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  Stephen David Engel

Stephen David Engel

PhD Candidate


Humanities Division

History of Consciousness Department

PhD Candidate


Humanities Building 1
Rm. 434

History Of Consciousness

  • BA in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College.
  • MA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College, Annapolis.

Broadly, I study history, literature, and time, and use creative writing as an historical method. My dissertation, "Deep History and Genre: A Case for Experimentation," engages histories on the order of thousands, millions, and billions of years, explores how these histories can alter our sense of the present and politics in the present, and shows how different forms of writing can make the vastness of these histories felt. The central thesis of this work is that certain aesthetic and political affordances of history and deep history can be opened up through experiments with genres. First, I argue this thesis in academic prose. Next, I demonstrate it through three experiments: a first-person essay about running my fingers over redwood rings; a book-length poem that brings together deep time and revolutionary time; and a series of flash fictions that span the paleolithic and antiquity. 

At UC Santa Cruz and elsewhere, I have taught courses on the following: pedgagogy; classics of world literature; political formations in Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and early China; American literary movements; freshman composition; and dialogue. In winter of 2024, I will teach a lecture course entitled "Every Detail of the World," about the power and limits of descriptive writing. As a teaching assistant, I have worked in courses on playwriting, writing for artists, Buddhist studies, and the history of drama. My teaching interests are wide-ranging, and I stress dialogue, close reading, and artful writing in my classrooms. 

I am currently the Hayden V. White dissertation fellow in historical theory, supported by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz. 

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