John Tallmadge

John Tallmadge


John Tallmadge is a nature writer, consultant, and independent scholar based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Educated at Dartmouth (AB, 1969) and Yale (PhD, 1977), he taught in the English departments at the University of Utah and Carleton College before joining the Union Institute in 1987 as Associate Dean of the Graduate School, working with adult professionals on individualized PhD programs. He left Union in 2005 to enter private practice.

Dr. Tallmadge is the author of two memoirs, Meeting the Tree of Life: A Teacher’s Path (University of Utah Press, 1997) and The Cincinnati Arch: Learning from Nature in the City (University of Georgia Press, 2004), plus an edited volume of ecocritical essays, Reading Under the Sign of Nature (University of Utah Press, 2000). He is a series editor for Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism, published by the University of Virginia Press. In addition to numerous articles, essays, and reviews in both scholarly and general circulation periodicals, including ISLE, Michigan Quarterly Review, Victorian Studies, Environmental Ethics, Audubon, Orion, Utne Reader, and the New York Times Book Review, he has contributed chapters to books on nature writing, outdoor pedagogy, nature and manhood, place-based education, ecocriticism, and teaching environmental literature. A pioneer in the emerging fields of ecocriticism and outdoor pedagogy for the humanities, he has served as President of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and as a founding director of both the Natural History Network and the Orion Society. His work has been featured on NPR, PBS, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Tallmadge has always been drawn to the margins of disciplines, frequently crossing between the sciences and the humanities. In nature we would call such an edge the ecotone, a region of greater biotic diversity and evolutionary ferment than more stable, interior zones. He has found that combining natural history with ecocriticism and creative nonfiction can yield a deep appreciation of both urban and wilderness landscapes, along with the questions they raise about nature, culture, and the conduct of life. 

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