Exploring the connections between expression and

environment, history and habitation, meaning and materiality.



Recent Events
June 7, 2020
Thoreau in a Time of Loss
A Webinar sponsored by The Thoreau Society
Watch the recorded webinar here: 
March 26, 2020
On Covid-19, Thoreau, and the Liberal Arts
Video made for The College of Idaho
Click on the video below:


I hold tremendous gratitude toward the professional communities of which I am a part, so I make a point of contributing to them.


I teach in hopes of helping students discover how they might contribute most meaningfully to the world.


My professional life centers on the environmental humanities—and, more particularly, on thinking through how people have understood and expressed their relations to the natural world.


I am Professor of English & Environmental Studies at the College of Idaho, where I teach courses in early American literature, material culture, and the environmental humanities. I also teach for the Bread Loaf School of English, a graduate program at Middlebury College. I have authored and edited five books, written over a dozen articles and book chapters, and contributed to documentary films. A past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), I have served the boards of other literary organizations, including the Society for the Study of American Women Writers and The James Fenimore Cooper Society. I currently serve on the board of The Thoreau Society. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement for Teaching honored me with the Idaho Professor of the Year award. In support of my research, I have received several fellowships, including from the Idaho Humanities Council, Yale University's Beinecke Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Depts. of English & Environmental Studies

The College of Idaho

2112 Cleveland Blvd.

Caldwell, ID 83703

(208) 459-5894 (office)

email: rjohnson@collegeofidaho.edu


Click for CV: