Christopher Shaw

Lecturer, English and American Literatures; Associate Director, Program in Environmental Journalism

Christopher Shaw is the author of Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip With the Gods, (W.W. Norton 2000) about the Usumacinta River and watershed in Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala. In the Eighties he edited Adirondack Life magazine, and in the Nineties could be heard on North Country Public Radio, in northern New York, as a commentator and producer of the program Northern Voices, where he interviewed writers such as Russell Banks and James Howard Kunstler. His articles, stories and reviews have appeared in the anthologies The Nature of Nature, Rooted in Rock, and The Adirondack Reader, as well as in the book Lake Champlain, an Illustrated History, the New England Review, Outside, and the New York Times, among other publications. He has received New York Foundation for the Arts and Bread Loaf fellowships. Shaw teaches Creative Writing at Middlebury, and is the associate director of the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CRWR 0170 - Writing: Poetry, Fiction, NonF      

Writing: Poetry, Fiction, NonFiction
An introduction to the writing of poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction through analysis of writings by modern and contemporary poets and prose writers and regular discussion of student writing. Different instructors may choose to emphasize one literary form or another in a given semester. Workshops will focus on composition and revision, with particular attention to the basics of form and craft. This course is a prerequisite to CRWR 0380, CRWR 0385, CRWR 0370, and CRWR 0375. (This course is not a college writing course.) (Formerly ENAM 0170) 3 hrs. sem. ART

Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017

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CRWR 0380 - Advanced Non-Fiction Workshop      

Advanced Nonfiction Workshop
In this course we will study and practice techniques of nonfiction writing through contemporary essay and narrative nonfiction workshops and readings in the contemporary essay. Class discussions will be based on student manuscripts and published model works. Emphasis will be placed on composition and revision. (CRWR 0170, CRWR 0175, or CRWR 0185) (Approval Required; please apply at the department office in Axinn) (formerly ENAM 0380) ART

Spring 2018

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CRWR 0389 - The Contemplative Essay      

The Contemplative Essay
In this course we will write personal narratives and essays based on our own life experience, using the standard workshop format and a one-hour required weekly lab in Basic Mindfulness, a form of Burmese Vipassana meditation. Essays will emphasize fact, as well as insight into work, life, and writing. Readings will illustrate previous writers’ contemplative experiences, as well as matters of craft, including works by Michel de Montaigne, Rainer Maria Rilke, William James, TS Eliot, Eihei Dogen, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rebecca Solnit, David Abram, Annie Dillard, and Gary Snyder. (ENAM 0170 or approval required) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. lab. LIT PHL

Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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CRWR 0560 - Special Project: Writing      

Special Project: Creative Writing
Approval Required.

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019

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CRWR 0701 - Senior Thesis:Creative Writing      

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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CRWR 0711 - Senior Thesis: Creative Writ.      

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking two-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. (Formerly ENAM 0711)

Winter 2015

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ENAM 0500 - Special Project: Lit      

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019

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ENAM 0700 - Senior Thesis:Critical Writing      

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.

Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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ENVS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
In this course, students (non-seniors) carry out an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

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FYSE 1501 - Adirondack Mind      

Adirondack Mind
The Adirondack Park, six million acres of protected public and private wildland in northern New York State, has a distinct and influential intellectual history. In Adirondack Mind, we will trace that history from the precolonial to present day, focusing primarily on the stream of thought moving from Emerson through William James and Felix Adler to Bob Marshall and the Wilderness Society, including the philosophy of Pragmatism and the Abolitionist movement. Together we will visit Follensby Pond, site of the 1858 Philosopher's Camp, and make at least one other individual trip to hike or visit an important site. The readings will emphasize how the writers had their insights through the direct experience of Adirondack geography. By researching and writing our own stories, we will come to see how our sense of self arises from the elements and demands of the immediate environment, and perhaps begin to view all our places in the world as vehicles for conscious awakening. Readings include works by W. J. Stillman, Emerson, William James, Theodore Roosevelt, Amy Godine, Russell Banks, Chase Twichell, Jeanne Robert Foster, David Abram, George Prochnik, Bill McKibben, Maurice Kenny, and Christopher Shaw. 3 hrs. sem CW

Fall 2017

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Program in Environmental Studies

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753