A teacher, earth scientist, writer, photographer, and pilot, Lauret Savoy is also a woman of mixed African-American, Euro-American, and Native American heritage. Her courses explore the stories we tell of the American land's origins— and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. In each course, Savoy challenges students to examine their assumptions about the world and about history. In 2003, she was a recipient of the College's Distinguished Teaching Award. She has also been chosen by senior classes as a Baccalaureate speaker and Last Lecturer.
Savoy’s new book is Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (Counterpoint Press, November 2015). This mosaic of historical inquiry and personal journeys across a continent and time explores how the country’s still unfolding history has marked us and the land.
“Springing from the literal Earth to metaphor,” notes the Kirkus Review, “Savoy demonstrates the power of narrative to erase as easily as it reveals, yielding a provocative, eclectic exposé of the palimpsest historically defining the U.S. as much as any natural or man-made boundary.”
In The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, 2011, co-edited with Alison Hawthorne Deming), provocative essays weave diverse experiences of place to create a larger and more textured cloth than the largely monochromatic tradition of American nature writing or of the mainstream environmental movement. Booklist called this book an “unprecedented and invaluable collection.” Savoy also compiled and edited Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology (Trinity University Press, 2006 with Eldridge and Judy Moores), which the Wall Street Journal picked as one of its five best science books. In addition, she is co-author of Living with the Changing California Coast (University of California Press, 2005) with Gary Griggs and Kiki Patsch. Savoy also worked with the University Press of New England to re-issue Alien Land, the long out-of-print novel on “Negro passing” written by her father Willard Wilson Savoy. Her column appears in the on-line journal Terrain.org.
- "Professor speaks to layered history of land," Office of Communications and Marketing, August 3, 2016
- "More praise for Lauret Savoy's Trace," Office of Communications and Marketing, May 6, 2016
- "Rock and a Hard Place: An Interview with Lauret Savoy," Vela, December 1, 2015
- "Professor traces the history of race," Office of Communications and Marketing, November 17, 2015
- "From Denali to McKinley to Denali: U.S. Place Names Tell You Who's In Power," op-ed in The Daily Beast, September 17, 2015
- Review of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, Kirkus Review, September 8, 2015
- Review of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, Publishers Weekly, September 7, 2015
- "Wilderness and Civil Rights 50 years Later: Recognizing the Ties of Race and Place," The Huffington Post, September 3, 2014
- "Reconnecting the dots between race and place," Office of Communications, August 1, 2014
- "Early African-American workers in DC were more than silent witnesses" The Christian Monitor, September 13, 2013
- "Lauret Savoy Joins Board of National Parks Group," National Parks Conservation Association, August 27, 2013
- "Professor and Alumna Discuss New Book," Office of Communications, December 13, 2011
- "Lauret Savoy on the Colors of Nature," interview on "To the Best of Our Knowledge," National Public Radio, November 6, 2011
- "Desegregating Nature," Terrain.org, Spring/Summer 2011
- "Bedrock: Coming to a Language of the Earth," Terrain.org, Fall/Winter 2010
- "Winter Leaves," Terrain.org, Spring/Summer 2010
- "The View from Point Sublime," Terrain.org, Fall/Winter 2009
- "MHC's Savoy on Culture and the Environment," Georgia Review, April 10, 2009
- "Placing Washington, D.C., before the Inauguration," Terrain.org,Winter/Spring 2009
- "She's Back! Lauret Savoy Returns to MHC," Office of Communications, January 30, 2009
- "The Future of Environmental Essay," Terrain.org, July 21, 2008
- "MHC's Lauret Savoy to Read at Odyssey Dec. 4," Odyssey Bookshop, November 21, 2006
- "Flood of Ideas at MHC's Quabbin Panel," Office of Communications, October 2, 2006
- "MHC Prof's Book Makes WSJ "Five Best" List," Office of Communications, August 4, 2006
- "MHC Innovation Fund Grant Winners Announced," Office of Communications, May 1, 2006
- Read about Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology and Living with the Changing California Coast, as well as her father’s reprinted novel, Alien Land in the April 2006 Dean of Faculty Report.
- "Professors Benfey, Cobb, Nicholson, and Savoy Honored with Faculty Awards," College Street Journal, April 25, 2003
- "CD Featuring Lauret Savoy Tells Girls about Women Scientists," College Street Journal, December 13, 2006