Santa Clara University

Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

John Farnsworth


John S. Farnsworth

Senior Lecturer

Office: Swig Residence Hall, Room 1100 & Varsi Hall 220
Phone: (408) 551-3916 (Swig) & (408) 551-3084 (Varsi)

MFA, Antioch University
MLA, Stanford University
PhD Candidate, University of Stirling

Teaching and Research Vision

Environmental studies, as an academic pursuit, is ultimately about community.  My own experience has been that the best classes are those in which a strong community dynamic is present.  In the classroom I attempt to create a space where my students and I can examine the values and practices that either enhance or diminish the integrity, diversity and beauty of natural systems. 

My research is currently evolving.  I've been studying environmental rhetoric for the past decade, but I'm now moving toward studies of literary natural history.  I've been especially interested in natural histories of Baja California Sur, including my own creative attempts to write about the discoveries my students make during our expeditions to circumnavigate Isla Espiritu Santo.


Courses Taught

ENVS 1A & 2A: Analyzing Green Rhetoric (Critical Thinking &Writing I & II)
ENVS 11A & 12A: Nature and Imagination (Cultures & Ideas I and II)
ENVS 79: Environmental Thought
ENVS 142: Writing Natural History (Part of the Baja studies abroad program)

Representative Publications

"What Does the Desert Say?:  A Rhetorical Analysis of Desert Solitaire."  Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory.  Fall 2010: Volume 12 Number 1.

"When University Presidents Become Tree Huggers: A Report from the Field." (Book Chapter)  Climate Neutral Campus Report, Second Edition. Kyoto Publishing/American College and University Presidents? Climate Commitment. 2010

"Writing the Island."  Santa Clara Magazine. Fall, 2010 

Forward to:  A Yankee in Mexican California, 1834-1836. Berkely: Heydey Books, California Legacy Series. 2010

"Sustainability by Design"  (Book review) Green Theory and Praxis: A Journal of Ecopedagogy. Vol. 5, No 1.  Spring, 2010