Meet the Faculty
James W. Hutchinson
AB, English, Stanford University, 1965;
MA, English, University of Virginia, 1966;
PhD, American Studies, University of New Mexico, 1975.
Besides Simon's Rock 1976-, I've held teaching positions (full or part-time) at Colorado State University, the University of New Mexico, Berkshire Community College, SUNY Albany, and the Language and Thinking Workshop for New Students at Bard College (1984-1990).
Co-Director (with Pat Sharpe) of Simon's Rock Writing and Thinking Workshop for new students (1992 to 1998).
Workshop Leader, Simon's Rock Writing and Thinking Workshop for new students (1982, 1983, 2002, 2006, 2008, as well as a number of times over the years in January for students admitted at mid-year).
Associate of the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking.
Director, Bard College at Simon's Rock Summer Young Writers Workshop (1986-present).
Areas of Interest:
American and English Romanticism • Nature Writing • the Personal Essay • Creative Nonfiction • Writing to Learn • Christian Themes in Literature • Contemporary Native American Literature • the Short Story • The American West in Literature and Film • The Inklings (Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Barfield).
For a number of years I also co-taught a course called "Writing and Photography Studio" with a member of the Arts Department. Now that he's retired, the course is no longer offered, though the relationship between writing and photography remains an area of interest.
Research Interests/Professional Service
- For many years I've been interested in the work of the English philosopher Owen Barfield and the ways in which it can be used to shed light on the epistemological concerns of various writers in the Romantic tradition. This has resulted in recent papers on Emerson and C.S. Lewis, among others. I've served as Languages and Literature Division Head, as well as on most of the major college committees. In particular I've enjoyed serving on the AEP and Admissions Committee in recent years given its critical role in helping to bring qualified students to the college.
- Since 2006 I've been studying and photographing the Red Fox population near where I live. Although mostly a personal hobby, it should eventually result in an article or two.
Personal essays, book reviews, and scholarly papers have appeared in New America: A Review (now defunct); Western American Literature; ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance; The American Nature Writing Newsletter (now ASLE News);The Berkshire Review; Under the Sun; and Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature.
Over the years I've been awarded a number of Faculty Development Fund grants in support of sabbatical projects and travel to conferences where I've been presenting papers.
I've presented scholarly papers at the conventions of the Modern Language Association, the New England Modern Language Association, the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, and the American Literature Association. I've also twice given lectures to students and faculty as part of the First-Year Seminar lecture series (once on Plato, once on Hamlet), and was the faculty speaker at the college's annual Honors Convocation in 2007. From roughly 1984 to 2000, I designed and led Writing to Learn Workshops for high school and college teachers as an Associate of the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking. I've also annually taught in the Bard College at Simon's Rock Summer Young Writers Workshop since 1983, and directed the workshop since 1986.