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:

Exploring the connections between expression and

environment, history and habitation, meaning and materiality.



Recent and Upcoming Events
July 10-14, 2019
Oct. 2019-April 2020
April 17, 2020

Panel Chair and Respondent

"Engineering for the Planet"

Panel Sponsored by ASLE

The Thoreau Society Annual Gathering

Concord, MA

State Scholar for Idaho Humanities Council "The Crossroads as Witness:

Hope, Silence, and the Rural Ideal"

Lecture at openings of Smithsonian exhibit:

"Crossroads: Change in Rural America"

Oct. 12, 2019 - Burley

Nov. 30 , 2019 - Salmon

Jan. 17, 2020 - Lewiston

March 7, 2020 - Rexburg

April 24, 2020 - Nampa

Invited Lecture

"Considering Thoreau’s Writings on Birds

in the 21st-Century"

Sponsored by

The Wild About Nature Lyceum

White Salmon Valley Community Library

White Salmon, WA


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.