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Christopher Nielson

Christopher Nielson, PhD

Teaching Professor of English
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5016 MacAlister Hall


  • PhD, English, Purdue University, 1990
  • MA, English, Arizona State University, 1980
  • BA, English, University of New Hampshire, 1976


Christopher Nielson, PhD has taught college English continuously since 1978, which included a visiting professorship at Greifswald University, Germany. He served as President of the Pennsylvania College English Association, directed a freshman composition program for four years, judged the annual Shakespeare contest for the English Speaking Union, and wrote the Shakespeare questions for the nation-wide Hi-Q academic quiz competition. He refereed submissions on Shakespeare for Pennsylvania English and has articles in Renaissance Quarterly, Explicator, Indiana English, Writing Centered, and Study Guides on Shakespeare for Hedgerow Theatre where he is the Shakespearean Dramaturge. In 1974, Nielson was a thru hiker on the Appalachian Trail.

Favorite Authors and/or Books:

  • Blake, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience
  • Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
  • Dante, The Inferno
  • Dickinson, "There’s a Certain Slant of Light"
  • Frost, "Acquainted with the Night," "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
  • Joyce, "The Dead"
  • Marlowe, Edward II
  • Shakespeare, Hamlet, King Lear, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Whitman, Leaves of Grass
  • Wordsworth, "Lines Written in Early Spring," "Expostulation and Reply," "My Heart Leaps Up," "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802"

Favorite Musical Artists: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata and Ninth Symphony, Bizet “Habanera,” Mozart The Marriage of Figaro, Puccini “Nessun Dorma,” Verdi “La donna è mobile," as well as Beastie Boys, Beatles, R. L. Burnside, Byrds, Rosanne Cash, Cranberries, CCR, CSNY, Doors, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Mumford and Sons, Rolling Stones, Who, Amy Winehouse, Neil Young, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Larry Coryell’s album Barefoot Boy—a wonderful tribute to the music of Jimi Hendrix

Personal Interests and Hobbies: Backpacking, jogging, travel—especially by train

A Favorite Quote: "And take upon’s the mystery of things, As if we were God’s spies." —King Lear

Favorite TV Show: Turner Classic Movies

One thing that makes me smile is: Children being silly

A Pet Peeve: People who were born old and remain that way

One hidden talent is: Dog Whisperer

One reason I like my job is: I get to do what I love . . . every day!