Sarah Jane Sloane is a Professor of English and the Director of the MA in Creative Nonfiction at Colorado State University. Professor Sloane writes, studies, and teaches nonfiction narratives, particularly writing about travel, politics, and spirituality. She is interested in the work of making stories, how contemporary monuments interrupt entrenched cultural narratives, for example, or in her chapbook-in-progress of prose poems about illness and identity. Her latest book, Bodies Like Us: The True Story of a Guatemalan Guerrilla, co-authored by Otoniel de la Roca Mendoza (forthcoming, New American Press, 2018), is the life story of this Guatemalan refugee living under political asylum in the United State. Her scholarship and creative work are prompted by questions like what is the line between fiction and fact? What is the relationship between story and the construction of identity? How does language help create our understanding place? How is meaning found or made? At Colorado State University she teaches creative nonfiction (including literary journalism, interview-based writing, flash nonfictions, and the personal essay), contemporary women’s literature, and courses in general writing studies (the reading/writing connection; writing in digital environments; rhetorics and narratives; writing and the body, e.g.). She grows increasingly interested in the conditions that prompt creativity inside and outside of classrooms.
Professor Sloane holds a BA in English from Middlebury College, an MA in rhetoric and composition from Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA in creative writing from University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and a PhD in rhetoric and composition from The Ohio State University. She has also studied at University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Lincoln College, Oxford University. In addition to Bodies Like Us, Professor Sloane has written two other books: The I Ching for Writers and Digital Fictions: Storytelling in a Material World. In addition she has written several book chapters, reviews, academic articles, and magazine articles in journals such as Parabola: Myth and the Quest for Meaning and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, academic journals, and in less scholarly venues with larger circulations, such as a brief portrait of her intrepid dog Zoey Malloy, published on the last page of Modern Dog Magazine. Professor Sloane is at work on her fourth book, a musing about how to travel in body and mind.
Professor Sloane was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award at University of Massachusetts and was nominated for an Alumni Teaching Award at Colorado State University. She has been a writer-in-residence at ART342 in Colorado and Hedgebrook in Washington State. Prior to her position at Colorado State, Sloane taught at Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Puget Sound, and facilitated various community literacy groups. Sloane has also held positions as a technical writer at an educational testing services company, a volunteer on an archeological dig in the Outer Hebrides, a server at Yellowstone Park, a writing workshop leader for LGBTQI adults in Colorado, and a tutor in American English for Buddhist monks living in McCleodganj in northern India. She has also worked as an assistant matron at Pittendreich in Lasswade, Scotland, at St. Margaret’s School for Girls, a position that mainly involved ringing the bell for breakfast, spinning damp swimsuits, and overseeing homework, or “prep.”
The child of two fearless travelers, Sloane began taking trips to out-of-the-way places including Agua Amarga, Spain, and Vieques, Puerto Rico, from a very young age. Upon graduation from college she was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the “audible landscape” and spent two years volunteering at the Royal Blind Asylum in Edinburgh. She has also participated on an archeological dig in the Outer Hebrides, and has made many trips to London and the British Library. She continues to work on social justice in Guatemala, where she has twice lived for a short period in an isolated Mayan village in the jungle. The SAS Fall 2017 voyage is her second stint as an SAS professor and her third trip around the world. Professor Sloane sometimes publishes under the pen name Sloane French.