Steven Shoemaker

Steven Shoemaker's picture
Lecturer in English

B.S., University of Maryland, 1986

Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1996

Steve Shoemaker has taught writing and literature for more than thirty years, and at a number of colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Virginia.  He also served for many years as the Director of College Writing and the Roth Writing Center at Connecticut College.  As a teacher of writing, he is committed to helping students engage with writing as a genuine act of thinking, a powerful means for pursuing the questions they find most compelling. In recent years, he has often focused on developing innovative approaches to the teaching of writing and on cultivating fresh approaches to the reading and teaching of literature, with a special emphasis on intersections with cognitive science and neuroscience.  He has given talks at the Modern Language Association and elsewhere that draw on neuroscientific research in order to address the question of how we can help student writers pursue growth, creativity, and insight.  His literary scholarship has also drawn extensively on work in cognitive science and neuroscience, focusing on the way problems of embodied mind play out in literary texts.  In recent work on Hemingway, for example, he has investigated  how Hemingway’s approach to embodiment, including the complex explorations of gender identity in his later works, has been intertwined with an impulse toward metafiction that underlies much of Hemingway’s writing.  He is the editor of the collection Thinking Poetics: Essay on George Oppen (2009), and is currently working on a book project entitled The Poetics of Embodied Mind.

Selected Presentations

Thoreau’s Homer, Walcott’s Omeros, and Simultaneity.” Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, Virtual Conference, based in Concord, MA.  July 8, 2021 (upcoming).

“Sound, Silence and Listening.”  Presentation for Eczacıbaşı Group event on Innovation and Personal Transformation.  Virtual Conference, based in Turkey.  June 3, 2021.

William Carlos Williams, Nathanael West, and Day of the Locust.” Modern Language Association, Seattle, WA.  January 10, 2020.

“Mindfulness and the First-Year English Sequence.”  Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, MD. March 25, 2017.

““The Poetics of Embodied Mind in Hemingway’s Short Fiction”,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, MD. March 24, 2017.

“’Through a Glass Darkly’: Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky in the 1930s.”   Modern Language Association, Austin, TX.  January 7, 2016.

 “Neuroplasticity, Insight, and the Metanarrative of Difficulty and Persistence in the Composition Classroom.”  Northeast Modern Language Association, Hartford, Ct.  March, 2016.

“The Brain that Changes Itself: Creativity, Neuroplasticity, and the Writing Process.” Modern Language Association, Vancouver, B.C.  January 2015. 

“Don DeLillo, Apocalypse, and the Neural Sublime.”  Northeast Modern Language Association, Harrisburg, PA.  April 2014.

Selected Publications

Thinking Poetics: Essays on George Oppen. Editor and contributor.  U of Alabama Press.  Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics Series, 2009.

“Hemingway, Modernist Metafiction, and Embodied Mind.”  Article in progress.

Review of Charles Olson and American Modernism: The Practice of the Self.  Mark Byers.  Oxford UP, 2018.  Modernism/modernity, vo. 26, no. 2, 2019, 440-42.

“Oppen, George (1908–1984).” The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.  Taylor and Francis, 2016. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM117-1

“Modern Times: Objectivist ‘Movies’ and Thinking Matter in Louis Zukofsky’s Poems of the Thirties.”  Special Zukofsky Feature in Jacket Magazine 30 (July 2006).

“Between Contact and Exile: Louis Zukofsky and the Poetry of Survival.”  Upper Limit Music: The Writing of Louis Zukofsky.  Ed. Mark Scroggins.  U of Alabama Press, 1997. 23-43.