Professor of English
Office: Moreland 324
Email: canderson at oregonstate.edu
BA, Gonzaga University, 1977
MA and Ph.D., University of Washington, 1979, 1983
MA in Theology, Mount Angel Abbey, 1997
Chris Anderson’s graduate work was in rhetoric and composition, and for twenty years he coordinated the composition program at Oregon State. He now teaches a range of courses in writing, pedagogy, and literature in translation. His early focus was the essay. Since being ordained a Catholic deacon, he has developed a strong interest in the Bible as Literature, Dante, Spiritual Autobiography, and the relationship of religion and literature in general. What he teaches in all his classes are ways of reading, with an emphasis on personal response, and ways of writing, with an emphasis on alternate forms, particularly freewriting, journals, and collage. He has written, co-written, or edited fourteen books in a variety of genres and on a variety of subjects, including Free/Style: A Direct Approach to Writing (Houghton Mifflin, 1992); Edge Effects: Notes from an Oregon Forest (Iowa, 1993), a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction; and Teaching as Believing: Faith in the University (Baylor, 2004). He has also published two books of poetry, My Problem with the Truth (Cloudbank, 2003), and most recently, The Next Thing Always Belongs (Airlie, 2011), and he is a member of Airlie Press, a shared-work poetry collaborative, one of only two writers collaboratives on the West Coast.
English 488/588 Literature and Pedagogy
A course for students who want to be English teachers, at all levels. A course in “the theory of practice.” We’ll read four interesting and challenging books and then write about them in a freewriting journal and talk about them—react to them, question them, think about them—in class. The work is the freewriting journal, leading to a midterm and final essay, along with in-class group presentations.
Texts: Nancie Atwell, Reading Zones; Billie Collins, Poetry 180; Mark Edmundson, Why Read?; and Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach