Tom Durwood is the best English professor I have ever seen in my thirty-two years teaching at Valley Forge Military College … No one spends more time and effort seeking ways to turn students into effective writers than Tom. He has lesson plans that map out new ways to appeal to students and to make writing concrete to their experiences as well as their individual needs.
Tom Durwood is a teacher, writer and editor with an interest in history. Tom most recently taught English Composition and Empire and Literature at Valley Forge Military College, where he won the Teacher of the Year Award five times. Tom has taught Public Speaking and Basic Communications as guest lecturer for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group at the Dam’s Neck Annex of the Naval War College.
Tom has followed his interest in history, literature and empire into several ambitious ventures. He is editor and publisher of an online scholarly journal, Empire Studies Magazine (www.empirestudies.org). Peter Suber, Berkman Fellow at Harvard University, an advocate of the open access movement, praises Empire Studies as “a new opportunity for overcoming access barriers to knowledge and research.” Dr. Julian Fisher of Scholarly Exchange has also applauded Tom’s efforts. “Creating valuable academic content and then hiding it behind financial firewalls—the traditional scholarly publishing model—runs counter to the essence of scholarship, learning and sharing,” according to Fisher. “To see Empire Studies breaking that mold is exciting.” The magazine features interviews with a diverse group of scholars, including Anne Knowles, Mark Bowden, Tabish Khair and Jane Tompkins, among many others, and currently posts over forty features
Empire and Literature, Tom’s ebook, matches global works of film and fiction to specific quadrants of empire, finding surprising parallels. Literature, film, art and architecture are viewed against the rise and fall of empire. In a foreword to Empire and Literature, postcolonial scholar Dipesh Chakrabarty of the University of Chicago calls it “imaginative and innovative.” Prof. Chakrabarty writes that “Durwood has given us a thought-provoking introduction to the humanities.”
Tom’s ambitious new historical fiction series has earned positive reviews from early readers. “This has all the makings of a wonderful literary property,” writes Sherri Smith of Park Road Books. “It’s like The Da Vinci Code meets Kidnapped.” Gina Glenn of Malaprop Bookstore offers, “It’s a clever premise, to have teenaged heroes coming of age and changing history, aided by the mysterious Society of Navigators … I place the writing with Steve Berry, Bernard Cornwell, A J Hartley, and even a little Dan Brown.”
Tom’s newspaper column “Shelter” appeared in the North County Times for seven years. Tom earned a Masters in English Literature in San Diego, where he also served as Executive Director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.
Professor Durwood is an outstanding teacher and scholar. He is the embodiment of Valley Forge Military College – dedicated, credentialed, experience – and absolutely true to our Military College Mission “to build leaders of character, for the future, for the community, for the nation, and the world. A gifted teacher.
I enjoyed your book on Kid Lit and it fills a gap – I can think of several great intros to children’s literature (notably by Maria Nikolajeva and Roberta Seelinger Trites) but they are not exactly conversational.
I’d love to be in your class and the lesson plans look very fun.