Foothill College English Professor Scott Lankford

Scott Lankford, Ph.D.
Professor of English

Language Arts Division
     (650) 949-7540 voicemail

Foothill campus
Office: 6015
Office Hours:
Office Location 6015
Tuesday 1:30 - 2:30 (drop in only = no appointment)
Thursday 1:30 - 2:30 (drop in only = no appointment)
Friday 10:00-10:50 (drop in only = no appointment)
also by appointment if necessary

Foothill/Stanford EPIC Initiative
In collaboration with Stanford's EPIC Program(Education Partnership to Internationalize the Curriculum) I'm piloting a Climate Change across the Curriculum program at Foothill College for Winter/Spring/Fall 2016.

View or Join our Climate Crisis ConneXions Facebook Group at
Climate Crisis ConneXions

Creating Safe and Respectful Campus Conversations
Together we will have many one-on-one, small group, and all class discussions during the quarter about a range of topics many students will connect to on a deeply personal level (e.g. religion, politics, gender, race and ethnicity). Together we come to these discussions with an open mind, a deep spirit of shared respect, and a desire to create a truly safe and supportive space for our peers and colleagues of all backgrounds by avoiding derogatory language or actions. I commit to doing everything in my power to create a safe and comfortable learning environment for everyone in my classes and on my campus, and I expect you to do the same. I will enforce a strict line between expression of personal opinion and belief (very welcome in class) and expressions of prejudice (e.g. racism, sexism, religious intolerance, homophobia, transphobia) in your language or non-verbal behavior (not welcome in class). If at any time you are concerned about the classroom environment, please see me right away.

My sexual/romantic orientation is Gay (Cisgendered)
My Preferred Pronouns are He/Him

ENGL1C/1CH Tues/Thurs 8:00-9:50 Friday 9:00-9:50 room 6501
ENGL1C Honors Tues/Thurs 10:00-11:50 Friday 11:00-11:50 room 5610
ENGL1B Honors Tues/Thurs/Fri 12:00-1:25 in room 6501

Course information:
Course Calendars Spreadsheett for Fall Qtr 2016

Top Ten Tips: A Student Survival Kit for Fall Qtr 2016

Public Writing Project Prompt for Fall 2016
Climate Change EPIC Intro Video
Bioneers Conference
Foothill Climate Change Magazine To Do Bulletin Board

ENGL1AH Syllabus and Essay Prompts for Fall 2016

ENGL1B/1BH Syllabus and Essay Prompts for Fall Qtr 2016

ENGL1C/1CH Honors Syllabus and Essay Prompts for Spring 2016

Every Friday Essay Quiz Rules and Formats

Take-Home Essay Grading Rubric

MLA Style Sample Research Paper Format

Power Punctuation

Powerpoint on Narrowing Your Thesis Focus

Powerpoint on Writing Essays Backwards -- to Get the Best Grade!

New Revised MLA Citation Rules Updates
MLA Updates

Sample Student Answers for Essay Quizzes

My interests include telemark turns; trad climbs; cozy cafes; bookstores; one thousand kinds of tea; ecology; philosophy; literature; going to the gym; Tibetan yoga; surfing, snorkeling, and body boarding; guitar; trekking; Zen and Bhodi Chitta Buddhism; plus adventure travel to anywhere and everywhere on earth (including Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Brunei, the Phillipines, Taiwan, Singapore, Nepal, Colorado, Washington DC, NYC, Costa Rica, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, Russia, and Italy).

Born in Denver, I graduated from Manual High School -- an inner-city public school with a majority African American enrollment -- and still by far the best school I ever attended.

Growing up in Colorado, my hobbies were guitar, telemark skiing, and wilderness mountaineering. My first teaching experience came as a wilderness skiing and rock-climbing instructor in Alaska, Africa, and the Rockies. In 1985 I was a member of the American Mount Everest West Ridge Expedition (you can read all about it in my teammate Ed Webster's classic book Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest or another teammate's book, Robert Anderson's To Everest via Antarctica). Prior to entering grad school at Stanford, I even had a brief career as a singer/songwriter, working as a warm-up act for nationally-famous performers such as Don McLean and Harry Chapin on the New England college circuit. In fact, writing songs was what first got me interested in studying poetry!

I joined the Foothill faculty in 1989 and served as Dean of Language Arts from 1994-1997. In 1991 I became the co-founder of Foothill's award-winning Cultural Diversity Center, the Foothill Gay and Lesbian Employees and Friends Association, and the Foothill student Gay/Straight Alliance. In addition to courses in College Writing, I have taught Creative Writing, Poetry, American Literature, Lesbian/Gay Literature and a variety of special-topic Honors Seminars ranging from "Lake Tahoe's Literary History" to "Contributions of Islamic Cultures to American History," to "Blogging as an Emerging Genre."


B.A. Philosophy, Williams College, 1980
M.A., Modern Thought and Literature, 1989
Ph.D., Modern Thought and Literature, 1991


My book Tahoe Beneath the Surface: The Hidden History of the World's Largest Mountain Lake was released in October of 2010 and was awarded a Bronze Medal as 2010 Nature Book of the Year by Foreword Magazine (the leading national journal of independent publishers and independent booksellers nationwide).

My previous book, Northwest Passages: From the Pen of John Muir (revised edition 1998) won the Benjamin Franklin Prize from the Independent Publishers Association.

My next book, Paris Naked will focus on the epic, if often unclothed, misadventures of Americans in Paris from Ben Franklin to Madonna. Presently seeking a publisher.

During my 2013-2015 Spring sabbatical quarters I researched and drafted a new 250,000 word book on Earth's Largest Lake and the Battle to Save Them. Presently seeking a publisher.

Faculty Committees and Student Clubs 2016
Student Equity Workgroup
Native American Heritage Month Planning Committee
Black Heritage Month Planning Committee
Asian American Heritage Month Planning Committee
LGBT Heritage Month Planning Committee
English Dept Tenure Committee
FHDA Gay and Lesbian Employees and Friends (GAYLEAF)
Sustainability Committee
Student Grievances Committee
Student Club Faculty Advisor for Gay/Straight Alliance; Sustainable Futures; Student ConneXions

Curriculum Initiatives

During the 2011/2012 academic year, I helped launch two new across-the-curriculum initiatives: The Foothill Center for a Sustainable Future (of which was a co-founder and co-director), and a collaborative effort to apply Stanford Design School founder Professor David Kelley's ideas for Teaching Creativity to the teaching of College Writing.

For 2012-2013 I joined the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative as a Visiting Scholar to help launch a new Human Rights Across the Curriculum program focused on using social media.

In January 2014 I presented a paper on the topic of "Teaching Sustainability" at the annual Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago.

In November 2014 I presented a paper entitled "Medicated Bodies of Water: Hybrids, Hyperobjects, and the Anthropocene" at the International Seminar of Corpus Water and Body Fluids at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timosoara, Romania.

For Winter Quarter 2015 I will be blogging on the topic of "Climate Change Across-the-Curriculum" (as part of a Foothill College Staff Development Initiative) at

For 2015-2016 I am piloting a composition-studies-based Climate Change Across the Curriculum model within the Foothill Honors Institute--in collaboration with Stanford's EPIC Program (Educational Partnership to Internationalize the Curriculum).

Curriculum Vitae-Academic Resumé

Personal Quote:
"Alfred North Whitehead listed adventure as one of five necessities to the truly civilized community, next after truth and beauty, ahead of art and peace. It is a startling idea and he meant it to be so. Men and women are both taught to recognize adventure only as a passing fancy in the growing child, to be put aside with adolescence at the latest. The mature individual settles down; that is to say he does without adventure. Then he should do without beauty, and faith, and laughter, for these too are incidental to real life, to eating and begetting and keeping out of rain.

....Adventure is as needful to the real life of the spirit as food is to the body. The inadvisability of an action will not curtail it if it fills that need. Gambling is more or less bad for society, but people will play the tables so long as hope of sudden wealth connotes hope of change, variety. That is why it appeals broadly to the poor more than the rich: their lives are drearier. Workers go on strike not only for wages and decent hours but out of sheer dramatic hunger. A love affair imparts adventure, not merely because it is unsanctioned and a little risky, but because it proceeds on part-knowledge, like all creative endeavor. A general goes into battle; an artist paints; men climb Everest and fling themselves into the sky; become healers and judge a crime on part-knowledge. They have to, for that is the condition of living" --Michael Drury

Last update: 2016-10-18
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