Welcome to our Long Term Floating Fellows page. There are at least two other Long Term Environmental Reflection projects underway in other parts of the country, one in Oregon, and one in Pennsylvania. The one in Oregon, The Spring Creek Project, was instigated by philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore and poet Charles Goodrich. The one in Pennsylvania, The Shavers Creek Project, (associated with Penn State- Altoona) was created by writer and ecocritic Ian Marshall.
Our Floating Long-term Ecological Reflections Project (FLTERP) will be, to borrow a phrase from Marshall, a “study in place.” It will seek to record what happens at locations in and along the Lawson's Fork, Pacolet, and Broad rivers over the course of a full century — through the writing, photography, audio, or video reflections of authors, artists, and academics from a variety of disciplines.
These river locations have a variety of habitat and diversity of experience, and should inspire challenging writing, music, artwork, and other creative forms of reflection.
Over the 100-year life of the project, the Wofford environmental studies program will work to weave these reflections together and create a story of these rivers.
Dr. Mark Ferguson, Associate Professor of Theater at Wofford College
Dr. Mark Ferguson came to Wofford in the fall of 2003, with the institutional mandate to transform a venerable and storied extracurricular program, the Wofford Theatre Workshop founded by Dr. James R. Gross in 1970, into an artistically and intellectually rigorous degree granting program, the Department of Theatre, and producing organization, the Wofford Theatre.
Before coming to Wofford, Mark taught drama, American literature, translation, and composition at the Universität Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany, as well as founding the English-speaking University of Stuttgart Theater Project. Recently (2012) he returned to Germany with his family on a sabbatical during which he lectured and taught various Dramatic Literature and Playwriting courses at the Universities of Freiburg, Stuttgart and Zurich.
Mark is a proud alumnus of Wofford College (German and Humanities, ’94, magna cum laude) and holds the MA in Dramatic Literature and the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also taught in the departments of English and Performing Arts.
Mark was our first TLAR Floating Fellow. On the 5th and 6th of August 2013 he paddled from Skull Shoals on the Pacolet River, spent the night on Goat Island shortly after the confluence with the Broad River, and then next morning paddled to Lockhart on the Broad.
Dr. David Taylor, North Texas State University
David Taylor teaches at the University of North Texas (UNT). His writing crosses disciplinary boundaries and genres-poetry, creative non-fiction, scholarship and science/technical writing; however, at the core of his work always is the concern for environmental sustainability and community. His poetry includes a book Praying Up the Sun (Pecan Grove Press, 2008) and a chapbook The Log from The Sea of Cortez: A Poem Series (Wings Press, 2013) based on John Steinbeck's 1940 collecting trip with biologist Ed Ricketts. He has published poetry extensively in the US and internationally. Steve Wolverton and he co-edited and contributed to a collection of essays about an interdisciplinary project on Mesa Verde archaeological sites and their representations to the public, titled Sushi in Cortez: Essays from the Edge of Academia (University of Utah Press, 2015). Also, he wrote an extensive introduction and edited "... a man of high character": The Letters, Lectures, and Essays of Dr. John Perkins Barratt (University of South Carolina Press. 2015). Barratt was a mid-19th-century naturalist and physician responsible for much of the early conservation movement in South Carolina. Natural history writing and creative non-fiction includes Lawson's Fork: Headwaters to the Confluence (Hub City Press, 2000), a personal narrative on the history and natural history of Lawson's Fork, Spartanburg's local river. Since his return to Texas, he edited an anthology, Pride of Place: A Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing (UNT Press, 2006) and was interviewed about this book on NPR on Earth Day, 2006 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5357543).
David paddled the Pacolet River from Clifton Beach to the Gold Mine Road take-out on March 12, 2014.
David was awarded an Institute for the Advancement of the Arts Fellowship by UNT which will give him leave during the Fall 2104 semester to research and write Following the Flow: Paddling the Rivers of "Texas River Song" with Texas Musicians (Texas A&M University Press). This book will be a collection of essays drawn from the author paddling/walking the rivers mentioned in the well-known traditional song "Texas River Song" with local Texas musicians. David's goal is not only to glean their thoughts about Texas music and its connection to landscape but to also offer a brief natural history of each river and discussion of its current ecological health.
Most recently, David is serving as Lead Faculty on a Summer 2014 Study Abroad class "Cuba and the Complexities of Sustainability." He organized faculty from biology, geography, film, and ecotourism to take an interdisciplinary approach to issues of sustainability in a uniquely important place. He is the Initiator for a Memorandum of Understanding between UNT and the University of Havana. He and other faculty from UNT traveled to Cuba to collaborate/organize roles with University of Havana faculty in November, 2013.
"Singing Hymns to a River", David Taylor
Here you can find a download of David Taylor's writing on a trip from Clifton Beach to the Lawson's Fork.