David Fenimore

David Fenimore, M.A.

Interim Director of Core Humanities; Principal Lecturer of English
Headshot of David Fenimore


In addition to undergraduate writing and literature courses, David Fenimore has taught in the Core Humanities program since its inception. He enjoys the synthesis of disciplines in these survey courses, required of students from every major and college. Whether taking on the ancient, medieval, modern, or American courses in the sequence, he likes to work with a range of media, platforms and learning modalities.

Fenimore's writing and much of his teaching stem for the most part, from his interests in music, art, drama, history, science and storytelling.

He also serves as one of the English Department's principal academic advisors.

Notable performances

Fenimore has been an active scholar in the national Chautauqua movement, having portrayed throughout the U.S. and abroad, a stable of historical characters in researched humanities-based interactive performances: Zane Grey, Horace Greeley, John A. Sutter, Lewis Keseberg and Woody Guthrie. For the past 15 years he has written and/or adapted and edited a play for Readers Theatre, a regular feature of the Western Literature Association's annual meetings.

In his free time, he enjoys bicycling, skiing, paddling and playing the piano, at which he is about as accomplished as Woody Guthrie was on the guitar.

Research interests

  • Western American history and culture
  • Folk music and the oral tradition
  • Storytelling

Courses taught

  • English 102: Composition II
  • Core Humanities 202: The Modern World
  • Core Humanities 203: American Experiences
  • Core Humanities 212: Science, Technology, and Modern Society
  • English 492C: Language & Culture (Storytelling)


  • "Cowboys on the Moon: How Science Fiction Revived the Western Frontier."  In Iperstoria: Testi Letterature Linguaggi, Spring 2016 (7), 86-93. www.iperstoria.it
  • "Horace Greeley's 1859 Overland Journey; Or, How Marx and Engels Shot it Out with Daniel Boone." In Transcontinental Reflections on the American West: Words, Images, Sounds Beyond Borders. Angel Chaparro Sainz and Amaia Ibarraran Bigalondo, eds. Berkeley: Portal, 2015.
  • "'A Brooding and Dangerous Soul': Deadwood's Imperfect Music." In Dirty Words and Deadwood: Literature and the Postwestern. Melody Graulich and Nicholas Witschi, eds. University of Nebraska Press, 2013.
  • "From California to Jarama Valley: Woody Guthrie's Folk Banditry." In Beyond the Myth: New Perspectives on Western Texts. David Rio et al, eds. London: Portal Editions, 2011.
  • "'The Wind Blew Them Away': Folksinging the West, 1880-1930." In Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West. Nicholas Witschi, ed. Blackwell Publishing, 2011.
  • "'A bad boy grown up': The Wild Life Behind Zane Grey's Westerns." In Exploring the American Literary West: International Perspectives. Amaia Ibarraran et al, eds. Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain: University of the Basque Country Press, 2006.


  • M.A., English, University of Nevada, Reno, 1988
  • B.A., English, University of Pennsylvania, 1973