Skip to main content

George Handley

Professor | Comparative Literature
Department of Comparative Arts and Letters

JFSB 3027
BYU, Campus Dr
Provo, UT 84602


Commonly Taught Courses

Interdisciplinary Humanities 202: Arts in Western Culture Interdisciplinary Humanities 250: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Humanities Interdisciplinary Humanities 260: Latin American Humanities Interdisciplinary Humanities 262: American Humanities Interdisciplinary Humanities 280R: Humanities and Science Interdisciplinary Humanities 350: Interpretation of Literature and the Arts Interdisciplinary Humanities 425R: Nature and the Modern Novel in the Americas Interdisciplinary Humanities 425R: Postslavery Cultures in the Americas Interdisciplinary Humanities 490R: Environmental Humanities Interdisciplinary Humanities 490R: Theology, Film, and Literature Comparative Studies 610: Introduction to Comparative Studies


After teaching for three years at Northern Arizona University, George Handley came to BYU in 1998. His training is in Comparative Literature, focusing on the literatures of the Americas. His publications include two books on inter-american themes: “Postslavery Literatures in the Americas” (Virginia 2000), which is a study of the representation of slavery and family history in novels from the U.S. and the Caribbean, and “New World Poetics: Nature and the Adamic Imagination of Whitman, Neruda and Walcott” (Georgia, 2007), which is a critique of the imagination of nature in inter-american poetry. He has also co-edited “Caribbean Literature and the Environment” (Virginia), “Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment” (BYU), and “Postcolonial Ecologies” (Oxford). His book “Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River” (U of U Press) is a work of creative non-fiction that includes nature writing, personal and environmental history, and reflections on ecotheology. He is currently working on a book, “From Chaos to Cosmos: Literature as Ecotheology.” He is also serving as associate dean. Formerly, he was chair of the Department of Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature and directed study abroad programs to London in 2006, the Caribbean in the summer of 2009, and London in in the Spring of 2013. He is the advisor to the student club, EcoResponse, and is active in many civic activities. You can visit his website here. He and his wife, Amy, have four children and live in Provo.


PhD, Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1995
MA, Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
BA, Comparative Literature, Stanford University,1989



Research Interests

Literature of the Americas, Ecocriticism, Postcolonialism, and Theology

Teaching Interests

Environmental Humanities, Theory, Latin America and the Caribbean

Administrative Assignments

  • College of Humanities: Associate Dean (2015 - 2018)

Professional Citizenship

  • Board Member, Utah Humanities (2014 - 2017)

Courses Taught