English 184 - Winter, 2019

Literature & the Environment

Class Information

Instructor: Ronda, Margaret
CRN: 54907
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 207 Olson


    In this course, we will read widely in literature that engages environmental concerns, including nonfiction, poetry, science fiction, and realist narratives. We will be considering the development of ecologically-oriented themes and literary modes in texts from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. What modes of interaction or disconnection between humans and their surroundings do these texts portray, and what assumptions guide these portrayals? The course will examine how literary works portray various forms of ecological crisis, from pollution and the nuclear threat to climate change and species extinction, and their engagements with frameworks of environmental justice. We will also consider the ways these texts might offer alternative imaginative models for ecological co-existence.


    Cane, Jean Toomer
    My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki
    The Word for World is Forest, Ursula Le Guin
    Oil on Water, Helon Habila
    Corpse Whale, DG Okpik