Professor of English Emerita
PhD University of Michigan, 1979 (English; Rackham Scholar)
MA University of Delaware, 1975 (English)
BA University of Delaware, 1972 (English)
I was hired at ISU right out of graduate school thirty years ago, and the fit has been perfect. Over the years, my scholarly and creative interests have evolved from focus on the history and theory of the novel to work in nonfiction narrative and in Intermountain West literature and culture. I am also a writer of creative nonfiction (personal essays); Iíve been Writer in Residence for Washington Stateís Espy Foundation, and my first collection of essays, Home Mountains, won an Idaho Library Association prize in 2000. Iíve also done a great deal of magazine writing, publishing in Gourmet and Mademoiselle along with dozens of other national, regional, and little magazines. Iím also a foodways scholar; I wrote the chapter on Rocky Mountain foodways for the Greenwood Pressí American Regional Cultures series and served as lead scholar in Idaho for a Smithsonian traveling exhibit on food and culture. I love teaching, and I do it at all levels, teaching everything from freshman composition to majors courses to graduate-level creative writing and literature courses. One of the things that Iíve appreciated most about ISU is the freedom to pursue oneís own academic interests. I enjoy working with student writers, in particular, and my students frequently publish. Over the years, Iíve been quite involved in public education, too, as Chair, then frequent program scholar for the Idaho Humanities Council. Iíve served on many review boards for the National Endowment for the Humanities; itís fair to say that public humanities work forms the third leg of the triangle that defines my career, along with teaching and writing. Iíve been named ISUís Distinguished Teacher, Distinguished Public Servant, and Outstanding Researcher.
The instant that I first arrived in the Intermountain West (for my job interview at ISU), I knew that I had come to the place where I was supposed to be, and that impression has held firm for several decades now. For 16 years, until his death from cancer in 2002, I was married to poet/teacher/mountaineer Ford Swetnam, and one of the things that has sustained me (along with a new dedication to writing) has been spending as much time as possible in the Idaho mountains. I ski (both kinds), take long back country hikes on my snowshoes, run, and hike/mountaineer (one of my former girl scouts, then a college student, and I climbed eight peaks in the summer of 2006). When I must be inside, Iím an avid knitter and cook.
Grace Jordan. Boise, ID: Boise State UP, 2005. (Critical/biographical study of an Idaho writer)
Home Mountains: Reflections from a Western Middle Age. Pullman, WA: Washington State UP, 2000. (Personal essays)
Lives of the Saints in Southeast Idaho: An Introduction to Mormon Pioneer Life Story Writing. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Press, 1991. (Critical/cultural study)
My Best Teachers Were Saints. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2007. (Personal essays on teaching)
Courage, Confidence, and Character: A History of Girl Scouting in Southern Idaho. Boise: Silver Sage Girl Scout Council, 2012.
Books, Bluster, and Bounty: Local Politics and Intermountain West Carnegie Library Building Grants, 1898-1920. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2012.
"Of Raspberries and Religion." Gastronomica 12.2 (Summer 2012): 59-65.
- Freshman Composition
- Introduction to Literary Analysis
- Genre: Fiction
- Genre: Nonfiction
- The West in Literature
- Senior Seminar
- Technical Writing
- Advanced Composition and Prose Analysis
- Magazine Article Writing
- Late Nineteenth Century Literature
- Seminar in Creative Nonfiction
921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8056
Pocatello, ID 83209-8056