Professor of English
BA (College of William and Mary, 1985); MA (University of Virginia, 1987); PhD (University of Virginia, 1993)
Office: Frandsen 110A
Telephone: (775) 682-6375
Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism, Colonial and Nineteenth-Century American Literatures, Creative Nonfiction, Film Studies
Reading the Roots:
Rants from the Hill, monthly blog essays in High Country News http://www. hcn.org. The Rants are also featured as a professionally produced podcast series that is available on iTunes and through hcn. org.
Mike Branch, whose doctorate is from the University of Virginia (1993), is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he teaches American literature, film, and environmental studies. He is a co-founder and past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and he served for sixteen years as the Book Review Editor of the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. He is a co-founder and series co-editor of the University of Virginia Press book series Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism, with twenty-five titles to date. He has published five books and more than 150 articles, essays, and reviews, and has given more than 200 invited lectures, conference papers, readings, and workshops. His creative nonfiction includes pieces that have received Honorable Mention for the Pushcart Prize and have been recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays, The Best Creative Nonfiction, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His creative work has appeared in magazines and journals including Utne Reader, Orion, Ecotone, Isotope, Hawk and Handsaw, Places, Whole Terrain, Red Rock Review, Watershed, New South, and Terminus. He also writes a monthly essay called Rants from the Hill for High Country News online. He is co-editor of The Height of Our Mountains: Nature Writing from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) and Reading the Earth: New Directions in the Study of Literature and Environment (University of Idaho Press, 1998), and editor of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated John Muir’s Last Journey: South to the Amazon and East to Africa (Island Press, 2001). His book The ISLE Reader: Ecocriticism, 1993-2003 (University of Georgia Press; co-edited with Scott Slovic) was published in 2003, and Reading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden, was published in 2004 by University of Georgia Press. Mike Branch has received the Dean’s Research Award, as well as teaching and advising awards including the Golden Key National Honor Society Distinguished Teacher Award, the Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award, the Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award, and the Vada Trimble Outstanding Mentor Award. He has served appointments as the Fitzgerald Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the Thomson Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies at Davidson College in North Carolina. His environmental community service initiatives include the Tahoe Forest Stewardship Days program, which he co-founded in 1998. Mike lives with his wife Eryn and daughters Hannah Virginia and Caroline Emerson at “Piedmont,” a passive solar home of their own design at 6,000 feet in the high desert north of Reno, where the Great Basin and the Sierra Nevada meet.