Burns Cooper

Burns Cooper

I have been at UAF since 1990. My PhD is from the University of Texas at Austin. I have two specialties: linguistics and poetry. I teach courses about the English language: History of the English language, Applied English Linguistics, Modern English Grammar (syntax), Traditional English Grammar, and Prosody. I teach about language in general (not limited to English): Phonetics and Phonology, and Nature of Language. I also teach both graduate and undergraduate courses about poetry: Modern American Poetry, Contemporary Scottish Poetry, Major Modern Poets, Versification, Old and Middle English Poetry, etc. I have also taught a variety of other courses that needed to be taught.

I don't have a tightly-organized theory of teaching, but I do have a few basic principles:

1) Students have as much effect on what gets learned as professors do;

2) Hands-on active learning is best, but sometimes rote learning is needed to make it possible;

3) Collaborative learning with other students is good;

4) College courses are meant to be challenging--not impossible, but challenging;

5) Logic, facts, and attention to detail matter;

6) Learning can be fun, even exciting.

My research and scholarship cover several areas:I write and publish poetry; I do research on linguistic poetics (the subject of my book, Mysterious Music: Rhythm and Free Verse), and, more recently, I have been working in the relatively new field of forensic linguistics.I have projects ongoing in authorship analysis and in courtroom discourse.