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About Nicolas S. Witschi

My research interests include American literary realism and naturalism, the American West, culture studies, environmental literature, and film history and criticism. A past-co-president of the Western Literature Association, I’ve written books and essays on the literary claim to realism made in the representation of California’s natural resources; on hoax gunfights in 1870s Nevada; on the Gold Rush diarist and satirist Alonzo “Old Block” Delano; and on such writers as Mary Austin, John Muir, Sinclair Lewis, and Henry James. My current research focuses on the contributions of autobiographical writings by famous gunfighters to the development of the western as both a cultural phenomenon and a literary genre.


Present Professor, Western Michigan University

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s Faculty and Staff Appreciation Award, Western Michigan University, 2006-07
  • Nominated by WMU's Department of English and The Graduate College for The Council of Graduate Schools' Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities, 2004
  • Finalist, Don D. Walker Prize for Best Article, Western Literature Association
  • Finalist, Outstanding Teacher of Composition Award, University of Oregon


  • The Western
  • 1925: An American Year
  • Thoreau’s Walden
  • American Realism & Naturalism
  • Inventing the Southern Self
  • American Literature
  • Studies in American Literature
  • Film Interpretation
  • Native American Literature
  • Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • Studies in the Novel

Contact Information

Department of English
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331

Books (5)

Articles (6)

Book Chapters (7)

Reference Entries (4)

Review Essays (American Literary Scholarship) (8)