Alf Siewers

Paul Siewers

Associate Professor of English
Specialization: early literature, ecopoetics and ecosemiotics, Christian literature, nature literature and philosophy of nature, literary resistance to totalitarianism, public writing and media, the novel
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About Paul Siewers

Fr. Deacon Paul Siewers is Associate Professor of English. In 2018-2019 he was William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life at the James Madison Program at Princeton University. Director of the Bucknell Project for American Leadership and Citizenship, he is a former award-winning Urban Affairs Writer at the Chicago Sun-Times and National Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. He is also an ordained Priest in the Russian Orthodox Church with a Diploma in Pastoral Theology, and faculty advisor to Bucknell’s Orthodox Christian Community. He is a founding convenor of the Bucknell Faculty Staff Christian Association.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Illinois
  • M.A., Aberystwyth
  • M.S.J., Northwestern
  • B.A., Brown


  • Christian Literature, Symbolism, and Philosophy
  • History of Nature in Literature
  • Ecosemiotics, Ecopoetics, Ecocriticism
  • Early Literature
  • Literary Resistance to Totalitarianism
  • Public rhetoric
  • Classic Fantasy

Scholarship and Current Projects

  • Co-Editor, The Totalitarian Legacy of the Bolshevik Revolution (Lexington Books, 2019)
  • Editor, Re-Imagining Nature: Environmental Humanities and Ecosemiotics (Bucknell Press, 2014)
  • Author, Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape (Palgrave, 2009)
  • Co-Editor, Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages (Palgrave, 2005)
  • Current projects include a survey of Christian literary traditions of nature in relation to views of justice and freedom, and study of early American views of nature.

Personal website


  • James Madison Program Fellowship, Princeton, 2018-2019
  • Scadden Fellowship
  • Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Maxwell Award for Administrative Excellence
  • Lisagor and AP Awards for Exemplary Journalism

Selected Publications

"Nature." In The Chaucer Encyclopedia. Forthcoming, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021.

“’Well, I’m back,’ he said. Tolkien, Loneliness, and The Decline of the West.” In Amid Weeping there is Joy: Orthodox Perspectives on Tolkien’s Fantastic Realm. Emmaus, PA: St. Basil Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture, 2021.

“Eriugena’s Irish Backgrounds.” In the Brill Companion to Eriugena, ed, Stephen Lahey and Adrian Guiu. Brill, 2019.

Co-Editor, The Totalitarian Legacy of the Bolshevik Revolution (Lexington Books, 2019)

Editor and contributor, Re-Imagining Nature: Environmental Humanities and Ecosemiotics (Bucknell, 2013). Authored "Song, Tree, and Spring: Environmental Meaning and the Environmental Humanities," and "The Ecopoetics of Creation: Genesis LXX 1-3".

"The Periphyseon, the Irish 'Otherworld,' and Early Medieval Nature," in Eriugena and Creation (Brepols, 2014)

"The Green Otherworlds of Early English Literature" in The Cambridge Companion to Environment and Literature(Cambridge, 2013)

"Orthodoxy and Ecopoetics" in Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation (Fordham University Press, 2013)

"Pre-Modern Ecosemiotics: The Green World as Literary Ecology," in The Space of Culture-The Place of Nature (University of Tartu Press 2011)

"Ecopoetics and the Origins of English Literature," in Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century (Routledge 2011)

"Spenser's Green World," Early English Studies (2010)

"Ecocriticism" in A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory 2d. ed. (Wiley-Blackwell 2010)

Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

"Landscapes of Conversion: Guthlac's Mound and Grendel's Mere as Expressions of Anglo-Saxon Nation-Building," in The Postmodern Beowulf (West Virginia University Press 2007)

"The Greyest-Greenest-Bluest Eye: Colours of Martyrdom and Colours of the Winds as Iconographic Landscapes," Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 50 (2005): 31-66

Co-editor and contributor, Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages (2005; paperback edition 2009). Authored "Tolkien’s Cosmic-Christian Ecology"

Further Information

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