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Sylvan Goldberg

Assistant Professor

I primarily teach and write about environmental representation in early and 19th-century American literature, but I’ve also published essays on Faulkner and ’90s TV, and teach a class on contemporary Cli-Fi, or climate fiction. The American West has been at the heart of my work—and it’s pretty near to my actual heart, too. In broad terms, I’m interested in the relationship between place, nature, identity, and literary form. The book I’m writing tracks the way ideas about time emerging out of nineteenth-century American environmental thought influenced literary production in the long nineteenth century. It’s tentatively titled A Natural History of Literary Time, though it should probably be called A Literary History of Natural Time

I spent my own undergrad years at Vassar, and so I’m thrilled to be back in a liberal arts college. I got my PhD in the Department of English at Stanford University, and prior to that, I received an MA in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, where I was in the (now erstwhile) program in Literature and Environment. 

A lifetime ago, I played guitar in a shoegaze band and recorded a country record, so don’t be surprised if I end up in a band soon that splits the difference between those two. Photo notwithstanding, I’m a cat person for life.



    Ph.D English, Stanford University 2017

    M.A. English (Literature and Environment), University of Nevada, Reno 2012

    B.A. English, Vassar College 2004