 2004.

NEH Summer Institute, 1997.

MEMBERSHIPS/AFFILIATIONS:

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE); Western Literature
Association (WLA). Executive Council of WLA, 2013-15.

SERVICE:

2014-2017: Tenure Chair, Promotion Tenure Review and Merit Committee, English Department.

2014-15: Member, Curriculum Committee, English Department.

Spring 2014: Member, College of Liberal Arts Curriculum Committee.

2013-14: Chair, Curriculum Committee, English Department.

2011-12: Member, Chair’s Advisory Board, English Department.

2011-12: Chair, American Literature Search, English Department.

2010-11: Chair, Global and Postcolonial Literature Search, English Department.

2009-11: Member, Promotion and Tenure Committee, English Department.

2007-12: Member, Recruitment Committee, English Department.

2007-09: Member, Undergraduate Steering Committee, English Department.

Spring 2007: Member, College of Liberal Arts Elections Committee.

2006-07: Participant, President’s Leadership Institute.


View more information: https://www.towson.edu/cla/departments/english/facultystaff/wphillips.html

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