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Meet Nicole Seymour

Combining Literature and the Environment

August 29, 2014

As a child, Nicole Seymour took a book along anytime she had to go somewhere with her parents. She'd sneak a flashlight under the covers to finish a book past bedtime.

"You always see people at the DMV, and they're just sitting there, staring into space, and I think, 'You could be doing something,'" she laughs.

She did do something. She read. It wasn't until she was at UCLA pursuing a bachelor's degree in American literature and culture that she also began to think about teaching.

"I had a really great professor, Jennifer Fleissner, and I had never had a young professor who I felt was relatable. I was in the honors program with her, and I came to understand what professors actually do and that it was something that I could do, and it made sense — it all came together."

A Long Beach native, the assistant professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics earned her master's and doctorate in English literature from Vanderbilt University, focusing mostly on contemporary literature and film studies. She also received a certificate in gender studies and a teaching certificate from Vanderbilt. Seymour had a visiting professorship at the University of Louisville and was an assistant professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, followed by a fellowship last year at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.

She is currently teaching about literature and the environment at Cal State Fullerton. "I had been looking for a position that was more closely attuned to what I've been doing, which is environmental humanities," she explains. She is the author of the 2013 book  Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination .

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