Degrees and institutions granting the degree

  • Ph.D. University of Oregon, American literature / folklore, June 1989.
  • M.A. University of Oregon, English literature, 1981.
  • B.A. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, English literature, 1977.

Professional Areas of Specialty

My primary areas of interest are cross-cultural ecocriticism and place-conscious literary studies, with an emphasis on bioregionalism. The places whose literature my research focuses on are the American West and the Australian Outback, that is, arid lands that have come under the sway of English-speaking settler colonialism. I also serve as new editor of the journal Western American Literature.

Courses regularly taught:

  • English 317, Literature and Environment
  • English 211, Literature of Place
  • English 261, American Literature since 1865
  • English 4/805, Fiction of the American West
  • English 933, Seminar in Ecocriticism and Environmental Writing

Selected publications and/or projects

My current main research project is “Outback / Out West,” an analysis of literature of the American West and the Australian Outback employing ecocriticism and settler-colonial theory.


The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place. Co-edited with Cheryll Glotfelty and Karla Armbruster. University of Georgia Press (2012). The first collection of essays to apply bioregionalism to literary analysis.

Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley. Co-edited with Susan N. Maher. University of Nebraska Press (2012). The first collection of scholarly essays on Loren Eiseley.

The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture. Edited and co-authored by SueEllen Campbell. University of California Press (2011). A multi-authored volume exploring the natural and cultural dimensions of a diversity of Earth's terrains, biomes, and global processes. My main contribution was a chapter on deserts.

Xerophilia: Ecocritical Explorations in Southwestern Literature, Texas Tech University Press (2008). This book is a bioregionally oriented ecocritical study of multi-cultural literatures of the American Southwest. Winner of the 2009 Thomas J. Lyon award from the Western Literature Association.

El Lobo: Readings on the Mexican Gray Wolf, University of Utah Press (2005). This book is an anthology I edited regarding the Mexican gray wolf and the campaign to restore this once nearly extinct subspecies to portions of its former range in Arizona and New Mexico.

Recent Essays and Book Chapters

"Strange Lands: Settler-Colonialism and National Parks in Charles Fletcher Lummis' and Arthur Groom's Portrayals of the American West and the Australian Outback." Forthcoming in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

"'Nothing but land': Women's Narratives, Gardens, and the Settler-Colonial Imaginary in the U.S. West and Australia Outback." Forthcoming in Western American Literature.

"Barefoot into Reality at Paruku." Forthcoming in EarthLines.

"'The Borders betwen Us': Loren Eiseley's Ecopoetics." In Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley. Ed. Tom Lynch and Susan N. Maher. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2012. 123-142. A Chinese translation of this chapter is also forthcoming in the Journal of Jiangsu University.


  • Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (awards chair)
  • Western Literature Association
  • Association for the Study of Literature, Environment, and Culture: Australia/NewZealand
  • American Association of Australasian Literary Studies
  • Loren Eiseley Society

Various essays are also available online at the UNL Digital Commons
Personal Webpage
Place Studies: The UNL English Department's place-based, environmental reading and writing area of emphasis

Thomas Lynch Photo

Thomas Lynch
314 Andrews Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0333
(402)472-1833 (office)