Alfred Kentigern Siewers c.v.

Alfred K. Siewers
Associate Professor of English
Affiliated Faculty and Steering Committee Member, Environmental Studies Program
Steering Committee Member, Place Studies Initiative, Bucknell Environmental Center
Co-Editor, Stories of the Susquehanna Valley Book Series and Digital Atlas
English Department
Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA, 17837

Re-Imagining Nature: Environmental Humanities and Ecosemiotics, edited collection. Bucknell Press, 2013 (forthcoming). Author of the introduction “Song, Tree, and Spring: Environmental Meaning and Environmental Humanities,” and of an essay in the collection, “The Ecopoetics of Creation: Genesis LXX 1-3.”
Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape , The New Middle Ages series  (New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).
Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages, co-editor with Jane Chance, The New Middle Ages series. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, paperback edition 2009; co-author of the introduction and of the essay “Tolkien’s Cosmic-Christian Ecology,” 138-53.

–Select Articles
–“The Green Otherworlds of Early Medieval Literature.” Chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Environmental Literature, ed. Louise Westling (Cambridge, forthcoming 2013).
–“Eriugena, the Irish Otherworld, and Early Medieval Nature.” Invited contribution to Eriugena and Creation, ed. W. Otten and M. Allen (Brepols, forthcoming 2014).
–“Eriugena’s Irish Backgrounds.” Invited contribution to the Bill Companion to Eriugena, ed .Stephen Lahey and Andrew Guiu (forthcoming 2014).
–“Orthodoxy and Ecopoetics: The Green World in the Desert Sea.” In Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation, ed. John Chryssavgis and Bruce V. Foltz. Fordham University Press (2013).
–“Earth: A Wandering.” postmedieval 4 (2013): 6-17.
–“The Early Irish Sublime as Reflection of Sophia,” in Beauty and the Beautiful in Eastern Christian Culture, ed. Natalia Ermolaev, Theotokos Press  2012. 212-224.
–“Desert Islands: Europe’s Atlantic Archipelago as Ascetic Landscape.” In Studies in the Medieval Atlantic, ed. Benjamin Hudson. Palgrave Macmillan’s New Middle Ages series, 2012. 35-64.
–“Ecopoetics and the Origins of English Literature.” In Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, ed. Stephanie LeMenager, Teresa Shewry and Ken Hiltner. Routledge, 2011. 105-130.
–“Pre-Modern Ecosemiotics: The Green World As Literary Ecology.” In The Space of Culture-The Place of Nature in Estonia and Beyond, ed. Tiina Peil. University of Tartu Press, 2011.
–“Spenser’s Green World.” Early English Studies 3 (2011). Online:
–“Ecocriticism.” In A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory, 2d ed., ed. Michael Payne and Jessica Rae Barbera. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 205-10.
–Cooper’s Green World: Adapting Ecosemitics to the Mythic Eastern Woodlands.” In James Fenimore Cooper, His Country and His Art, ed. Hugh MacDougall (Oneonta and Cooperstown, NY: SUNY Oneonta and Cooper Society, 2009).
–“Environmentalist Readings of Tolkien.” In The Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, ed. Michael D.C. Drout. New York and London: Routledge, 2006. 166-67.
–“Landscapes of Conversion: Guthlac’s Mound and Grendel’s Mere as Expressions of Anglo-Saxon Nation-building.” Viator 34 (2003): 1-39. Revised and reprinted in The Postmodern Beowulf: A Critical Casebook, ed. Eileen A. Joy, Mary K. Ramsey, and Bruce D. Gilchrist. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2006.
–“Writing an Icon of the Land: The Mabinogi as a Mystagogy of Landscape,” Peritia 19 (2005): 193-228.
–“The Bluest-Greyest-Greenest Eye: Colours of Martyrdom and Colours of the Winds as Iconographic Landscape,” Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 50 (2005): 31-66.
–“Making the Quantum-Culture Leap: Reflections on the Chicago Controversy.” Restoration and Management Notes (now Journal of Ecological Restoration) 16.1 (1998): 9-15; reprinted in Whole Earth magazine, spring 2001.
–“Lost Horizons,” Chicago Sun-Times series on regional landscape heritage, Jan. 1991 (winner of Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism)

Current Projects

–“Trees in Medieval Symbolism,” postmedieval (forthcoming).

–Series Co-Editor and Steering Committee member, Stories of the Susquehanna Valley book project and digital atlas (first volumes in preparation with online components by various authors and volume editors), 2010–

The Coopers, Priestley and Coleridge: Re-defining Nature on the Susquehanna Frontier (book project for Stories of the Susquehanna Valley).

–Book-length survey of ecocritical approaches to English and American literature, The Green World: Nature, Marriage, and Memory in Anglo-Atlantic Literature.

–Novel in progress, Finding Thismia.

–Steering Committee member, Environmental Studies program, Bucknell, 2010—

–Steering Committee member and founding faculty coordinator, Place Studies Initiative (formerly Nature and Human Communities Initiative), Bucknell, 2009–

–Interdisciplinary biodiversity reading group, 2012

–Bucknell Innovation Group, 2012

–Environmental humanities IP course, The Susquehanna Country, Fall 2012 with revised second offering planned for Fall 2013

–Faculty Advisor, Writers of Rohan, 2007—

Invitations and Presentations (selected)

–“Trees in Medieval Symbolism,” and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ecocriticism,” International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, May 2013.

–“Eriugena and Ecocriticism,” Medieval Academy of America, in absentia due to illness, April 2013.

–“Eriugena on Scripture,” Florovsky Symposium, Princeton Theological Seminary, Feb. 2013.

–“Florensky on Marriage,” Sophia Institute, Union Theological Seminary, Dec. 2012.

–“Memory and Nature in Dante and Dostoevsky,” Nature Philosophy and Religion Society, International Environmenal Philosophical Association at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Nov. 2012.

–“Coleridge and Bulgakov: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability,” Orthodox Theological Society of America, Sept. 2012.

–“Bulgakov, Florensky and Marriage: New Articulations of Ancient Traditions.” Sophia Institute, Union Theological Seminary, Dec. 2012.

–“Memory in Dante and Dostoevsky.” Society for Nature, Philosophy, and Religion conference, Rochester Institute of Technology, Nov. 2012.

–“Trees,” Eco-Materialism round table, International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2012.

–“The Early Medieval Sublime.” Sophia Institute, Union Theological Seminary. Dec. 2, 2011.

–“Green Worlds and Ecosemiotics.” University of Virginia Medieval Studies program. Nov. 21, 2011.

–“Christian Perspectives on American Nature: The Dissenting Views of James Feniomre and Susan Fenimore Cooper.” Society for Nature, Philosophy, and Religion, of the International Environmental Philosophy Association at the Society for Phenomenlogy and Existential Philosophy. Oct. 24, 2011.

–“Cooper, Coleridge, and Re-Imagining a Native Cosmology,” SUNY Oneonta Cooper conference, 18th James Feminore Cooper Conference and Seminar, July 12, 2011.

–“The Ecosemiosphere: Story and Region in Early Insular Medieval Literature.” Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment biannual conference. June 23, 2011.

–“Cooper, Coleridge and Priestley: Shaping American Ecopoetics on the Susquehanna Frontier.” John Burroughs and American Nature Writing Conference, SUNY Oneonta. June 6 2010.

–“Ecocriticism,” Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, George Washington University.  Jan. 29, 2010.

–“Early Ecosemiotics: The Green World as Literary Ecology,” at Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory Conference: Spatiality, memory and visualisation of culture/nature relationships: theoretical aspects.” Tallinn University, Estonia. Oct. 21, 2009.

–“Ecosemiotics and Ecocriticism,” Tartu University, Department of Semiotics seminar, Estonia. Oct. 25, 2009.

–“Cooper’s Green World: Eco Semiotics of Adapted European Tradition,” at 17th James Fenimore Cooper Conference and Seminar, SUNY Oneonta. July 14, 2009.

–“Desert Islands: Europe’s Atlantic Archipelago as Ascetic Landscape,” Pennsylvania State University Medieval Conference on “The Atlantic Middle Ages.” March 28, 2009.

–“Body as Place,” Comparative Humanities Review Conference on “Place and Body,” Bucknell University. March 27, 2009.

–“An Ecocritical Reading of the ‘Green World’ motif in The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” 15th International Medieval Congress, Leeds, UK, July 2008, on The Natural World.

–“Eriugena, Iconographic Intertextuality, and the Otherworld,” 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo MI, May 2007.


Select Reviews

–Review of Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley in Speculum 86 (2011): 798-800.

–Review of Ents, Elves and Eriador:The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien from Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 127-133, 17.2 Fall 2010

Review of Batu-Angas: Envisioning Nature with Alfred Russel Wallace in Temenos Academy Review 12 (2009): 1-6.

Select Awards and Honors

Dean’s Fellow, Bucknell University, 2014

Senior Fellow, Sophia Institute at Union Theological Seminary, 2012–.

Scadden Research Fellowship, Bucknell, 2010-2011.

Co-winner, Maxwell Award, Bucknell, 2008.

President’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Bucknell, 2007.

Supervised two student winners of Maxwell Prizes for work in environmental humanities, 2007 and 2009.

Three-time winner of Peteter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, 1990-1992

Other Academic Work (selected)

Bucknell on the Susquehanna faculty and curricular development, 2010-2011

Athletic Diversity Issues Planning Committee, Bucknell, 2011

Ethics and Values Domain committee, Bucknell Student Affairs, 2011

Senior Fellow, Environmental Residential College, 2010

Brain Mind Culture Faculty Reading Group, 2010

Coordinator, Susquehanna Valley Summer Writers Institute, 2009-2010, 2012

Founding Faculty Coodinator, Nature and Human Communities Initiative, Bucknell, 2008-2011

Environmental Humanities Initiative coordinator, Bucknell, 2007-2008.

Convener, Susquehanna Colloquium for Nature and Human Communities, 2006–2011.

Chair, Susquehanna River Committee, Bucknell Environmental Center, 2004-2005

Selected Grants Received

 Scadden Fellowship, Bucknell University, $5,000

2010 Forum for Pennsylvania’s Heartland (from PA Department of Community and Economic Development and Degenstein Foundation, $17,000 (with Amanda Wooden), Susquehanna Valley Writers Institute

2009 Conservation Fund/R.K. Mellon (with Katherine Faull), $30,000, researching Susquehanna national historic trail proposal

2009-10 Bucknell University, 75% salary for sabbatical research

2008 John Ben Snow Foundation (with Katherine Faull), $16,000 seed money, Susquehanna Valley Writers Institute

2007-9 Bucknell University and Henry M. Luce funds (with Katherine Faull), $30,000 for university focus year and river symposium on Susquehanna Valley environmental humanities

2008 Degenstein Foundation (with Katherine Faull), $12,000 for Susquehanna Valley environmental history research




Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, English, 2001. Exams passed with distinction.

M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, English, 1997.

M.A. with distinction, University of Wales at Aberystwyth, Early British Studies, 1995,

M.S.J., Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1982.

B.A., Brown University, History, 1981.

Academic and Professional Positions

Associate Professor, English Department, Bucknell University, 2009—

Assistant Professor, English Department, Bucknell University, 2002-2008

Visiting Scholar, University College Cork, Early Irish Department, Fall 2004 (research leave)

Visiting Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001-2002.

Urban Affairs Writer, Chicago Sun-Times, 1989-92.

Chicago correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor, 1988.

Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times Co., 1983-1988.