Devin Zuber to join faculty

November 29, 2010

Pacific School of Religion and the Swedenborgian House of Studies are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Devin Zuber to the faculty at PSR. Zuber will begin this upcoming spring semester as assistant professor of American studies, literature, and Swedenborgian studies. Zuber centers his inquiries in literary aesthetics, hermeneutics, and cultural history, which includes the environment as special zone of engagement. This upcoming spring semester he will be teaching “Ecocriticism and Environmental Literature,” which will explore the different ways people have imagined and constructed their relationship to the environment through various practices of cultural representation. Zuber is also a Swedenborgian specialist, and will be teaching “Swedenborg’s Spiritual World” this spring as well.

Zuber received his PhD at City University of New York, where he was awarded the alumni and faculty award for most distinguished dissertation for 2009-2010. A native of the Washington, DC area, he has been teaching abroad for four years, serving as an assistant professor of English and American studies at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich and at Osnabrück Universität in Osnabrück, Germany.

“It's terrific to be joining a progressive community of students and religious scholars who will be bringing multiple perspectives to topics that are at the heart of my research,” Zuber says, “especially when it comes to something like ecology and the ways literature and the visual arts have shaped our perception of the environment.”

Zuber, who will be moving to Berkeley with his wife Suzanne and their two preschool-age daughters, is also looking forward to a change of weather. “Osnabrück had the least sunlight out of anywhere else in all of Germany last year!” Zuber says. “I am delighted to be moving to a place with a sunny climate.”

Being in California will also contribute to his study of ecology and culture: “I'm currently working on a project that involves John Muir and a circle of Swedenborgian artists and writers who were part of the emergence of conservation aesthetics at the end of the 19th century,” Zuber says. “So there's something quite serendipitous about ending up in the very place where these ideas first percolated a century ago.”