Simpson University Offers Pilot Course on California Literature and Landscape

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. - Simpson University is offering a three-week pilot study course for undergraduate students in May that will incorporate studying and reading texts about California in the settings that inspired the writings.

Dr. Nicole Kenley Dr. Nicole Kenley

“Literature and Landscape of California” will be team-taught by English professor Nicole Kenley and Outdoor Leadership professor Rob Simpson. Each week will include a camping trip to a different part of the state, with students returning to campus on weekends.

One trip will be to San Francisco and Monterey, reading authors Jack London and John Steinbeck. Participants will study John Muir’s writings in Yosemite National Park; and a trip to Death Valley, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley will incorporate writings by Mary Hunter Austin (“The Land of Little Rain”), Raymond Chandler (detective fiction), and David Masumoto (“Epitaph for a Peach”).

Dr. Rob Simpson Professor Rob Simpson

During the final week, the class will travel to the Sierra and Calaveras County, where members will read Mark Twain’s short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” and attend the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee.

The pilot program is an effort to revitalize the university’s May Term, which is offered during the three weeks following spring commencement. Students who sign up for the course will receive four academic units at a reduced rate and be able to stay in residence halls between trips.

“We are excited about this opportunity to offer students some different ways to learn and receive credit,” said Dr. Gayle Copeland, provost of Simpson University. “Our May Term serves up what’s best about a liberal arts education in concentrated form: it’s three weeks of intense intellectual—and sometimes physical—exploration of a question, an issue, a place or an idea that could well change a student’s life, or even the world.”

Undergraduate students interested in May Term should contact Dr. Kenley or professor Simpson ( or

For more information about Simpson University’s English and Outdoor Leadership programs, visit or



Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737