Tom Lynch's Profile Image
Professor and Place Studies Liaison

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 editor of the journal Western American Literature.

Visit the Place Studies website.

Selected Publications and 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.


Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place at a Time. Co-edited with Susan Naramore Maher, Drucilla Wall, and O. Alan Weltzien. University of Nebraska Press (2017).

Natural Treasures of the Great Plains: An Ecological Perspective. Co-edited with Paul A. Johnsgard and Jack Philips. Prairie Chronicle Press (2015).

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

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 University of Nebraka’s Digital Commons

Place Studies, the Department of English’s place-based, environmental reading and writing area of emphasis


Ph.D. (1989), University of Oregon
American literature / folklore

M.A. (1981), University of Oregon
English literature

B.A. (1977), Indiana University of Pennsylvania
English literature

Areas of Interest

Cross-cultural ecocriticism and place-conscious literary studies, with an emphasis on bioregionalism