Nathaniel Farrell

Senior Lecturer in College Writing
PhD, Columbia University
research interests:
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Race and Gender Studies
  • Theories of American Politics
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    contact info:

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    • College Writing Program
    • MSC 1096-153-122
    • Washington University
    • 1 Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Nathaniel Farrell is a poet, collage artist, and educator and has taught college composition at Washington University since 2011. He holds a doctorate in English Literature from Columbia University and is the author of Newcomer (Ugly Duckling Press 2014) and Lost Horizon (UDP 2019). In addition to teaching College Writing, he coordinates the “Citizen Scientist” theme and teaches “The Scholar and Social Change.” His fields of interests include environmental ethics, race and gender studies, and theories of American politics.

    Featured Courses

    College Writing: Citizen Scientist

    Being a citizen of a modern democracy increasingly requires making decisions informed by our understanding of scientific consensus and the backing evidence. The stakes of these decisions range from the future of a warming planet to the benefits of vaccinations and GMOs to the persistence of racial bias and gender inequality. Citizen Scientist uses these and other topics at the intersection of civic responsibility and academic research to introduce students to college writing.

    Lost Horizon

    Lost Horizon

    Poetry. Taking as a point of departure the retail utopia of the American mallscapea composite of town square, garden and space stationLOST HORIZON spirals out through interstate and rail to touch national parks, local attractions, truck stops, big box stores, strip malls, tattoo parlors, oil rigs, flower shops, and baggage claims. Throughout the incessant movement of the book-length poem, unbroken by stanzas or sections, Farrell privileges observation over judgment and seeks out the crossroads between cultural myth and brand image. The poem speaks from between the mall fountain and the wishing well, the Disney princess and Spenserian queen, the noble hero and the voyeur. LOST HORIZON is a poem that catalogs and indexes the collision between fantasies of high and low.



    Poetry. Part historical fiction and part nature poem, NEWCOMER takes place in a wartime landscape estranged by nostalgia and American story-telling. A soldier passes through a landscape that is mutable, both familiar and foreign, while memories of home come in waves, receding and reappearing in images of crisp grass and in the sounds of wind. Military epic mixes with pastoral romance, and neither are resolved. Instead, NEWCOMER's investigation of entropic minutia suggests a very contemporary (perhaps post-traumatic) confusion of temporality, and by this turns our thoughts toward a phenomenology of historical imagination.