OCCC Faculty

Michael Snyder

Professor of English
Division of Arts, English, and Humanities
Programs: English

Courses Taught

Introduction to Literature
Native American Literature
Composition I
Composition II
Introduction to Philosophy


PhD English, University of Oklahoma
MA English, University of Colorado Boulder
BA English, Haverford College
Semester abroad, University College, University of London

Author, John Joseph Mathews: Life of an Osage Writer (University of Oklahoma Press)

Dr. Snyder enjoys working closely with student readers, writers, and thinkers, challenging them to develop their skills. Snyder’s specialties include twentieth-century and contemporary American literature and culture, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Composition and Rhetoric, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Creative Writing.

Snyder’s current research focuses on two twentieth-century authors. John Joseph Mathews (1894-1979) was an Osage writer born in Pawhuska, Indian Territory. After becoming a flight school instructor during World War I and earning a degree from Oxford University and traveling in Europe in the 1920s, Mathews lived much of his life on the prairie outside of the Osage Nation capitol on his allotment land, in his sandstone cabin he called The Blackjacks. Mathews wrote of Osage history and the ecology of the tallgrass prairie. Snyder’s biography John Joseph Mathews: Life of an Osage Writer (hardcover 2017, paperback 2018), was acclaimed by the Times Literary Supplement of London, and became an Oklahoma bestseller, according to The Oklahoman. Snyder was a featured guest on C-Span Book TV and has given multiple radio interviews.

Novelist and playwright James Purdy (1914-2009) was a Midwestern gay exile from Ohio who lived in New York City. Purdy’s edgy and powerful work is praised by some of the twentieth century’s greatest literary minds. A publishing event, The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy (Norton/Liveright 2013, introduction by John Waters) acknowledges: “Scholar Michael Snyder, PhD, helped to set forth correct and long-missing biographical information, permitting an understanding of Purdy’s creative process and development in the context of his full body of work.” Purdy was the subject of Snyder’s doctoral dissertation at OU, which he has been revising into a book manuscript.

Snyder has published book chapters in edited book collections such as Gerald Vizenor: Texts and Contexts (University of New Mexico Press), Across Cultures/Across Borders: Canadian Aboriginal and Native American Literatures (Broadview), and The Poetry and Poetics of Gerald Vizenor (UNM P), and has penned numerous book reviews for journals and magazines. He has published a dozen peer-reviewed critical articles in scholarly journals including SAIL: Studies in American Indian LiteraturesNative American and Indigenous Studies Journal,Critique: Studies in Contemporary FictionChronicles of Oklahoma, and Huxley Annual.

He enjoys presenting his research at academic conferences all over North America from Albuquerque to Saskatoon. He was a grant recipient and participant in the NEH American History and Culture Workshop, Legacies and Landmarks of the Lower Plains Indians at various sites in Nebraska, the Omaha Nation, and Kansas.

In his spare time Professor Snyder enjoys creative writing; his poetry has been published in the anthology Ain't Nobody that Can Sing Like Me: New Oklahoma Writing (Ed. Jeanetta Calhoun-Mish, Mongrel Empire Press), and in several literary magazines including New Plains Review and Dragon Poet Review. Snyder is also a music fan, record collector, and plays guitar and drums. A veteran of underground music scenes, Snyder wrote album and book reviews for Skyscraper—once a zine, then a print magazine, then online—for over a decade. Before OCCC, Dr. Snyder taught at the University of Oklahoma and at Aims Community College, Loveland Campus, Colorado.


Michael Snyder

Email: msnyder@occc.edu
Phone: (405) 682-1611, ext 7638
Office location: Arts and Humanities Center - Room 3E5
Office hours:

Office Hours vary each semester. Please contact professor or division office for current hours.

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