Steven Pavlos Holmes

Adjunct Lecturer

Academic Division: History & Society
# 329


Steven Pavlos Holmes is a scholar, educator, and editor in the environmental humanities, with a special interest in the shape and meanings of individuals' relationships with the natural world. He earned a doctorate in American cultural history from Harvard University, has taught both at Harvard and at the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education, and has collaborated on innovative literary and historical projects with The Wilderness Society, the Blue Ocean Institute, and Massachusetts Audubon’s Boston Nature Center. His first book, The Young John Muir: An Environmental Biography, won the Modern Language Association’s Prize for Independent Scholars, and he has presented papers and workshops on Muir, environmental life-writing, and other topics at numerous academic and literary conferences. Beyond the environmental humanities, recent work has ranged from research support for a scholarly project on the “Great American Novel” to editing and publishing assistance on a study of the chattris of Rajasthan. He currently lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and is Scholar-in-Residence at the Boston Nature Center.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Master of Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School
  • MA, University of Notre Dame
  • BA, Concordia College

Academic Interests

Environmental biography and autobiography History of American attitudes toward nature Personal experience of climate change



  • Holmes, S.P. (2016). A Healing Landscape: Environmental and Social History of Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center. Lincoln, Massachusetts: Mass Audubon link
  • Holmes, S.P. (2013). Facing the Change: Personal Encounters with Global Warming. Salt Lake City, Utah: Torrey House Press
  • Holmes, S.J. (1999). The Young John Muir: An Environmental Biography. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press


  • Holmes, S.P. (2016, September) "George Bucknam Dorr: Brief Life of a Persistent Conservationist: 1853-1944".. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Magazine. link
  • Holmes, S.P. (2014, November) "John Muir: Brief Life of a Scottish American Conservationist, 1838-1914".. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Magazine

Book Chapters

  • Holmes, S.P. (2015). "Early California Nature Writers". In Blake Allmendinger (Ed.), A History of California Literature. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Holmes, S.J. (2003). "Some Lives and Some Places". In Susan Clayton and Susan Opotow (Ed.), Identity and the Natural Environment: The Psychological Significance of Nature. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press


  • "Remembrance of Things Future: First-Person Climate Stories as an Educational Tool"
    Holmes, S. "Remembrance of Things Future: First-Person Climate Stories as an Educational Tool" Annual Meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, Hartford, Connecticut (2016)