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Foothill College English Professor Scott Lankford

Scott Lankford, Ph.D.
Professor of English, Honors Institute Instructor

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 Climate Change 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 2016/17.

Here's my intro video for the project--What Is Climate Change Across-the-Curriculum?--And How Do I Get an A?

Proudly Introducing The Foothill Global Citizen Magazine a 100% student-written and edited online magazine focused on Climate Change issues. No login needed! Just click on the small square "fullscreen" icon to the lower right of the cover to read the whole magazine for free!

Proudly Introducing The Foothill Script Blog Foothill's Student-Created Blog and Podcast!

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

Creating Safe and Respectful Campus Conversations

Together we will explore a wide range of topics--including discussions of religion, politics, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity. Together we will come to these discussions with an open mind, a 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 fully 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 speak to me right away.

My sexual/romantic orientation is Gay.
I'm a cis-gendered male.
My Preferred Pronouns are He/Him/His.

My Student Podcast Interview on "What Makes Foothill Special"
Lankford Podcast Interview: What Makes Foothill Special

ENGL1C Honors Tues/Thurs 10:00-11:50 Friday 11:00-11:50 room 6307
ENGL1B Honors Tues/Thurs/Fri 12:00-1:25 in room 6306
ENGL5W LGBT Literature Online

Course information:
Top Ten Tips: A Student Survival Kit for Spring 2017

Public Writing Project Prompt for Spring 2017

ENGL1B/1BH Syllabus and Essay Prompts for Spring 2017

ENGL1C/1CH Honors Syllabus and Essay Prompts for Winter 2017

Friday Essay Quiz Rules and Formats for 2017

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

Advanced Reading Advice for Grad Students -- Works for Honors too!
Reading Strategically

Avoiding Fake News -- A FH Library Guide

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 Philippines, 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, How Americans in Paris Changed the World will focus on the epic, and often naked, adventures 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 Pride LGBTQIA Employees and Friends Association
Sustainability Committee
Student Grievances Committee
Faculty Advisor for Gay/Straight Alliance; Sustainable Futures Club; Honors ConneXions Club

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: 2017-04-15
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