My teaching and scholarship on the literary and cultural history of the United States is focused in the environmental humanities, American poetry and poetics, and the teaching of writing. In addition to my teaching responsibilities at Keene State College, I taught in the Department of English at the University of Washington Seattle, Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English (Juneau, Alaska, Washington and Lee University, and Phillips Exeter Academy.
Beyond my primary responsibilities teaching undergraduates at Keene State College I have taught graduate-level classes as well as faculty workshops in the teaching of writing. In addition, for ten summers I co-facilitated a faculty development institute on the teaching of writing.
Undergraduate Course Offerings
ENG 215 Literary Analysis
ENG 240 Readings in American Literature
ENG 270 Mountains and the Literary Imagination; Environmentalism and Literature
ENG 285 Genre Studies: Modern and Postmodern Poetry
ENG 290 Representing the Environment: Literature, Painting Photography
ENG 341 Early American Literature
ENG 343 Twentieth-Century American Literature
ENG 344 Studies in American Literature
ENG 410 Theories of American Literature
ENG 420 Single Figure: William Carlos Williams
ENG 490: Literature and Democracy
ENG 490 Ralph Waldo Emerson
ENG 495 Seminar: The American Long Poem
ENG 495 Seminar: Whitman’s Presence
ENG 495 Seminar: Gary Snyder
ENG 495 Seminar: Mary Oliver
ENG 495 Seminar: The Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman
AMST 210 Introduction to American Studies (Intellectual History, the 1980s, literature of the Pacific Rim)
AMST 290 Representing the Environment in Literature, Painting and Photography
AMST 350 Space and Place
AMST 390 Early American Literature
ITW 101 Thinking and Writing: Searching for Wildness
ITW 101 Thinking and Writing : What is Nature?
ITW 101 The Science and Literature of Plants (Team-taught Kristen Porter-Utley, Biology)
ENG 101 Essay Writing: Environmental Issues
ENG 201 Writing with Style
ENG 208 Reading and Writing the Environment
ENG 202: Nonfiction Writing
ENG 402 Theory and Practice: The Essay
ENST 399: Writing in an Endangered World
Michelle Pardue, “Spanish and English” (with professor Lourdes Ramirez-Crusellas)
Eric Snare, “The Improvisational Arts: Reading, Writing, Theater” (with professor Daniel Patterson, Theater)
I have worked with advanced students in English 498: Independent Study. Independent topics on which students have chosen to work with me have included non-fiction prose writing, American women poets, nature writing, the environmental arts, theories of reading, Asian-American literature, modern and postmodern poetry, and the literature and history of the Appalachian Trail.
Selected Student Comments on My Teaching
Dr. Long’s ability to stimulate and raise fundamental questions is very impressive. He knows how to engage and direct students to think clearly and effectively. His willingness to talk after class and respond to e-mails was very valuable.
Dr. Long’s tremendous and astonishing knowledge of literature (and life) is only surpassed by his ability to impart that knowledge. In short, his openness, knowledge and enthusiasm reveal an extraordinary man endowed with a gift for teaching.
I have never taken a course in literature prior to this one. It far exceeded my expectations. Mark Long’s knowledge for literature and history is impressive. His enthusiasm for teaching is obvious and willingness to share his thoughts with the class. It was the best English class I have taken and among the top courses I have ever taken.
This is the finest class I have ever participated in. The material (American literature) was superlative. Students were expected to think rather than being told how to think. Brilliant.
This is by far the best course I have taken at Keene State College. It really opened things up for me. I’m not an English major and so I was unsure about this course. I really appreciated Mark’s flair for explanations and not assuming too much. He engaged us in reading and writing using a wide range of material.
You’ve made one more person love poetry. I have always been intimidated by poetry. And I still am. But you’ve shown me that being surprised and overcome by something does not make it unenjoyable.
I’ve truly appreciated your guidance. You show us your knowledge of interpretation but you do not tell us how to respond. The idea that we need practice responding and your willingness to give us the time and encouragement to respond is impressive. I hope I can take another course from you.
Keep Mark teaching. He takes a genuine interest in learning and in students who want to learn. I’m sitting here filling out my evaluation and listening to what other students are saying about the course. “I actually learned to read in this course.” I can’t believe I never learned this stuff about writing in my other courses.” I wish we could keep this course going.
The best thing about this class was that you were learning right along with us. I enjoy this approach so much more than when the prof. takes the all-knowing attitude. Your love of learning is key. We pick up on that and go with it.
I didn’t know that I could ever do this. It was amazing that the more I got into my writing project the faster and more meaningful my readings became. You were right about good writing: it comes from wanting to do it. Your advocacy of the more truthful things about thinking and writing is a very valuable gift. Thank you.
Thank you so much for those enlightening responses. Those e-mails alone taught me more than all that I have learned in college.
I have been fortunate to have you-a knowledgeable, insightful, accessible instructor-to guide me through this learning experience, and to help me link this course with my other two courses in English. Thank you so much for this opportunity to learn and expand my horizons.
This is the best class I have taken at KSC. It is not what I learned, though. The way I think has been changed, and that’s exciting!
The course was gripping. Your courses are independent and uniquely thoughtful. The most admirable characteristic you possess is your clear passion for teaching and discussing. I do not doubt, for a moment, that you work very hard and care very much when it comes teaching students how to read and write and think more carefully.
You have the energy and real life wisdom that makes you a rare teacher, highly demanding and thought provoking, with a way of inspiring students to take themselves seriously.
Co-Designer and Facilitator, “Staying Alive: A Workshop for Academic Professionals,” Workshop at the Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment,” Victoria, British Columbia, June 2009
Co-Designer and Facilitator, “Staying Alive: A Workshop for Academic Professionals,” Pre-Conference Workshop at the Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment,” Spartanburg, South Carolina, June 2007
Co-Designer and Facilitator, “Criticism and Theory,” a Workgroup at the Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment,” Spartanburg, South Carolina, June 2007
Faculty Member, Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English, University of Southeast Alaska-Southeast, Summer 2006
Co-Founder and Facilitator, The Calderwood Institute on the Teaching of Writing, Keene State College, June 2003, June 2004, May 2005, June 2006, June 2007, June 2008, June 2009, June 2010, June 2012, June 2013
Dissertation Committee Member for Carmen Lowe, “The Inhuman Imagination in Twentieth Century Poetry from Robinson Jeffers and D.H. Lawrence to Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath,” Tufts University, Spring 2002
Participant, American Association of College and University Curriculum and Faculty Development Workshop, “Boundaries and Borderlands: The Search for Recognition and Community in America,” Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 13-23 July, 2000
Co-Instructor, English 567: Graduate Teaching Assistant Training Seminar, University of Washington, 1994, 1995
The Bread Loaf School of English
I spent the summer of 2006 in Juneau, Alaska, teaching on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, where I taught two courses: Writing as a Critical Reader and Searching for Wildness: Readings in the Environmental Literature of North America. Since 1920 the Bread Loaf School of English has offered graduate courses in literature, the teaching of writing, creative writing, and theater arts to students from across the United States. For six weeks each summer Bread Loaf students, most of them secondary-school teachers, work toward an M.A. or M.Litt. at one of the five Bread Loaf Campuses: Alaska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oxford (England), and the home campus located outside Middlebury at the foot of Bread Loaf Mountain in Vermont. For more information about the Bread Loaf School of English visit http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/blse/.
The Calderwood Insitute on the Teaching of Writing
Since 2002, The Calderwood Institute on the Teaching of Writing has provided an opportunity for eight Keene State faculty members to engage in the kind of reading, reflection and dialogue that can result in more effective ways to teach, assign, and evaluate student writing. I co-facilitate the insitute with my colleagues Phyllis Benay (associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Center for Writing ) and Kirsti Sandy (associate professor of English and Director of Writing). The institute begins with intensive discussions about what faculty value in their own writing and what we expect from our students. Drawing on a collection of readings that represent what we know about student writing and its relationship to learning, participants examine what we know about students as writers, and the relationship between writing and cognitive development. Participants then work individually and collaboratively throughout the academic year to transform their own writing assignments, methods of evaluation, and course design. For more information about the Institute’s work, and the work of the Keene State College Interdisciplinary Task Force on Writing, please visit the web site of the Writing Task Force.
Selected Responses from Institute Participants
“It drove home to me how much writing itself is a way of learning, not just a way of demonstrating learning. While I have myself learned a lot from the writing I have done I was never conscious enough of this process to convey that or emphasize that in my classes. This new way of thinking about the role of writing in learning provides a sounder basis for its use in the classroom.” – Rosemary Gianno, Anthropology
“I think this approach toward writing as learning could go some distance toward improving the educational experience of our students on an individual level and creating a more positive attitude toward academic rigor within student culture at Keene State College.” – Dave Payson, Communication
“In my case, students of Graphic Design know they must learn to visually communicate ideas, but it often takes some convincing to get these same students to appreciate the advantage of developing good written communication skills as well. I believe the institute has greatly increased my ability to demonstrate and discuss the value of effective written communication in the classroom.” – Bob Kostick, Graphic Design
“I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with my colleagues from several departments and to have the time to discuss what we value in writing and why we value it. Furthermore, as a new faculty member, the institute helped me feel more established as part of the community here at Keene State College.” – Karen Stanish, Mathematics
“The interdisciplinary nature of the workshop was a real strength. Interacting with colleagues from other disciplines was invaluable, and something that we do not do enough of on this campus. I enjoyed listening to others talk about writing from their disciplinary perspective, and those conversations will help me articulate to my students the value of writing to learn not only mathematics, but other subjects as well. And what a wonderful environment Keene State College would be for our students if they observed that faculty across disciplines have consistent views about the value of writing.” – Dick Jardine, Mathematics
“As I finalize my syllabi, I have been reviewing my materials from the Writing Institute, reflecting on what I learned and making changes-some subtle, some dramatic-to my assignments. I am excited to share these ideas with students.” – Peggy Walsh, Sociology
Before accepting my position at Keene State College, I taught for two years as an Acting Instructor in the Department of English at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Undergraduate Courses, University of Washington (1992-1998)
English 131 Freshman Composition
English 213 Modern and Postmodern Literature
English 242 Introduction to the Short Story
English 242 Introduction to the Novel
English 281 Intermediate Expository Writing
English 337 The Modern Novel
English 338 Modern Poetry
GS 350 Independent Fieldwork for Secondary School Teachers
English 353 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
English 354 Early-Modern American Literature
English 355 Contemporary American Literature
English 381 Advanced Expository Writing
English 452 Topics in American Studies: Philosophy, Architecture and Literature
English 467 Colloquium for Undergraduate Teachers of English (co-instructor)
English 499 Independent Study: Modern Women Writers; Literary Modernism