Name: Dr. Stephen M Mercier
Title: Full-Time Teaching Associate, College Writing Specialist
Mailbox is in Fontaine
Office Location: Fontaine 323
Extension: (845) 575-3000 ext. 2614
Email: Stephen.Mercier@marist.edu
Degrees Held:

Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

M.A. University of Rhode Island

B.A. Clark University

Bio:

Dr. Stephen M. Mercier grew up in Cumberland, Rhode Island. He attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he majored in Psychology. After college he lived in Studio City, California, where he worked for four years as a Production Assistant on television situation comedies. He also recorded music and performed on the Sunset Strip. Returning to his home state, he attended the University of Rhode Island (URI) in Kingston, where he completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in English in May of 2004. For three years Steve worked in the Writing Center and was the Assistant Editor of the academic quarterly, ATQ: 19th-Century American Literature and Culture. In Autumn 2008 he guest edited a special issue on John Burroughs in the Hudson River Valley for The Hudson River Valley Review. His dissertation is titled: "Revaluing the Literary Naturalist: John Burroughs's Emotive Environmental Aesthetics." He was interviewed for pieces about Burroughs that appeared in The New York Times and on National Public Radio (NPR). Steve has taught courses in English and Composition at URI, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Wheaton College, and SUNY New Paltz.
 

Interests:

Professor Mercier plays the guitar and enjoys running, hiking in the Shawangunk Ridge, and kayaking.

Awards & Honors:

Faculty of the Year Award, Liberal Arts, 2011-2012

Faculty of the Year Award, Liberal Arts, 2010-2011

Special Recognition Award, School of Liberal Arts, 2009

Recipient of the Thomas W. Casey Fellowship, 2008

Publications:

"Epic Narratives of Evolution: John Burroughs and Loren Eiseley." in Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012. 253-69.

"John Burroughs and the Sentimental: Revaluing the Literary Naturalist." Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (ISLE) 17.3 (Summer 2010): 507-25. Published by Oxford University Press.

"John Burroughs in the Hudson River Valley: An Introduction." The Hudson River Valley Review (Autumn 2008): 1-9.

"John Burroughs and the Hudson River Valley in Environmental History." The Hudson River Valley Review (Autumn 2008): 57-77.

"Ornithological Testimonies: Letters to John O'Birds." ATQ: 19th C. American Literature and Culture New Series 21.4 (December 2007): 151-64.

"John Burroughs and the Nineteenth Century." ATQ: 19th C. American Literature and Culture New Series 21.3 (September 2007): 151-64.

"John Burroughs Transpersonal Identity with Place." Book Chapter in Writing the Land: John Burroughs and his Legacy. Cambridge Scholars Press. 2008.

Book Review of Priscilla Coit Murphy's What a Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring. Amherst, MA: U of Massachusetts P, 2005. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (ISLE) 14.2 (Summer 2007): 280-81.

"Ornithological Testimonies: Letters to John O'Birds." ATQ: 19th Century American Literature and Culture New Series 21.4 (December 2007).

"When Congress Debated Migration: John Burroughs, Henry Ford, Ernest Thompson Seton, and the Congressional Debate over the Weeks-McLean Law." Wake-Robin: Newsletter of the John Burroughs Association at the Museum of Natural History (AMNH) 39.2 (Winter 2007): 6-10.

"Into the Pond-Lily's Heart: The Influence of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass on John Burroughs." Wake-Robin 38.3 (Spring 2006): 4-8.

"Letters to John O'Birds." Wake-Robin 38.1 (Spring 2005):
3-7.

Research Interests:

He is interested in composition studies, nineteenth-century American literature, nature writing, environmental aesthetics, place studies, and ecocriticism.

At Marist College, Steve has taught:
College Writing I
College Writing II
Literature of the Hudson River Valley: Imagining Literary Places (Honors)
American Literature I (online and on-ground)
American Literature II (online and on-ground)
Introduction to Literature
Literature and Gender

Conferences & Workshops:

June 4-8, 2012. "'Sharp Eyes' VII: Is Nature Writing Dead?" SUNY Oneonta. Opening Address: "John Burroughs: Life & Works."

June 7-10, 2010. “'Sharp Eyes' VI: Old Lessons for a New Millennium: Nature Writing and Environmentalism in the 21st Century.” SUNY Oneonta. “John Burroughs’s ‘The Long Road,’ Loren Eiseley’s The Immense Journey, and the Genre of Natural History.”(Conference Paper)

June 27-29, 2008. The Keyboard in the Garden: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Literature and Mediated Nature. Doyelstown, PA. “Edenic Images in United States Nature Writing.” (Conference Paper)

June 15-19, 2008. “‘Sharp Eyes V’: John Burroughs and Nineteenth-Century Science.” Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. “John Burroughs and the Passenger Pigeon.”
(Conference Paper)

November 7, 2008 “Self-Invention and Emily Dickinson: Reading, Writing, and the Construction of the Poetic Self.”
Workshop at Bard College

April 18, 2008 “Why Write? Vision and Purpose in the Classroom” Workshop at Bard College

December 7-9, 2007“Writing and Thinking” Workshop at Bard College

November 9, 2007 Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking. Attended workshop "Biography as Literary and Historical Text: Mark Lytle's The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement."

March 22-25, 2006 Chicago, IL
"Composition in the Center Spaces: Building Community, Culture, Coalitions." Fifty-Seventh Annual Convention of the College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCC)

July 9-15, 2006 Concord, MA
Selected to participate in National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop, titled "Concord, Massachusetts, and American Utopian Thought in the Early 19th Century."

Affiliations:

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
John Burroughs Association (JBA)
New York College English Association (NYCEA)
Modern Language Association (MLA)
National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)

Presentations:

June 21, 2001 Flagstaff, Arizona
"Persuasive Strategies in United States Nature Writing: Toward a Taxonomy for the Twenty-First Century" delivered at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment's (ASLE) Fourth Biennial Conference at Northern Arizona State University.

June 6, 2003 Boston, Massachusetts
"John Burroughs's Ecological Sublime View of Evolution" delivered at ASLE's Fifth Biennial Conference at Boston University.

February 21, 2004 Saratoga Springs, NY
"The Emotive in Environmental Aesthetics" delivered at the Fourteenth North American Interdisciplinary Conference: Environment and Commmunity.

May 15, 2004 West Park, NY
Guest Speaker for Slabsides Day at the John Burroughs Sanctuary. Talk was titled "Intimate Ornithological Testimonies: Letters to John O'Birds."

June 9, 2004 Oneonta, NY
"Intimate Ornithological Testimonies: Letters to John O'Birds" also presented at "Sharp Eyes III: John Burroughs and His Contemporaries, Near and Far: A Summer Conference on John Burroughs and Nature Writing" at SUNY Oneonta

May 21, 2004 West Park, NY
Guest speaker for Slabsides Day at the John Burroughs Sanctuary. Talk was titled "Into the Pond-Lily's Heart: The Influence of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass on John Burroughs."

June 5, 2006 Oneonta, NY
"John Burroughs's Transpersonal Identity with Place" delivered at "Sharp Eyes IV: Writing the Land: John Burroughs and his Legacy." SUNY Oneonta

April 14, 2007 (Morning) New Paltz, NY
"John Burroughs's Rhetoric of Evolution: Poetry, Science, and Spirituality" delivered at the New York College English Association (NYCEA) conference on "Literature on Evolution/Literature on Revolution" at SUNY New Paltz.

April 14, 2007 (Afternoon) West Park, NY
"The Life and Writings of John Burroughs" delivered at Slabsides. Invited to speak to honor students from Mount Saint Mary College.

June 2007 Spartanburg, South Carolina
"John Burroughs and the Sentimental" delivered at ASLE's Seventh Annual Biennial Conference at Wofford College.

October 27, 2007 West Park, NY
"John Burroughs, Environmentalism, and The Hudson Valley" delivered at Pond House. Invited to speak to honors from Mount Saint Mary College.

February 29, 2008 “John Burroughs – An Overview.” Invited Lecture at Town of Esopus Library. Port Ewen, NY.

April 29, 2008 “The Life and Writings of John Burroughs.” Invited Lecture to be keynote speaker for The Falconer Natural History 2008 Spring Lecture Series. Sponsored by the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the University of Albany.

June 10, 2008 “John Burroughs and the Hudson River Valley” Invited Lecture at The Hudson River Maritime Museum. Kingston, New York.


 

Miscellaneous:

Editorial Work:
Special Editor of ATQ: 19th C. American Literature and Culture for a double-special issue on John Burroughs and the Nineteenth Century (September and December 2007).

Guest Editor of the Special Issue of The Hudson River Valley Review in Autumn 2008 on John Burroughs and the Hudson River Valley.

Media Interviews:
Radio interview on John Burroughs for WAMC/NPR. Interviewed by Susan Barnett. Aired on November 13, 2007 during “The Roundtable.” Part of a 12 minute feature (prerecorded) on local nature writer John Burroughs.

Radio interview on John Burroughs for WGHG (Kingston, NY). Live interview during the morning show with Gloria Lipton, Fred Wadnola, Orvil Norman, and Al Teetsel. Live broadcast on February 28, 2008. 7:30-8:00a.m.


I Designed and Lead Two Formal Workshops for Primary and Secondary Teachers:

Instructor for workshop titled: “The Hudson River Becomes a Corridor of Commerce: The Transition from an Agrarian to an Industrial Economy.” This one-day workshop included trips to historical sites such as the Trapps Mountain Hamlet on the Mohonk Preserve and the D & H Canal Museum. Workshops were designed to help teachers utilize primary and secondary sources in their classrooms. (July 14, 2009)

I was the Instructor for “The Heritage of the Hudson River Valley: How its Compelling Beauty Inspired the Creation of Distinct Forms of American Art, Architecture and Landscape Design.” This Teaching American History Workshop was intended for Secondary teachers of American History. I led participants on a field trip to Locust Grove, Springside, Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, and the Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. Participants learned about American Romanticism, the Hudson River School of Art, as well as landscape design and architecture of the region. A major goal of the workshop was to make important links between the local, national, and international movements. Both workshops were sponsored by Dutchess BOCES and the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College. These workshops allowed secondary teachers to explore important aspects of the Hudson River Valley and its history. (July 15, 2009)

Presenter for The Big Read on “Edgar Allen Poe and The Gothic.” The well-attended event was open to the community and held in the Performing Arts Room. (October 13, 2010)

Gave a Presentation on “Poe and the Gothic Genre” to local middle and high schools as they come to Marist as part of The Big Read event. Nelly Golletti Theater (October 14, 2010)

Presenter for The Big Read Poughkeepsie 2011 at Marist’s “Improvising Wilder” component titled “How Do You Imagine Literary Places?” I developed a PowerPoint presentation that asked 200 local high school students, “How do you conceive of the place you inhabit?” We also looked closely at passages in Thornton Wilder’s famous play Our Town through the lens of Place Studies.  (October 20, 2011)