Professor Gannon's main place-based/ecocritical emphasis is that of the representation of other species (especially birds) in human discourse. In his recent book Skylark Meets Meadowlark, for instance, Professor Gannon explores how British and Native American poets and writers have incorporated birds into their writings. He discerns an evolution in humankind's representations—and attitudes toward—other species by examining the avian images and tropes in British Romantic and Native American literatures, and by considering how such literary treatment succeeds from an ecological or animal-rights perspective. Such depictions, Gannon argues, reveal much about underlying cultural and historical representations with the Other—whether other species or other peoples. In fact, he perceives a recent egalitarian, even familial, re-connection with other species that transcends the oh-so-human poetic projections of centuries, as evidenced in the work of recent Native American poets. In this veritable tome of a study that attempts to cross the borders of species, Professor Gannon offers the academic world such new jargon as zöocriticism and ornithicriticism, both soon destined for the dustbin of lit-crit history through their sheer ungainliness.
Besides writing extensively on ecocritical & animal-rights issues, Professor Gannon teaches several Native Literature courses that have a concerted place-based/eco-emphasis:
* English 245E: Native American Literature(s)
* English 245N: Native American Women (Writers)
* English 445E/845E: Native American Literature(s): Ideas & Visions
He also teaches a "unit" on ecocriticism in his Lit-Crit/Theory courses (ENGL 270, ENGL 471/871).
Thomas C. Gannon
Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies