A native of Massachusetts, Professor Hutchins took a BA from Brigham Young University, where he met his beautiful wife, Alana. After a four year stint at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a PhD, Hutchins returned to BYU for a three-year postdoc before making his way to Fort Collins and Colorado State. He currently teaches courses in early American literature and culture on subjects ranging from Columbus and Melville to love letters and sermons. His eclectic interests are well-represented in his first book, Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England (Oxford 2014), which discusses public nudity, environmentalism, the founding of Harvard, Freemasonry, psalters, slavery, Quaker grammar, and many other topics not obviously related to Genesis or colonial New England.Hutchins is the editor of Community without Consent: New Perspectives on the Stamp Act (Dartmouth 2016) and founded TEAMS, a digital repository of early American manuscript sermons. He has published a dozen essays in journals such as Early American Literature, Shakespeare, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and ELH. Most recently, he has edited and published with Rachel Cope The Writings of Elizabeth Webb: A Quaker Missionary in America, 1697-1726 (Pennsylvania State 2019).
When he is not working or serving as a lay minister for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hutchins enjoys playing basketball, board games, and the piano; wrestling with his seven children; and walking the streets or trails of Fort Collins with Alana. You can learn more about his sartorial vision--alternately described as vintage Big Bird or avant garde barbershop--in this recent interview or listen to him pontificate on Moby-Dick here.
This course will examine gendered stereotypes undergirding the theorization and historical persecution of witches as well as the rich archive of artistic responses to these stereotypes, in works that perpetuated, complicated and, eventually, subverted conventions of the tradition. The figure of the witch is grounded in theological history, scientific discourse, and sexual politics, so students will approach the wide range of texts, images, and films we study from various disciplinary perspectives, including women’s studies, history, psychology, sociology, queer studies, literature, and religious studies. This diversity of approaches and the class’s sweeping chronological scope will require students to consider the synergies and discordances of works from radically different contexts in order to formulate persuasive arguments that explain how the idea of witchcraft has shaped and continues to influence Western understandings of gender and sexuality.
E465: Stories of Success
Your dad wants to know how you plan to get a job with an English degree. Your favorite aunt has made the dishwashing joke one too many times. This course will examine new research on what elements of a college education and other life experiences are correlated with economic success and enable you to answer the career-related inquiries of both relatives and future employers. Students will study famous literary success stories such as the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Horatio Alger’s classic rags-to-riches novel Ragged Dick as well as the economic and existential musings of Shakespeare, Ayn Rand, and Henry David Thoreau. We’ll fuse discussions about résumés, cover letters, and job interviews into a broader discussion about the empathic benefits and aesthetic pleasures of literary study. This discussion-based class is the one course you can’t afford to miss before you leave CSU for the cold world of LinkedIn: enroll, and write your own success story.
E465: The Story of Poverty in America
This course will ask students to trace the social origins and impacts of poverty in colonial North America and the United States across four centuries. As students read literary representations of both historical and contemporary experiences of poverty, they will also engage in service learning, working with community initiatives to provide aid to impoverished individuals here in Fort Collins. Students will be asked to reflect on both the literature they read and the service experiences they engage in, drawing connections between their studies and opportunities for social activism available locally.