Featured English Alumni
Rochelle Johnson, Ph.D. in English
"Faculty at CGU supported my interdisciplinary interests, enabling me to pursue my passions for both literature and environmental history. As a result, I now enjoy a fulfilling career as a professor of both American literature and Environmental Studies."
Associate Professor of English and Environmental Studies
Chair of English, 2007-2010
The College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho
1999 - 2005
Assistant Professor of English, The College of Idaho
Claremont Graduate University; Claremont, California Exams in Early, Nineteenth-century, and Modern American Literature
Dissertation: “As if Nature could support but one order of understandings”: Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Rural Hours (1850), Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854), and the Cultural Contexts of Nineteenth-Century American Nature Writing.
Committee: Robert N. Hudspeth, Wendy Martin, and Michael P. Branch
Claremont Graduate University; Claremont, California
Bates College; Lewiston, Maine
English major; Theatre minor; Senior thesis on Virginia Woolf’s works
Passions for Nature: Nineteenth-Century America’s Aesthetics of Alienation. University of Georgia Press, 2009. Peer-reviewed monograph.
Essays on Nature and Landscape by Susan Fenimore Cooper. Edited and with an introduction by Rochelle Johnson and Daniel Patterson. Foreword by John Elder. University of Georgia Press, 2002. Peer-reviewed volume.
New Essays on Susan Fenimore Cooper's Rural Hours and Other Works. Edited and with an Introduction by Rochelle Johnson and Daniel Patterson. Foreword by Lawrence Buell. University of Georgia Press, 2001. (The Introduction to this volume is reprinted in: Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 129, Gale Publishing, 2003.) Peer-reviewed volume.
Manuscript in Progress
The Daughter’s Labors: Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Legacy for America. This critical biography is based largely on unarchived papers held in by the Cooper family. Cooper (1813-1894) was a novelist, essayist, and diarist, as well as a noted practitioner of natural history. She was also the daughter and literary executor of James Fenimore Cooper; a tireless philanthropist who founded and managed both an orphanage and a rural hospital; and an environmental advocate who issued prescient warnings concerning forest preservation and the threat of invasive species before her better remembered contemporary, Henry David Thoreau. This biography will contribute to studies in literary domesticity, literary history, and the history of landscape preservation efforts in the United States. This work has been supported by a 2010 “We the People” Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a 2011 Summer Fellowship from the Idaho Humanities Council.
“Rediscovering Indian Creek: Imagining Community on the Snake River Plain.” In Teaching about Place: Learning from the Land, ed. Laird Christensen and Hal Crimmel. University of Nevada Press, 2008: 170-185. Peer-reviewed volume.
“‘Patch-work Labors’: Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Correspondence and the Recovery of a Literary Career.” In Lives Out of Letters: Essays in American Literary Biography and Documentation, ed. Robert D. Habich. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004: 143-168. Peer-reviewed volume.
"Recovering an Aesthetics of the "Real": Susan Fenimore Cooper's Rural Hours and the American Critical Tradition." ILS: Interdisciplinary Literary Studies (Fall, 2001): 24-40. Special issue on Literary Ecocriticism guest-edited by Ian Marshall. Peer-reviewed journal.
“Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Rural Hours and the ‘Natural’ Refinement of American Culture.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 7.1 (Winter 2000): 47-77. Peer-reviewed journal.
“Walden, Rural Hours, and the Dilemma of Representation.” In Thoreau’s Sense of Place: Essays in American Environmental Writing, ed. Richard J. Schneider. Ames, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2000. 179-93. Peer-reviewed volume. Reprinted in Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 129, Gale Publishing, 2003: 38-45.
“Placing Rural Hours.” In Reading Under the Sign of Nature, ed. John Tallmadge and Henry Harrington. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000. 64-84. Peer-reviewed volume.
“James Fenimore Cooper, Susan Fenimore Cooper, and the Work of History.” In James Fenimore Cooper: His Country and His Art, Papers from the 1999 Cooper Seminar (no. 12), ed. Hugh C. MacDougall. Oneonta, NY: SUNY Oneonta, 2000: 41-45. Reprinted in Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 129, Gale Publishing, 2003: 33-38.
Article in Progress
“Thoreau’s Late Thoughts on Perception: Lessons for Twenty-first-Century Thinkers.” Will submit for consideration for publication in The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies.
Recent Honors and Awards
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend Fellowship. Awarded $6000 for research toward a critical biography of Susan Fenimore Cooper. (See “manuscripts on Progress,” above.) NEH reported an 8% success rate for applications for this award.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend Fellowship. Awarded $4000 for travel to archives of Susan Fenimore Cooper. Resulted in the publication of a peer-reviewed article, “‘Patch-work Labors’: Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Correspondence and the Recovery of a Literary Career.” (See “Published Articles,” above.)
Professional Honors, Nominations, and Elections
Recipient of The Carnegie Foundation’s “Idaho Professor of the Year” award. Nominated by the administration at The College of Idaho.
Appointed by The Thoreau Society directors as the liaison between The Thoreau Society and the Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Literature Association (ALA). Also nominated to serve on the Committee on Nominations and Elections for the Henry David Thoreau Society (voted in by the membership and approved by the Board of Directors).