Trevor Corson is a writer, editor, and teacher who works across a broad range of subject areas. Topics that Trevor has written about include: how flavor preferences emerge through both culture and biology, how societies solve the conflict between capitalism and socialism, how different cultures define death in ways that are both scientific and religious, the overlapping histories of racism and aerial bombing, the economic plight of factory workers in China's rustbelt, the hidden risks of submarine warfare, the satisfactions of solitude, and his own personal history of fuel-efficient cars. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Nation, Men's Health, Gastronomica, Transition, and other publications; his work has been anthologized in The Best American Science Writing edited by Oliver Sacks and has received commendation in Best American Essays. For four years he served as the managing editor of the literary journal of race and ethnicity Transition, published out of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. He is the author of two books. To research his first book, the worldwide popular-science bestseller The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean, he worked for two years as a full-time commercial fisherman while living on a small island. To research his second book, the award-winning The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice, he embedded with a group of apprentice sushi chefs from diverse backgrounds during their training in Los Angeles. He has lectured widely around the United States and discussed his work on many major media outlets. He has taught writing, science communication, American studies, East Asian history and languages, and gender and sexuality at Columbia University, Boston University, and other institutions, and has developed curricula in these areas. As a teacher and workshop leader he has worked with graduate students, undergraduates, mid-career adults, military veterans, and high-school students. He is married to, and sometimes collaborates with, the Finnish writer Anu Partanen.
More about Trevor Corson's career
When Trevor was nine years old he wrote his first book, an illustrated novel bound with cardboard and yarn that told of a belly-button cleaning robot gone berserk. Since then he has worn many hats while researching his essays, articles, and books. He has worked as a commercial lobsterman through winters on the coast of New England, shadowed chefs in kitchens and sex workers on adult film sets in Southern California, participated in fire rituals in Buddhist temples in rural Japan, lived among student activists in China, hitched rides aboard scientific research ships in the Gulf of Maine, and partnered with an atomic-bomb survivor teaching young people about the effects of nuclear weapons.
Trevor's two years of working full-time on commercial fishing boats led to his first book, The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists are Unraveling the Mysteries of our Favorite Crustacean, which was named a Best Nature Book of the Year by USA Today and Discover magazine, a Best Book of the Year by Time Out New York, and a Discover Great New Writers selection by Barnes & Noble. Trevor's second book, inspired by several years he spent living in Japan and an ongoing fascination with sea life, was The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice; the book was named an Editors' Choice by The New York Times Book Review, a Best Food Book of the Year by Zagat, and The Best American Food Literature Book of the Year by the Gourmand Awards.
Trevor's work has led to him being featured on CBS Sunday Morning; ABC World News with Charles Gibson; NPR's All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation; WAMU's The Diane Rehm Show; WNYC's RadioLab; BBC's Natural Histories, Food Chain, and The Food Programme; the Young Turks Network podcast Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer, and Food Network's hit television show Iron Chef America, as well as on numerous other television and radio programs and in print.
As an editor Trevor has worked on a variety of article- and book-length projects and for four years was the managing editor of the international literary journal Transition. The preeminent magazine of African independence in the 1960s and '70s, Transition has since been published out of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute and then the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. During Trevor's tenure at Transition, the journal won three consecutive Alternative Press Awards for International Reporting and was nominated for a National Magazine Award in General Excellence.
As a teacher Trevor has served as an adjunct creative-writing professor in the graduate arts program at Columbia University in New York City, and as a full-time lecturer and course program co-director in the undergraduate writing program in the Department of English at Columbia. He has also been a lecturer in the graduate program in science journalism at Boston University, a visiting writer in the MFA program at the University of Memphis, a lecturer at The New School, and a faculty member at Brooklyn Friends School. He has taught writing workshops at the Key West Literary Seminar, the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University, the Program in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, the Symbioses BioSocial Network, the University of Helsinki, and other venues.
Trevor has been an invited speaker at some of the premier venues in the United States, including the National Press Club, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Museum of Natural History. He has lectured widely on the topics of his work at schools, libraries, conferences, clubs, and many other locations.
Trevor's research and writing have been supported by a John Fisher Zeidman Memorial Chinese Studies Fellowship at Beijing Normal University, a Japanese Ministry of Education Fellowship at Taisho University in Tokyo, a Knight Fellowship in the Investigative Science Journalism Boot Camp at MIT, and a Teaching Fellowship from the School of the Arts at Columbia University in New York City. He has a master's degree in nonfiction writing and a graduate certificate in science and technology studies, both from Columbia University. He has been a member of the PEN America Society, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, the NeuWrite collaborative science-writing group, and the Science and Social Difference Working Group at Columbia University.
For about six years Trevor hosted a series of historical sushi dinners, mainly in New York City. The dinners received wide media coverage and educated attendees on the gastronomic and ecological benefits of traditional sustainable seafood. He co-authored the Blue Ocean Institute's Guide to Ocean-Friendly Sushi, and his educational video Sushi: You're Doing It All Wrong, produced by CBS, was a finalist for a Digital Ellie award from the American Society of Magazine Editors.