English professor Eric Sonstroem

Eric Sonstroem

Assoc. Professor
Room 137
Wendell Phillips Center
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PhD, Indiana University, 1999

MA, Indiana University, 1990

BA, Wesleyan University, 1988

Teaching Interests

I love teaching English at Pacific. I remember how exciting it was to read, analyze, and write about literary texts when I was a college student myself, and the small, seminar-sized classes here really allow me to share that enthusiasm with my students.

College is a time of great personal as well as intellectual growth, and responding to great literature helps us grow as human beings, helps us understand, appreciate, and analyze the broad range of complex human experience.

I have a student-centered approach to teaching, which means classes are not just about me lecturing. They are about all of us engaged in conversation and debate, so that every student gets a chance to push his or her ideas farther.

As a science writer and a teacher of professional communication, I also take a very pragmatic approach to my English students' education.

In my classes we develop skills in communication, analysis, reasoning, and presentation that transfer very well to their future professional careers.

I never let my students forget the "real world" applications of what we do.

For example, in my creative writing classes, my students don't just write stories; they also analyze potential markets for the stories they write, and submitting their work to a paying market is built into the class.

Finally, I am very grateful to be teaching at a school that really values the individual student.

Small class sizes ensure the kinds of interaction necessary to make sure every student gets the most out of their education.

Research Focus

Content Engineering; Digital content, hypertext and New "Literary" Technologies; Nineteenth-Century American and British Literature; Theory of Science and Literature; Literature and its Cultural Context; "Monster" Theory; Creative Writing; Technical Communication; Science Writing/Journalism; Introduction to the Study of Literature and Composition; Science Fiction; Cultural Studies; Post Colonial Literature.