Skip to main content
Photograph of this person

About Dr. Scott Knickerbocker



American Literature; Literature and Environment; Poetry and Poetics; Outdoor Education; American Roots Music; Songwriting

Personal Statement

As a teacher, I want my students to have good ideas – original, creative, and carefully wrought ideas worth defending and developing. Good ideas sprout from careful thinking and deep attention. My indirect goal is to encourage students, in practicing close reading of literary texts, to become more observant and intelligent “readers” of the world around them in general.
Musically, I write original songs meant to move one to re-see the world as wondrous. I also enjoy digging in the rich soil of “old, weird America” – whimsical country blues finger-picked on guitar, haunting ballads frailed on banjo, and spirited old-time dance tunes played on fiddle.  
Beyond the classroom and stage, I enjoy going on outdoor adventures – ultramarathon trail running, mountain biking, kayaking, backcountry skiing, and backpacking with my family and dog.

Professional Experience

I have taught literature and writing since 1999 (and at The College of Idaho since 2007). I have written a book about poetry and various scholarly articles on literature and music. Currently I teach classes in American literature, outdoor education, and songwriting. I have also been a professional musician for over twenty years. I sing and play guitar, banjo, and fiddle, and I regularly perform both solo and with my trio The Knickerbocker Band.


  • Ph. D., English, University of Oregon
  • M. A., English, University of Oregon
  • B.A., English and Biology, Principia College


Ecopoetics: The Language of Nature, the Nature of Language (
“‘Bodied Forth in Words’: Sylvia Plath’s Ecopoetics.”  College Literature 36.3 (Summer 2009)
“Green Banjo: The Ecology of Old-Time Music.”  Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. Oxford University Press.  2014  
“Emily Dickinson’s Ethical Artifice.”  Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment 15.2 (Summer 2008)
“Organic Formalism and John Witte’s The Hurtling.”  The Kenyon Review. August 2008.
“Profile.”  An Ear to the Ground: Presenting Writers from Two Coasts.  Ed.  Scott C.  Davis.  Seattle: Cune Press, 1997.  245-46.
“Skiing with Papa: Teaching Hemingway in the Backcountry Snow.”  Teaching Hemingway and the Natural World. Kent State University Press.  2018.