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Faculty Profile
Werner Stavenhagen

Werner  Stavenhagen


Orange horizontal rule

105A Moon Library




  • Ph.D. Composition and Cultural Rhetoric, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 2016
  • MA English- La Sierra University, Riverside, CA 1997
  • BA Theology-Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA 1990


[Werner] Kurt’s scholarship explores eco-spirituality, biophilia, and contemplation. He’s written about how kinship narratives and mapping relationships with nonhuman entities foster a lasting ethos of environmental stewardship ("Relational Literacy" 2019). He’s also written about using reflective methodologies to enhance writing skills ("Contemplation as Kairotic Composure" 2019), and presented on the efficacy of storytelling and visual mapping techniques—referred to as "constellating" (cf. Powell and Hidalgo 2018, 2019)—to aid students in grappling with the implications of AI utilization ("Kicking It Back With Chat GPT" 2023).

'The Chase' (2022) is his contemporary reimagining of the timeless love poem 'The Song of Songs,' where partners engage in a celestial "dance" of intimate knowing—a fusion of sacred and human love rooted in the abundance of the earth. Currently, Kurt is producing a series of immersive video landscape meditations, and writing meditations based on his paraphrase of the Psalms.

For grounding, Kurt leads a men's group, meditates, and hikes along the shores of Lake Ontario near his home. He loves to blend teas and, with his wife Wendy, host friends at their "retreat" in Fair Haven, New York.  


Environmental Writing (EWP 190), Research Writing and Humanities (EWP 290), and Writing for Science and Environmental Professionals (EWP 407). 

Research Interests

  • Eco-spirituality; biophilia
  • Environmental Rhetoric
  • Composition and Rhetoric
  • Nature Writing
  • Professional Writing

Presentations and Publications


The Chase. Bowker, 2022.

“Relational Literacy.” Published in a special section of the Journal of the Assembly on Expanded Perspectives on Learning entitled, “Encountering the Natural World: Environmental Education in the Arts and Humanities.” July 2019. 

“Contemplation as Kairotic Composure.” Published in a special issue of the journal Across the Disciplines entitled, “Contemplative Writing Across the Disciplines.” March 2019. 

“Whose Honey, Whose Hive: Rhetorical Agency in Colony Collapse Disorder.”  The presentation was selected for publication from the 5th Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication, June 2016; in Jean Goodwin (Ed.), Confronting the Challenges of Public Participation: Issues in Environmental, Planning and Health Decision-Making (pp. 227-233). Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.

Review of Home Ground: Language for An American Landscape (Eds. Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney) in Community Literacy Journal, Fall, 2009.


“Kicking It Back with ChatGPT: Coaching Shared Screen AI Literacies through Inquiry-Driven Classroom Exercises.” SUNY Council on Writing Annual Conference (October 2023).

“Transforming/Teaching: A Roundtable on Inner Work and Its Effect on Our Writing Classrooms.” Eastern Association of Pennsylvania State Universities Annual Conference. October 2022.

“Zoom Pedagogy Tips.” SUNY-ESF’s Hardy L. Shirley Faculty Mentoring Colloquium. January 2021.

“Relational Literacy: Toward Revisioning Ecocomposition as a Co-creative, Co-performative Space.” 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication, Pittsburg, PA 

“Plant Something: Performance-Rhetoric, Community Writing, and Food Activism.” All-day pre-conference workshop associated with the 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication, Pittsburg, PA

“Contemplative Exercises to Promote Kinship with the Earth and Each Other: an Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Relational Literacy.”  2018 Assembly of Expanded Perspectives on Learning Conference, Estes Park, CO

“Toward Relational Literacy: Using Kinship Theory to Integrate the Voices of Nonhumans in Education.”  2018 Rhetorical Society of America Conference, Minneapolis, MN

“The Language, Literacy, and Labor of Food Justice: Bees and Beekeepers.” 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication, St Louis, MO

“Cultivating New Lines of Inquiry: Rural Research and Advocacy.” 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR

“Coaching the Publication of an Undergraduate Online Magazine.” 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR

“Whose Honey, Whose Hive: Rhetorical Agency in Colony Collapse Disorder.” 2016 Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication,  Ames, IA

“A Tale of Two Countries: France and the U.S. Stakeholder Agency in Colony Collapse Disorder.” 2015 Environmental Studies Presentation Series, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY

“Mindfulness Classroom Exercises: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Prescription.” 2015 Faculty Brownbag Discussions, Syracuse University Humanities Center, Syracuse, NY