Fall 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:262 Introduction to Literature and the Environment

01   CAC  Hybrid  in person TH 11-12:20   23519  SPELLMEYER  FH-A3
                              ONLINE   T  11-12:20

We might think of the environment as a subject better left to scientists, but their understandings of nature—and ours—were created by writers who tried to give human meaning to non-human life.  At first a goddess/mother, the natural world became the biblical Creation, and after that, an embodiment of the Sublime, then a “standing reserve” of raw materials for industrial manufacturing, and, finally, a pristine wilderness ravaged by our “civilization.”  In the United States today, all of these understandings remain in play--often in conflict with each other.  This introductory course will begin to sort things out by focusing primarily on U.S. writers in dialogue with H. D. Thoreau’s Walden.  These writers include Emerson, Fuller, Muir, Austin, Leopold, Carson, Snyder, Abbey, McKibben, Kimmerer, Peterson, and Butler.  

Requirements: 2 short essays, final project/paper, regular participation (including discussion board posts, reading quizzes).