Feb. 21, 2007 English Department
Dr. Sean Meehan, assistant professor of English at Morningside College, had his essay “Pencil of Nature: Thoreau’s Photographic Register” selected for publication in the forthcoming spring issue of the journal Criticism, published by Wayne State University Press in Detroit, Mich. Criticism is a quarterly publication that provides a forum for innovative scholarship in the humanities.
Meehan’s essay explores writer Henry David Thoreau’s interest in the technology of photography when it first emerged in America beginning in 1839. The essay argues that Thoreau, considered to be the founder of American nature writing, found an important analogy between the literary compositions of nature he recorded in his writings and the scientific process of photographic composition through light and chemistry.
Meehan is the author of several published papers and book reviews in journals such as Prose Studies, Arizona Quarterly, and Biography. He has written previously about Thoreau’s and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s interest in photography.
Meehan joined the Morningside faculty in 2004. He received his undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University, a master’s degree in English and American literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a doctorate in English and American literature from the University of Iowa. He is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English and the Modern Languages Association and is currently at work on a book about Ralph Waldo Emerson.