Skip to content
  • Print

Eric Sonstroem

Associate Professor of English


Phone: 209.946.2619


WPC 137


PhD, Indiana University, 1999

MA, Indiana University, 1990

BA, Wesleyan University, 1988

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

I love teaching English at Pacific. I remember how exciting it was to read, analyze, and write about literary texts when I was a college student myself, and the small, seminar-sized classes here really allow me to share that enthusiasm with my students.
College is a time of great personal as well as intellectual growth, and responding to great literature helps us grow as human beings, helps us understand, appreciate, and analyze the broad range of complex human experience.
I have a student-centered approach to teaching, which means classes are not just about me lecturing. They are about all of us engaged in conversation and debate, so that every student gets a chance to push his or her ideas farther.
As a science writer and a teacher of professional communication, I also take a very pragmatic approach to my English students' education.
In my classes we develop skills in communication, analysis, reasoning, and presentation that transfer very well to their future professional careers.
I never let my students forget the "real world" applications of what we do.
For example, in my creative writing classes, my students don't just write stories; they also analyze potential markets for the stories they write, and submitting their work to a paying market is built into the class.
Finally, I am very grateful to be teaching at a school that really values the individual student.
Small class sizes ensure the kinds of interaction necessary to make sure every student gets the most out of their education.

Scholarly Interest

Content Engineering; Digital content, hypertext and New "Literary" Technologies; Nineteenth-Century American and British Literature; Theory of Science and Literature; Literature and its Cultural Context; "Monster" Theory; Creative Writing; Technical Communication; Science Writing/Journalism; Introduction to the Study of Literature and Composition; Science Fiction; Cultural Studies; Post Colonial Literature.


My courses have rich Web content. Please see sample syllabi for these courses at

ENGL 25. Introduction to Literature. "Our Monsters, Ourselves." Gateway literature course incorporating cultural criticism and film.

ENGL 25. Introduction to Literature. "Archaeology of the Future." Science fiction as literature course. 

ENGL 43. British Literature 1800-Present. Survey course, from canonical literature to hypertext.

ENGL 106. Content Engineering. A professional writing class that has been designed from the ground up with the awareness that electronic content is dynamic, searchable, measurable, researched, optimized, published, marketed, and monetized in ways that are radically different from static "writing." 

ENGL 111. Creative Writing, Fiction and Drama. Creative writing for the marketplace, with an emphasis on practical skills and techniques for placing narrative writing in paying markets.

ENGL 127 Contemporary Critical Theory. "Borderlands, Hybridity, and Liminality," a focused course in post-colonial theory.

ENGL 128 Science and Literature. 

ENGL 133. "Major Author: The Year 1859." In-depth literature class that takes a cultural historical approach to literature by an extensive reading of important works published in 1859.

ENGL 143. Gothic Romantic Age. In-depth literature class focusing on this period.

ENGL 191. Independent Studies.

COOP 93. Internships.

PACS I "What is a Good Society?" Freshman writing skills course.

PACS II: "History of the Future." Freshman research and writing skills course.